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A Joyful Song

Lift up your voices. Sing out loud!

Last week I decided that the next morning I was going to go on a walk, early in the morning before the heat became unbearable. Of course, that night I had a horrible night’s sleep and I woke up much less motivated... So I decided to have my husband take me through a coffee shop drive-thru then drop me off and I would walk home from there with my frozen coffee.

The coffee definitely woke me up which was great, but I still wasn’t in a great mood. Luckily I had brought my phone and head phones with me. At first I was just trudging along, listening to some of my favorite music, but as it kept going my mood started to lighten.

Then one of my favorite songs came on and I just couldn’t help from singing! I didn’t care if I was on a public road that people were driving on and others were walking on. I sang it out loud! Oh man. This felt so good! Singing these songs out loud just brought me so much joy and happiness that I kept singing (and dancing) all the way home.

As I was walking, I remembered a post that a family friend posted a number of years ago. This post showed that singing once a day was good for your mental and physical health. I don’t remember the exact claim of the article, but I was pretty sure it claimed that singing once a day made you a happier person. It sure worked for me on this one day, but I wanted to check and see if that was what science shows us.

Sure enough, science has shown that singing can make you feel more energized. It is a natural antidepressant that lifts your spirits. This is true with any kind of song, even if it is a sad one. Singing triggers the release of endorphins, associated with feeling pleasure, and oxytocin, a hormone that alleviates anxiety and stress.

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Singing has also been scientifically shown to improve memory, boost immune system function, and alleviate snoring. But for me the greatest benefit is the pure elated joy I get when I belt out a tune.

All songs are made to elicit some sort of emotions. When the songwriters wrote them, they were pouring onto the page an emotion that they had felt at some point or heard about (even if some of those emotions are a bit shallow). That is what music is, when you are just overflowing with emotions that you have to let them out, so you let them out in a song.

Our relationship with God stirs up in us a large array of emotions. How wonderful it is then, that we can let out those emotions and sing to God. In fact it is encouraged! I went to look up “Bible verses that mention singing” and there were HUNDREDS! (Many from the book of Psalms) An example of just a few are:

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My favorite though is:

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No matter what I’m feeling, as long as I live, I can sing to our God. If I am in distress, I’ll have the calming effect of oxytocin while I sing to Him. If I have joy in my heart, I can sing to Him and let that joy be shared.

I personally am not a good songwriter. I wrote one verse for a song in elementary school… it’s not good… This is why I am so thankful that people have been writing songs for thousands of years. I can sing THEIR songs, but sing them from MY heart. I can be the one singing them to God. I love building up my relationship with Him through the beautiful medium of song. This gives us the joy of singing mixed with the joy of speaking to God. It is just a taste of the joy that God can give us.

We all can use more joy in our lives, so I encourage you to sing today. It doesn’t matter what you sing, just let the melody fly and reap the amazing benefits! It doesn’t matter if you’re the next Whitney Houston or if you sound like a screeching cat. God gave you that voice and delights in seeing you use it to praise him. Let all of our hearts sing to God daily.

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