Why you're happier and healthier singing in the car

Your favourite song comes on the radio as you’re driving and immediately you turn up the sound and start belting out the tunes.

Whether alone or with friends, you feel a sense of joy at being able to sing your heart out. You might even drop in a drum beat or play a bit of air guitar. It doesn’t matter if people see you or hear you, you can get lost in the moment and it feels so good!

There’s a reason singing in the car is so much fun. According to science, it makes you happier and healthier, but how?

For starters, it relieves pain, it can reduce your stress, it can make you feel euphoric, it can increase your productivity, and even if you are tone deaf and off-key it inspires you to give it all you’ve got.

But it can also give your brain a buzz. You mightn’t know it, but singing gets your brain to release the chemicals responsible for those ‘natural highs’. These include oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, and if the song is one that evokes a particular memory then the effects will be heightened.

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For that reason studies have shown that people living with chronic pain have been helped enormously by being able to sing.

Another benefit of singing is the positive effect it has on your cardiovascular and lung health. If you’re not making use of your lungs and chest muscles when you sing, you’re doing it wrong. Singing encourages you to develop better control of your breathing by taking deeper and slower breaths, which could be good for you if you happen to suffer anxiety, but it’s also a good workout for your upper body.

Just in case you hadn’t worked it out already, singing is best done with others. By nature humans are social creatures and more often than not the things you like to do on your own are things you love to do in company. Sure, it might be daunting to join the local choir, but less intimidating is belting out a chorus with your friends in the front seat.

You’ll all be smiling by the time you reach your destination!

Do you sing in the car? What song has you turning up the sound and joining in?