Lessons Learned from The One Month Tune-Up | The Health Sessions

Lessons Learned from The One Month Tune-Up

Can singing regularly improve your breathing and heart health, mood and stress levels, as recent research suggests?

That was the basis of a little two-person experiment called The One Month Tune-Up, in which Kaila from In My Skinny Genes and myself  would sing every day during October to see how this habit would affect our health and happiness.

So, how did it go? Well, not exactly as we’d expected.

Read more >Lessons Learned from The One Month Tune-Up



The One Month Tune-Up Update: How Does Singing Every Day Affect Our Health and Happiness?

The One Month Tune-Up Update: How Does Singing Every Day Affect Our Health and Happiness?

I believe in singing.” – Brian Eno

It’s been sixteen days since Kaila from In My Skinny Genes and I have started The One Month Tune- Up, to see for ourselves whether singing every day during October can boost our health and happiness, as scientific research suggests. So how’s my singing challenge going so far?

Measurable Results?

To track whether singing regularly can really have a positive impact on our heart rate and stress levels, I’ve been using the free GPS for the Soul app to measure heart rate variability. Heart rate variability refers to the beat-to-beat changes in your heart rate, a good indicator of bodily stress. When you’re healthy, the time gap between your heart beats varies periodically when you’re resting. That’s why a high heart rate variability is considered as a sign of good health, while a decreased heart rate variability is linked to stress, fatigue, and increasing wear and tear.

Now, using an app is not a completely accurate way to measure heart rate variability, I know. ‘Luckily’ I’ve had plenty of medical tests in my life to notice enough similarities between the numbers on my iPad and more reliable measurements in the past.

The good news: My heart rate variability has been ‘in sync’ for the last sixteen days of the One Month Tune-Up. My average heart rate in resting conditions lies between 70 and 80, which is a little higher than the ‘normal’ pulse of 60 to 70 beats per minute reported by the Dutch Heart Foundation. The ‘bad’ news: So far, singing at least one song a day has had no significant effects on my heart rate and (low) stress levels.

Uhm, so does that mean that our little experiment doesn’t have any effects on our health and happiness? Not quite.

Read more >The One Month Tune-Up Update: How Does Singing Every Day Affect Our Health and Happiness?



The One Month Tune-Up: Singing Away The Blues in 31 Days | The Health Sessions

The One Month Tune-Up: Singing Away The Blues in 31 Days

Have you ever noticed how belting out in the shower or humming to music during your morning commute can set the tone for the entire day?

Singing doesn’t just make you feel good  – research shows that it even has a surprisingly positive impact on your health and happiness.

A recent Swedish study found that singing in a choir can have the same calming effects as yoga. When people sing together, their breathing patterns and heart rates synchronize, producing a sense of harmony.

But even solo singing sessions can significantly improve your breathing capacity, stress levels and mood. Deep belly breathing and being focused on the music instead of your worries are key elements of reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Additionally, when the musical vibrations move through your body, endorphins and oxytocin are released  – two hormones associated with feelings of pleasure and bonding, less stress and a better mood.

To someone like me who loves to sing and could use a health boost, these findings sound impressive. But over the last few years I’ve noticed that as a ‘responsible grown up’ with a never-ending to-do list, I somehow forget to make time to sing on a regular basis, even though it only takes a few minutes to benefit from the practice.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to team up with the lovely Kaila Prins from In My Skinny Genes to get into the singing habit again with the One Month Tune – Up during October! 

Read more >The One Month Tune-Up: Singing Away The Blues in 31 Days