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Stories from Wellness

Sing Your Blues Away

by Voices Wellness 22 Aug 2020

Belt out in song – it’s a great mood lifter. By VOICES WELLNESS.

One upside of a pandemic: Lots of great Covid covers. People were belting out in song. Some did it to save their sanity in isolation. Others did it to cheer others on; or use their voices to trigger awareness. Whatever the motivations, they were hitting the right notes, and we tuned in and sang along. Because it made us feel good. 

Science says singing can release endorphins (those pain-masking chemicals in our brain) and stimulate the release of oxytocin. The latter is the ‘love hormone’ that stirs feelings of trust and security, so we’re less anxious. In short, a song is the musical equivalent of a hug. 

By singing, you take in more oxygen and that boosts circulation. You also release tension that can build up in your diaphragm. Easy relaxation. 

But the greatest joy that comes from song is that it brings people together, whether you’re singing or listening. In times of self-isolation, it’s good engagement. 

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Sing with family, sing with friends, just sing – it’s a great mood lifter. (Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels)

Karaoke at home

Another advantage: No barriers to entry. Anybody can sing (how well though is debatable). Instruments are a plus, but not a necessity. It’s as basic as using the mike and recorder on your phone (and nearly everyone has a phone or access to one). Be a solo act, or sing with friends or family, and have a karaoke session at home. 

Do check out Popsicle which is billed as the smartest and smallest streaming karaoke system, and also the best-selling one in Singapore. The Singaporean company was founded in 2016 by three karaoke enthusiasts, who came up with the plug-and-play, self-updating system that can be controlled from your smartphone. 

The compact palm-size unit (dubbed Popsical Remix), that weighs less than a kilogram, is an all-in-one mixer, wireless receiver for the microphones, and streaming device. It comes with two professional-grade microphones that are compatible with sound systems or sound bars, as well as the necessary cables, power adaptor and remote control to get you started. To help you sing like a pro, there is  a special pitch correction feature too. The system costs S$499, and new users get a free 30-day subscription to the Popsical app. It accesses the self-updating, cloud-based library of over 200,000 songs, from evergreen tunes to popular radio hits in 14 different languages. Subsequently you’ll need to purchase basic or premium plans – tiered according to the amount of time you can play the karaoke songs – to gain access to the karaoke catalogue.  

Even without a system, video chatting platforms like Zoom and other karaoke apps like these allow you to sing in harmony with others:

Smule 

The social singing app has a library of 10 million songs in your favourite genres, across all languages. Sing solo, do a duet or join a group performance. You can create music with top artists, Disney characters and hey you might even make a few new friends along the way.

Stingray

A SmartTV-friendly app, this also allows you to do home karaoke on your mobile, tablet and web.  It has over 50,000 songs in its catalogue, across many genres and from all eras. It also has themed party mixes. , and also has themed party mixes. 

Baby Karaoke 

Compatible with all devices, this allows you and bub to sing along to well known songs (there are even Bollywood numbers!) and nursery rhymes. You can also record only the voice of your child, sans music. Perfect for your family archives. 

Here’s one of our favourite tunes that we sang along to during lockdown. This rendition of the Beatles hit, “Here Comes The Sun”, is performed by the Camden Voices choir, one of London’s leading contemporary choral groups. With its comforting message of hope and brighter days ahead, we hope it will always lift your spirits. Do tag us @voiceswellness on IG and FB if you do post a singing video of you. We’d love to see it.

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