The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Sing, sing, sing to fight sickness, stress, sadness

Viewpoint by Kirsten Mahon/nw/multimedia editor

If people refuse to sing, they might be subject to a weaker immune system, higher levels of stress and, worst of all, bereft of a top-of-the-lungs experience.

A top-of-the-lungs experience is the feeling of physical relief and release as people, possibly obnoxiously, bellow out a melody in time with the radio, the song in their head or their personal music player. It’s possible this may startle others when it happens. Normally, others disturbed by this could simply be jealous they have not yet mustered the courage to belt it out without care.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine conducted experiments to see how singing benefits those with neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, autism and aphasia. The study shows singing, while tapping the hand rhythmically, improves speech impediments associated with these diseases. When patients repeated vocal exercises over time, researchers found induced structural and functional brain changes related to speech output.

Furthermore, it just feels good.

Singing, if done properly using the diaphragm, exercises muscles in the throat and around the abdomen and releases endorphins. Studies by Harvard Medical School state that singing can boost the immune system, reduce stress and positively affect mood.

In personal experience, I have come home from some of the worst days at work and/or school and had to just sit for a minute before moving again. Then I sang as loud as I possibly could to some of my favorite songs. The results were equivalent to “sleeping on it,” where I started to forget about the things that made me angry or upset that day.

It all comes down to focusing on something other than a pile of problems and concentrating on something lighthearted and fun, for a while.

Ever since I was young, I’ve been a spot-singer — someone who bursts into song without warning — and I rarely get sick.

We all have those songs we know all the words to. Next time you hear it, don’t be afraid to sound terrible or terrific pretending to be the original vocalist of that song.

You’ll at least be smiling when you’re through.

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