Celebrity Vocal Coach Mark De Lisser on Singing to Beat January Blues

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“As a Choral Arranger, and someone who has been a part of a choir since an early age, I have always known – and perhaps taken for granted – the mental health and wellbeing benefits of singing. During my career, working with a whole spectrum of different communities, celebrities and Royals, I have had the opportunity to share my knowledge.

Firstly, singing helps you to strengthen your immune system. A study by the University of Frankfurt tested a group of choristers before and after a one-hour session of singing. They found that the amount of immunoglobulin—an antibody that helps your body fight disease—was significantly higher after the session. Singing also improves posture and gives your lungs a workout and speeds up the removal of toxins from your body.

Singing is a natural antidepressant. When you sing, your body releases endorphins—chemicals that make you feel happy. Singing also helps in lowering your stress levels as it reduces the level of cortisol in the body.

On top of this, singing also helps improve mental alertness and concentration by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain.

Here are my tips to beat the January Blues:

1. Turn a power Ballad into a Shower Ballad: sing a verse and chorus to any song out loud to produce a rush of ‘feel good’ hormones to relieve all over stress and set you up for the day.

2. Sing to your daily walk- walk or run for 30 mins whilst singing to maximise your breath capacity and relieve anxiety.

3. Hum on your bum – if you are working from home, take a break and lightly hum your favourite song as you sit or stand with your eyes closed. It will focus your mind and turn down the emotional and mental noise.

4. Roar like a lion – Stretch as though you have just got out of bed or like a cat five times a day as you let out a loud primal sound (you can choose which). This will relieve physical stress and bring peace to your mind again.

5. After work – the social benefits of singing are manifold. get yourself to your local group or choir at least once a week to bring a sense of collective cohesion and acceptance to relieve depression and loneliness. Or alternatively, you can join my weekly virtual choir on Zoom on 19th January and 26th January at 6pm or the lunchtime session on Friday 21st January. We will be singing Feelgood Songs to blast away the January Blues.”