Why You Should Take Up Singing As A Hobby/Second Life Career Path

As the fourth season of The Voice moves through the first rounds of auditions, I've become inspired to do a little research into how singing makes us feel good, almost as good as the lucky duck who gets to wear this:


Singing in the car makes you a safer driver.

She Knows

According to an Australian study, when you sing behind the wheel, "you actually stay more centered in your lane. You become a little bit more careful," explains Cleveland Clinic psychologist, Dr. Scott Bea. Of course, singing may take your mind off the road as well, but psychologists say we are subconsciously aware of when music gets too distracting. E.g. when you turn the radio off when you get lost, or when the weather gets severe. Singing in the car though, especially when you're dozing off, might be just what you need to get home safe.

Singing improves your health.


- Releases endorphins into your system and makes you feel energized and uplifted. People who sing are healthier than people who don’t.

- Gives the lungs a workout.

- Tones abdominal and intercostal muscles and the diaphragm, and stimulates circulation.

- Improves posture

- Clears sinuses and respiratory systems.

- Relieves stress.

- Makes us breathe more deeply than many forms of strenuous exercise, so we take in more oxygen, improve aerobic capacity and experience a release of muscle tension as well. -Professor Graham Welch, Director of Educational Research, University of Surrey, Roehampton, UK

This is precisely why I've been singing in the shower/kitchen/living room/car/line at Starbucks/DMV/dentist's chair for the past 20 years.

Singing certain vowels improves certain parts of your body.

- Singing the short-a sound, as in ahh, for 2-3 minutes will help banish the blues. It forces oxygen into the blood, which signals the brain to release mood-lifting endorphins.

- To boost alertness, make the long-e sound, as in emit. It stimulates the pineal gland, which controls the body's biological clock.

- Singing the short-e sound, as in echo stimulates the thyroid gland, which secretes hormones that control the speed which digestion and other bodily processes occur.

- Making the long-o sound as in ocean stimulates the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar.

- To strengthen immunity, sing the double-o sound, as in tool. This activates the spleen, which regulates the production of infection fighting white blood cells.

So when I see a dessert I really like and make an emphatic "OOOOOH" sound, I'll explain that I'm just reactivating my spleen.

Singing can make light of a stressful situation.

Here's a fun exercise that UNC Chapel Hill Associate Clinical Professor, Reid Wilson says will help ease your frustration and anxiety about a particular problem:

If, for example, your credit card payment is going to be late, sing it to the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb.

My payment is going to be late, going to be late, going to be late.

My credit card payment is going to be late,

and I won't get a mortgage.

Singing about the problem will help because you'll feel ridiculous, which is better than feeling panicked. I'll be a clown over a nervous wreck any day. A friend of the family did this with her kids. She can't stand the sound of whining (like any non-masochist) and when they were little, she told them she couldn't understand a problem unless they sang it. So when they started griping about why their pancakes were too thick, she had them sing about it instead of smacking them with a greasy pan. In less than a minute everyone was laughing, and no one was injured.

Woman's Day

When They Need It Most, Women Battling Cancer Get Free Home Cleaning

Debbie Sardine had a revelation in 2006. The house-cleaning business owner had just wrapped up a phone consultation with a woman who said that she couldn't afford the service because she had so many bills from fighting cancer.

Keep reading... Show less

Rosie's Place Community Garden Rebuilds Homeless Women’s Lives

Rosie's Place is a community garden where homeless and at-risk women are flourishing. Founded in 1974 as the first women's shelter in the United States, Rosie's Place looks to provide a safe and nurturing environment that helps poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives. Rosie's Place has a plethora of workshops and opportunities that help women get back on their feet and teach them life skills.

Keep reading... Show less

This Women-Run Gourmet Catering Company Trains Refugee Women in Cooking and Service

The global refugee crisis is ever-present in the news these days, but the United States has received displaced peoples from all over the world for a long time now. The catering company we'll tell you about today found in this crisis the inspiration for its mission: to train and employ refugee women who are eager to establish new, fulfilling lives in their new homes.

Keep reading... Show less

3 Celebrities Are Following Their Passions For Helping Others

Sometimes celebrities get a bad rap for being self-centered, but not these celebrities! These 3 celebrities are following their passions outside of the music, television, and film industries, and as a result, they're helping others!

Keep reading... Show less

Deaf Choreographer Creates Touching Ballet For Deaf And Hearing Communities Alike

BalletNext's search for innovation led the New York City-based company and its Artistic Director Michele Wiles to a first-of-its-kind production, a ballet called "Follin."

Keep reading... Show less

Give Kids A Smile Program Has Promoted Health and Confidence for 15 Years

Since 2003, the ADA Foundation has offered an annual free program at New York City schools called Give Kids A Smile. The program, New York City Dental Society's largest community-focused event, unites dentists, orthodontists, dental staff, and other volunteers to provide screenings and oral health education to students, their parents, and teachers.

Keep reading... Show less

How This Mom Cracked The Code For Joy And Success—And How You Can Do The Same

At the age of 24, Shilamida felt that she had found success: she was earning a six-figure income and had a nice boyfriend. But just 2 years, everything seemed to fall apart. Her relationship ended shortly before she discovered she was pregnant. Her father passed away from cancer and her mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time; Shilamida found herself as a single mother and was living in poverty. This was rock bottom.

Keep reading... Show less

From Near-Death To The Olympics: A Transformation That Will Inspire You

AJ Muss is just 23 years old, but his has been an eventful life so far. As an alpine snowboarder, AJ qualified for this year's Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, competing for Team USA— but that's not the only reason we love his story. We've already seen a number of new young American stars be made on the mountain during these Olympic Games, including fellow snowboarders and gold medalists Chloe Kim and Red Gerard. When AJ competes in the Men's Parallel Giant Slalom beginning later this week, we hope to see him shine as brightly as his teammates have so far.

Keep reading... Show less