Pop Idol coach says singing for just 10 minutes a day can improve your health

Vocal coach to the stars Carrie Grant is on a mission to improve the health of the nation – through singing.

The TV singer, who has suffered from health problems including Crohn’s disease says: “Singing is for everybody and we can all benefit from it.”

That’s why she’s lending her name to Sing Your Heart Out Week, which begins tomorrow.

An accompanying 40-track album includes hits from Ariana Grande , George Ezra, Little Mix, Lewis Capaldi and many more.

Former Pop Idol coach Carrie, 53, reckons it will have us all singing round the house, in the shower and on the school run… even if junior might complain!


She adds: “I hope so because, to coin a phrase, I want to teach the world to sing.”

But what can singing really do to improve your health?

It is well documented that chemicals in the body – serotonin and dopamine, for example – released through exercise are really good stress busters.

And new research shows they are also released when we sing. A study has shown that endocannabinoids transmitted from the brain through the central nervous system can have a direct effect on pain, fertility, mood and memory.

Singing for 10 minutes every day can improve your mental and physical health, before you have even left the house.

Carrie adds: “If you do an exercise or dance class, the beneficial effects on your neurotransmitters are increased by about 20 per cent. But, if you sing, it’s been shown that the increase is more like 40 per cent.”

And joining a choir can improve your heart health – one of the biggest issues faced by the NHS.

Lewis Capaldi performing on stage

George Ezra performs “Shotgun” (Getty Images)


Carrie goes on: “What’s more, when we sing together, our heart rates join up.

“That means you can have high or low blood pressure but this ‘syncing up’ process, as it’s known, results in the collective heart rates ending up in the same rhythm. That’s obviously good for your general health.

“And, as the endocannabinoid system lowers stress and increases memory, that’s also going to have a direct impact on your longevity.

“So I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that singing can prolong your life.

“For many years, I’ve suffered from Crohn’s disease – it’s an inflammation of the lining of the digestive system – so I know from personal experience hormones released when you sing help target chronic pain.

“Singing can be beneficial, too, for Parkinson’s sufferers because the extra effort required to take a deep breath then strengthens muscles around the lungs.

“It helps people with stammers, too. I worked with Gareth Gates on Pop Idol and it took him forever to speak a simple sentence. But, as soon as he opened his mouth to sing, he didn’t have a problem.”

But what happens if you can’t sing… or you think you can’t?

“I don’t believe it,” says Carrie. “People say they’re tone deaf and that they were told to stand at the back in school choir practice and mime. Nonsense! Everyone can sing.

Ariana Pride


“It’s just that most people who have problems with tuning don’t listen and then they make a horrible noise.

“Listen properly, though, and you’ll be able to imitate the right sound.”

Singing can also help people with more profound problems. British singer Will Young and American star Demi Lovato have both had well-documented mental health issues.

Carrie and husband David have worked with both of them and, she says: “I know they’d tell you about singing’s beneficial effects.”

It was reported recently that David Templeman, the Minister of Culture and the Arts in Western Australia, ended the parliamentary session last year with a reworked rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sound of Silence.

It brought the house down and everyone trotted off happily for their Christmas break in the best of spirits.

“That made me think,” says Carrie. “Perhaps the way to break this Brexit deadlock would be for a few of our own MPs to band together in a song.

“In these intense days, it could be the unifying factor we desperately need.”

Sing Your Heart Out Week runs from March 18 – 24 and the accompanying album released by UMOD is out now.

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