Happiness Upgrade Podcast

S1 E12: For an on-command mood boost, sing!

May 31, 2022 Gabrielle Lichterman Season 1 Episode 12
Happiness Upgrade Podcast
S1 E12: For an on-command mood boost, sing!
Show Notes Transcript

Whether you need to reverse a sagging mood or want to intensify the joy that you’re currently feeling, you can give yourself a Happiness Upgrade by belting out a song. Listen to this week’s episode to find out why scientists say singing any favorite song spurs positivity quick. And find out my 7 suggestions for incorporating this easy tip into your life. 

Check out the book that inspired this podcast, THE HAPPINESS UPGRADE: ONE SMALL STEP UP TO A HAPPIER LIFE (available at Amazon) at HappinessUpgradePress.com. 

Learn more about the Happiness Upgrade Podcast at HappinessUpgradePress.com.

Follow @HappinessUpgrade on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Whether you need to reverse a low mood or want to intensify the joy that you’re currently feeling, you can give yourself a Happiness Upgrade by belting out a song!

Hello and welcome to another episode of the Happiness Upgrade Podcast. I’m your host, Gabrielle Lichterman, health journalist and author of the book The Happiness Upgrade: One Small Step Up to a Happier Life. Every week in this podcast, I share one easy study-backed method to improve your mood, plus my 7 suggestions for ways to try the technique during your week. And now for this week’s Happiness Upgrade tip….

Want to reverse a sagging mood or rev the positivity that you’re currently feeling? You can give yourself a Happiness Upgrade by belting out a song. 

It doesn’t even matter if you don’t hit the right notes (I know I sure don’t). And it doesn’t matter if you sing the wrong lyrics (my husband, Douglas, is famous around our house for just making them up).  

The simple act of singing is a proven way to elevate joy fast.

So, what is it about singing that has a mood-lifting effect?

Research from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom shows that singing spurs your body’s production of endocannabinoids, which are molecules that cause a euphoric sensation similar to a “runner’s high” where mood, confidence and relaxation all peak. 

An additional study from the University of Regensburg [RAY-GUNSBERG] in Germany shows that crooning a tune also decreases the stress hormone cortisol, helping to usher in greater calm.

So, how can you incorporate more singing into your life so you can use it to give yourself a Happiness Upgrade this week? Here are my 7 suggestions: 

1. Create a playlist of songs you love, then sing along to them when you want a quick mood boost. I created a play list called “Fun Stuff” that I downloaded to my phone. It’s a collection of my favorite songs that I know for sure boost my mood every time I sing them. It includes a wide assortment of styles, including punk classics, such as the Sex Pistol’s Anarchy in the UK, Apache Indian’s reggae fusion Boom Shack-a-Lack. And even musical hits, such as Hair. Whenever I want a quick burst of happiness, I put on my Bluetooth, and just start bellowing. Trust me, I have zero singing ability. My poor musician husband has had to suffer through my off-key renditions for 27 years now. But, I don’t care. For me, these songs are so fun, they lift my spirits, so it doesn’t even matter to me what I sound like. So, when you catch me belting out off-key renditions of songs while taking a walk or doing yard work, now you know why. 

2. Keep a list of songs you like to sing a cappella (meaning without music) nearby, such as in a desk drawer, so you can instantly pick one. I love this suggestion because I often find that when I want to sing something when I’m not near a music device, I can’t recall a single song I know the lyrics to…even though I know the words to thousands of songs! I just draw a total blank. So, having a list of favorites that I know all the words to, like the lyrics to Duran Duran’s Save a Prayer, which I learned from an issue of Teen Beat magazine way back in the 1980s, really helps.

3. Wake up to an alarm that plays favorite songs or keep a music device near your bed and turn it on after awakening. Not only does this spur a joyful mood, it has an added benefit: Turns out, waking up to music makes you feel more energized and alert than waking up to a traditional beeping alarm, according to a study from Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. That’s because a beeping alarm is jarring to our sleepy brain, which may disrupt our natural waking pattern, keeping  us groggy. By contrast, an enjoyable melody appears help us transition to a waking state more seamlessly, so we get naturally peppier!

4. Try out acoustics in different areas to find more fun places to sing, such as your shower (of course) or a car since the dashboard resonates your voice.  

5. Compile songs to match your tasks during the day, for instance, singing fast tempo songs to help you plow through physically intensive to-dos and singing slow tempo songs when you’re relaxing.

6. Find new songs to sing by asking friends what they love. Back in my day, we had to make mix tapes, which took hours, even days if you were waiting for the right song to play on the radio. And burning CDs wasn’t all that quick either. But nowadays, it’s easy to swap playlists. So, ask pals to share their favorites.

7. Take a trip down memory lane and sing songs that made you happy when you were younger. As you can tell from some of my favorite songs that I’ve already shared with you, I’m a big fan of nostalgic music from my youth. In fact, I think it’s really funny when I sing favorite punk, hardcore and rap tunes from the 1980s while I’m in my front yard gardening in my floppy sun hat and comfortable garden shoes. These songs instantly bring me back to my years as a rebellious teen roaming around the streets of downtown Manhattan. So, singing them again as a bespectacled grey-haired 51-year-old woman while weeding a flowerbed in a Florida suburb makes me chuckle, which sends my mood spiraling up even higher! And I think that singing songs from your youth can give you an extra-big smile, too.

Those were my 7 suggestions for adding more joy-boosting singing to your week. I hope you find them helpful.

Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Happiness Upgrade Podcast. I hope the mood-boosting tips that you heard today help you give yourself a Happiness Upgrade. 

This podcast was inspired by my book, The Happiness Upgrade: One Small Step Up to a Happier Life. This book shows you how small, easy actions can halt an unwanted negative mood and lead to a rise in happiness. You can find my book, The Happiness Upgrade, at Amazon. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe to this podcast and share it with friends. There’s a new episode every Monday.

To learn more about the Happiness Upgrade Podcast, visit HappinessUpgrade.com. And follow me on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @happinessupgrade.

The Happiness Upgrade Podcast is written, edited and produced by me, Gabrielle Lichterman. If you like this show, please rate it. This helps other listeners find independently-created podcasts like mine. 

I would love to connect with you and know how you give yourself a Happiness Upgrade. So, send me an email at Gabrielle@HappinessUpgradePress.com. 

I hope your week is filled with singing and happiness!