I listen to the song ‘ Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone most mornings, usually as I’m getting ready. And as I sing along (very badly I must admit) the lyrics; ‘It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life for me and I’m feeling good’, encourage, inspire and motivate me for the day ahead.
As a nation we find ourselves singing in all sorts of places – from the shower to the car, at weddings and funerals, during worship at church, supporting our team at sporting events and along with our favourite band at a gig to name but a few.
And more recently, during this time of self-isolation, we’ve seen the start up of online choirs using video apps and people singing across balconies to each other. But please could someone suggest an alternative to ‘Happy Birthday’ while we wash our hands?
We could whisper words of encouragement or shout declarations of praise over ourselves and each other. So why do we sing?
Well, singing has some incredible health benefits for us. Some of them may surprise you!
Singing can boost your immune system: it increases the amount of proteins in your blood that function as antibodies.
It can also be an excellent form of exercise, a great workout for your lungs, leading to an increase in aerobic capacity and stamina. And in strengthening your throat muscles it can reduce snoring!
When we sing our bodies release endorphins which make us feel happy and uplifted. Also we have a tiny organ in our ears – the sacculus – which responds to the frequencies created by singing. This creates an immediate sense of pleasure, regardless of what the singing sounds like. A great mood booster and natural antidepressant.
Singing improves our mental alertness and memory – I often find myself singing a few lines of a song I knew as a child but struggle to remember my password for online shopping.
Even for a terrible singer like me it can widen your circle of friends. Singing as a group forms bonds of friendship as there’s a level of intimacy naturally involved. It can also boost your confidence and helps to develop language skills.
So there’s no doubt that singing is good for us and God loves it too. We read in Zephaniah 3:17 :
‘The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.’
God sings over us – how amazing is that?
Not just a whispered encouragement or a shouted declaration but a joyful song especially for you.
And I’m feeling good about that today and I hope you are too.
Written by Susan Hinton (Hope City Newcastle) as past of the SHE IS Collective Blog Series