Every Sunday a group of about 40 women gathers in Los Angeles to sing. The motto of this all-female chorus, dubbed the L.A. Ladies' Choir, is "Sing joyfully." There are no auditions, and no talent is required to join, only the commitment to treat one another with kindness and to sing for the pure fun of it.
Through singing these women have developed powerful connections to one another. As one choir member states, "We're taught our whole lives that women are competitive with each other, but that's not true for us. It's redefined my sense of what it means to have female friends." These women, who also share a lunchtime potluck, have tapped into the powerful benefit of lifting their voices together with others in song.
"The only thing better than singing is more singing."
I's well known that singing, whether in church choirs or karaoke bars, lifts people's spirits. But less known are the physical health benefits that singing offers, as highlighted by multiple studies:
- Singing strengthens your immune system
- Singing offers the lungs a workout
- Singing tones abdominal muscles and the diaphragm
- Singing stimulates circulation
- Singing creates deeper breathing than many forms of strenuous exercise, so we take in more oxygen, improve aerobic capacity and experience a reduction in muscle tension
Even without these physical health benefits, singing would be valuable for the emotional uplift it brings. Singing lifts the spirit and increases connections among people. Researchers believe singing elevates moods and reduces the "blues" by taking the singer's mind off the stresses of the day and releasing pain-relieving endorphins.
Colette Hiller, director of Sing The Nation, a festival offering more than 120 collective singing events across the UK, is convinced that singing with other people helps individuals connect to each other and to their environment. L.A. Ladies Choir member Becky Stark agrees, "Singing in the choir is a powerful emotional experience. To feel your voice become one with a group of women is incredible."
So whether you join a choir, become a karaoke pro or just simply belt out tunes in your shower, do something good for yourself: lose your inhibitions and sing your heart out!
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