Nov 28 2013

Singing in the car makes you happier

My convertibleI was caught singing in the car again.

“So what?” you might well ask “Everybody sings in the car.”

Well, yes, lots of people do. But I have a convertible and I had the roof down. And I can’t hold a tune – I can’t even get near it. When my kids are in the car with me they are constantly saying “Don’t sing mum. Please don’t sing.”

I keep telling them that as their mother it’s my job to embarrass them, and that if they wanted a lift in my car then they had to put up with my singing. They maintained (I don’t know why I used the past tense there, they haven’t changed their opinion) my singing is more than embarrassment, it’s on the list of tortures outlawed by the Geneva Convention. But I don’t care. Besides, I keep reading studies that say singing is good for you, it keeps you healthy and happy.

Even Doc couldn’t stop me when my phone somehow called him while I was singing in the car. Unfortunately he was busy so the call went straight to voice mail and he has a recording of me singing along to My Guy. It’s become his favourite party trick to pull it out and play it to all and sundry whenever we have people over. Lucky for me he’s a bit of a technophobe so he hasn’t worked out how to put his phone onto the iPod speakers yet.

My carOn a beautiful warm sunny day I like nothing better than driving in my car with the roof down and music playing. And, of course, I sing along to it.

So there I was, merrily singing away to one of my favourite tracks when I heard somebody harmonising. Well, harmony is a bit of a stretch when I’m singing, but they were singing along with me. “They must be listening to the same radio station” I thought to myself. Then I realised I was listening to my iPod.

I looked around. There were two young blokes pulling up next to me at the traffic lights and singing along with me (or at least with my music). They gave me a smile and a thumbs up, and when the light turned green they kept pace with me. We pulled up at the next lights and they were still singing along, still smiling.

And not once did they laugh, point or pull a face. They enjoyed the music and the shared experience, and we both drove off feeling happier for it.

The studies are right – singing does make you happier and healthier. At least when you’re listening to Jack White.

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