Singing in Choir Makes you Happier

Mental health – thankfully, in recent years, it has become more acceptable to talk about it in public. The stigma of dealing with a mental health issue lessens with each day that passes. This is a good thing.

As it turns out, singing in groups has a very strong impact on mental health. Without question, we are not implying that singing is a replacement for seeking help from mental health professionals. Rather, we seek to simply highlight the positive effects this activity can have, and they are numerous. Let’s explore them together.

You Find “Your People”

Each time I guest conduct across the country, the singers I work with, who normally have just met for the first time, always share with me that they have found “their people.” Their family grows. Their support system grows. Their circle of people whom they trust increases. From How Stuff Works:

…some of the most important ties between singing and happiness are social ones. The support system of being part of a group, and the commitment to that group that gets people out of the house and into the chorus every week — these are benefits that are specific to group singing. And they seem to be a big component of why choral singers tend to be happier than the rest of us. The feelings of belonging to a group, of being needed by the other members of that group (“We can’t do this one without our alto!”), go a long way toward combating the loneliness that often comes along with being human in modern times.

Singing in a group increases our sense of social wellbeing. Brain

Lower Stress – Better Health

We’ve talked about this one before. Singing, specifically singing in groups, reduces the amount of cortisol in your system. Cortisol levels are indicative of overall stress levels. Lower cortisol equals lower stress levels.

In addition, dopamine and oxytocin levels increase while singing in a group. This is partially responsible for the “singer’s high,” that feeling of euphoria while taking part in a choral ensemble. Dopamine is that chemical in the brain that causes pleasure and alertness. From one of my regular choristers:

“I get in the car to head to rehearsal after a long day at work. Many times I feel like I can’t make the drive. It’s been too stressful or I’m just too tired. Like clockwork, I get to rehearsal and something happens; I’m revived. I’m rejuvenated. I normally leave with more energy. It’s magic.”

– R.L

Singing and Movement: The Perfect Combination

The benefits of group music making (specifically singing) can be enhanced when movement is added. Kindermusik classes are a perfect place to experience this magic. Getting started early is, as in most endeavors, ideal. For a lifetime of mental health benefits from group music making…start early in life!

Here are some of the ways combining music making and movement have a positive impact on health:

  1. Developing fine motor skills
  2. Developing gross motor skills
  3. Developing balance and coordination

So…don’t wait. Get your kids involved. While you’re at it, get involved yourself! Find a community choir to join. You’ll be happier for it!

For more music, ideas, and fun, and to find a class near you, visit 

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