Last month I blogged about recent research that claimed singing had health benefits. One of the said benefits was that singing could supposedly make you happier. How many of you took my challenge to sing a song a day for a week? Well, I took the test...
Did singing a song a day for seven days help keep the blues away? Read on, dear reader, read on...
Day One: I Could Be So Good For You (Dennis Waterman).
Well, I'm sure he could be *wink* but unfortunately my experiment didn't start well. Singing the song was fun--there's something about Master Waterman's voice that makes me smile, but I promptly forgot to sing a song on Day Two. Oops. Reminded myself it takes a month to form a new habit. Also told myself that forming a new habit when distracted by revisions that are due in a week may not be the best plan. Decided on a new starting date.
Days One, Two and Three: Pack Up (Eliza Doolittle), Weather With You (Crowded House), Chewy Chewy (Ohio Express)
All of these songs are fun--they make me feel brighter whenever I hear them on the radio. I sang Pack Up in the morning before I had to go out. When the next song on my playlist started, it was hard to stop. Also concentrated on different ways to stand while singing. Found standing straight with hands behind my back and feet slightly apart with chin up seem to aid breathing etc.
Days Four and Five: Realized that I have been singing uber happy and fun songs, so mixed it up with something more atmospheric.
Mull of Kintyre (Paul McCartney)--I lurve bagpipe music. (I also have a fantasy of visiting the beach at Kintyre and a pipe band magically appearing).
Great Southern Land (The University of Newcastle Choir)--these guys and gals are amazing. They give me goose bumps.
Day Six: Living Next Door to Alice (Smokie)
Heard this on the radio in the car and I had to come home and play it. Found it hard to concentrate on the song today, though. My mind was racing forward to the mountain of things I had to get done before bedtime.
Day Seven: Mickey (Toni Basil)
Singing and dancing must be seriously good exercise! I don't think I could keep both up for longer than three minutes. Man, rock stars must be seriously fit (am thinking Pink here. Whew!).
Another Day Seven (because I hadn't been keeping count): Thank You (Dido)
And then Day Eight, just because: Mamma Mia... Dancing Queen... Super Trouper... SOS. Loved my ABBA fest.
So, my verdict-Does singing make you happier?
I wish I could give you a definitive answer. The singing wasn't a chore and even though I felt self-conscious a few times, I really did enjoy it. I did my best to focus on the song and to blank my mind to everything else. That was harder than I thought it'd be (which has made me think I should start doing five to ten minutes of mediation a day). I don't know about the long-term benefits of singing, but the short-term, live-in-the-moment time of the actual song was fun, and more often than not, it lifted my mood for at least the next hour (regardless of whether I sang a fun song or a serious one).
One thing I can say for sure--singing a song a day certainly didn't hurt. And I'll let you in on a little secret, I mean to cultivate the habit. So what about you? Do you have any hints of tips for leading a happier life?