One of my newest and favourite hobbies is singing. I am happy to admit that I am no Alicia Keys, nor do I intend on applying for Australian Idol this year, but singing for me feels like Food for my Soul. It all started when my good friend Emma (who is an amazing talented singer) invited me along to a night out at the quirky gaming arcade and Karaoke booth in Brisbane called Cyber City 2002. Since that night I have been hooked, discovering the plethora of Karaoke booths that both Sydney and Brisbane have to offer, dragging along siblings and friends alike for Karaoke sessions. 

Belting out a good tune to my favourite artists’ and all the classics in between at a crazy Karaoke booth with a group of girlfriends is my idea of a ‘wild’ night out now a days. Call me a little crazy. Maybe I am maturing or maybe I am just too influenced by all the Japanese food I eat – who knows? The crux I believe; is that for me, there is something magical about singing. Often I feel it is an expression of what I am feeling – by projecting those feelings through sounds; and this comes as no surprise as according to research “sound therapy” is linked to many health benefits for the body and spirit. Since ancient times singing has been considered a healing tool, especially chanting.  We all know that countries have created national anthems to generate patriotism to motivate people to do things for their nation. Sounds can influence brain wave frequencies and promote well-being, specifically:

  • Reduce Stress and improve mood

    Emma and I harmonizing at Echo Point Karaoke, Sydney

  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Boost the immune system
  • Improve breathing
  • Reduce perceived pain
  • Improve a sense of rhythm
  • Forge comforting memories
  • Promote communal bonding
  • Provide comfort
  • Increase Confidence
  • Motivate and empower

In addition to all these psychological benefits a bit of Karaoke can provide – ongoing research in alternative and complementary medicine is examining the healing role of singing regarding chronic pain management. Research published in the Journal of Music Therapy in 2004 claimed that group singing helped people cope better with chronic pain. In many senior centers singing as a memory trigger is being studied, specifically for slowing down mental decline and emotionally building self-esteem. For example, Alzheimer’s patients who can no longer carry on a conversation are able to sing all the lyrics to songs from their past! Singing truly is food for the soul.

 What is your soul food?

 

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