When people find out that I'm a music therapist, the comments I hear most often are "I wish I could sing!" or "Oh, I love to sing, but I'm not good enough to do it in front of anyone". Some of these people tell me that, as children, a parent, teacher or someone else told them that they should just mouth the words because they didn't have a good enough voice.
Singing is our birth right! Singing is a natural and pure expression of how glad we feel to be alive, and the way we show our love of music. Here are my top five reasons to sing out your stress:
1. To connect with your body: We sing with our whole bodies. Because singing is so connected to closely with breath, singing helps us "be in our bodies" and let go of the thinking (or worrying) we do much of the day. Singing can be a joyful activity and can release endorphins (those feel-good chemicals that the body creates).
2. To connect with yourself: Meditative toning, singing along to a favourite song or simply humming to yourself are all ways to tap into your inner landscape and see what's going on in there.
3. To connect with others: Singing with other people - in meditation, prayer, at a sing-along, at a concert, or even over the telephone or Internet - helps us experience in a very deep way that we are all truly connected.
4. To express your feelings: Many times a singer, songwriter or composer has expressed our feelings in a way we could never have - if there's a song that expresses what you want or need to say, try singing along (keep in mind that this is just for you and it's not about "sounding good").
5. To boost your good feelings: Whatever you focus on, you'll invite more of into your life. You can choose uplifting, joyful and celebratory songs to sing.
So sing out! Be proud of your own unique voice. Experiment with what works for you - keep a journal of what you notice in your mind and body when you sing specific songs. Then you can choose the right song for the right moment and make use of the power of singing in your own life.