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Five mental health benefits of singing in the car, according to experts

Singing often makes people good especially when it’s done in the car. It always brings feel-good hormones that make someone happy and worry-free throughout their journey.

Essentially, there’s a psychology behind this euphoria. Using the voice to sing instead of just talking offers surprising and exceptional benefits.

According to the Music Therapy department chair at Berkeley College of Music, Suzanne Hanser, “When we sing instead of speak, we have intonation, melody line, and crescendo, which gives us a broader vocabulary to express ourselves. Because singing is visceral, it can’t help but effect change.

This rings true as psychologists proved that singing in the car has many health and psychological benefits. Here are some of them:

[1] It Gives a Sense of Belonging

One of the reasons why people like singing in the car is that it gives them a sense of belonging. When they are with their friends or family members, singing becomes a part of their journey.

Not only is it a great icebreaker but it also helps someone feel less lonely. Some research even reveals that singing together in the car helps improve social bonds.

[2] It Gives Brains a Happy Hormone

The fun of singing in the car whether alone or together with friends is enigmatic. People always wonder where this happy feeling is coming from. Apparently, people feel happy because of the certain chemicals that the brain release while they are singing in the car.

Oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin are among the chemicals that are sending happy hormones to the brain, making someone’s heart filled with joy and satisfaction.

Ilka Emig, a scientist, is one of the many people who experience euphoria when singing in the car. “My car is where I get creative. That’s where I can let go and let the feelings out. Nothing beats that feeling of freedom. And no matter how exhausted or frustrated I am, singing lifts my mood right away.

[3] It Relieves Stress and Reduces Depression Symptoms

Music has long been known and used as a therapy for people with anxiety and depression. It also helps reduce stress from work and other nerve-wracking life events. For people with depression, singing in the car is a great and fun way of battling with the symptoms they go through every day.

The American Music Therapy Association (AMT) lists the various outcomes of music therapy in fighting depression such as decreased anxiety, reduced muscle tension, increased self-esteem and motivation, enhanced social relationships and safe and successful release of emotions.

[4] It Prevents Road Rage or Accident

Singing in the car can do a lot for both drivers and passengers. Because of the happy hormones that everyone has in the car, road rage or accident is unlikely to happen.

When the driver is in a good mood, he can control his emotions well, preventing him to get into a fight. The hormone “dopamine” is responsible for the driver’s motivation to drive safely and become friendly with other people on the road.

[5] It Boosts the Immune System and Improves Cardiovascular Health

Singing in the car has mental health benefits but more than that, it can also boost the immune system and the overall health of a person.

Singing makes a good cardio exercise as it involves the use of lungs and chest muscles, improving the person’s cardiovascular health. It also helps in developing better breathing control.

Moreover, a study by Tenovous Cancer Care and the Royal College of Music reveals that singing for an hour can boost a person’s immune system.

We’ve long heard anecdotal evidence that singing in a choir makes people feel good, but this is the first time it’s been demonstrated that the immune system can be affected by singing. It’s really exciting and could enhance the way we support people with cancer in the future,” says Dr Ian Lewis, director of research and policy at Tenovus Cancer Care.

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