SINGING for five minutes a day can give your brain a “natural high” similar to a cannabis hit, according to Dr Michael Mosley.
The TV doctor said belting out your favourite tunes can help reduce stress and boost your mood.
It increases levels of chemicals in your body that are similar to those found in cannabis, making you feel more relaxed.
Writing in The Sunday Times, he said: “Research shows that singing is a great way to boost mood, reduce anxiety and even relieve chronic pain.
“One way it gives us a natural high is by boosting our endocannabinoids.
“These are chemicals naturally produced in our bodies that have a very similar structure to those found in the cannabis plant.”
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These can have “mood-boosting effects” in high concentrations, he said.
Singing along to any music you like for five minutes a day is enough to improve your mood, according to research from the British Academy of Sound Therapy.
Speaking on his BBC Sounds podcast Just One Thing, Dr Mosley said singing also helps release “happy hormones” like endorphins and dopamine.
He said: “Singing is simple, it's free and it has a wealth of benefits — from improving posture, lung function and blood pressure, to improving mood and reducing inflammation.
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“And remember, even if you've always been told it's not your thing, sing without shame — it's just one thing where skill really doesn't matter.”
Previous research has also shown signing in a choir improves health and happiness.
A study, published in Royal Society Open Science, showed community singing helps forge bonds between people more quickly than general socialising.
Singing helps improve breathing, posture and muscle tension, according to separate research published in Health Education.
Dr Rosie Stacy, of Newcastle University, said: “Singing for health may be an idea whose time has come.
“Music forms a part of the healing systems of many cultures.
“It may also contribute to social health through the management of self‐identity and interpersonal relationships.”
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