Today I’m going to share with you 5 daily habits you can do to have a healthy singing voice .
Drink plenty of water
Of course, you probably hear this all the time, but do you know why it’s so important to keep your body hydrated first and speaking specifically? It’s because your vocal folds are literally mucus membranes, meaning that there is a layer of mucus that protects the actual skin of your vocal folds. Now, without this mucus membrane, our voices could actually get harmed. So, if you ever feel like your throat’s really dry, it probably means you’re not drinking enough water.
Now this is not me telling you to chug water right before a performance. This means that you need to be drinking water all day every day. Does it mean that you’re going to have to go to the bathroom a lot? Absolutely, but you know what? It’s way, way, way better and much healthier than limiting your water intake throughout the day, or just drinking water in the morning or just drinking water in the afternoon. You have to do it all day long. The recommended amount of water that you drink a day (I’m not a health professional by the way) is half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weighed 150 pounds, the recommendation would be a 75 ounces. Now, of course, I think that if you’re exercising and you’re singing, you should probably be drinking even more than that.
Avoid foods that bother you
Avoid foods that bother your stomach or your body. So what do I mean by that? There are a lot of foods that are known to cause acid reflux. Spicy foods, tomatoes, onions, garlic, all chocolate, all of those foods that are really yummy to eat. However, they can give us almost instant acid reflux. If you’re somebody that’s bothered by these, you have to just watch what you eat especially if you know you have to sing that day. If those foods bother you that much, you probably should just try to avoid them all the time, which is what I really do try to do.
Some people are heavily affected by dairy and actually probably most of us, but a lot of people have just come to normalize that feeling that like we’re being affected by it because we have dairy so much. So I’ve personally been cutting out dairy for about a month now. And it really helps me a lot. I find that I have a lot less phlegm on my vocal folds especially in the morning. Of course everyone knows that that’s the most difficult time to sing. So it’s kind of drastic, but if it helps you a lot and you’re serious about having a super healthy voice for your singing or your speaking, you might just want to give it a try. Give it a couple of weeks and see if you feel any different and if you don’t feel any different then it doesn’t matter, but if you do feel different then you know.
Stop clearing your throat
Clearing your throat is one of the worst things you can do for your voice. A lot of my singers, I hear them doing it all the time. In fact, I just had a 5-year old the other day in a group class who was being funny and pretending to clear his throat really, really loudly before he was going to sing. I stopped him and said “That is extremely bad for your voice. I do not want you to get into that habit this little”. Even as funny as that is for a 5-year old to be doing it, all my adults are clearing their throats all the time. So when you feel like you have something on your vocal folds, a better option is to do a light clear, which sounds like this:
If you feel like you’re ending every phrasing to clear your throat or needing to cough, that’s actually a sign of a high larynx and not that you truly have phlegm in your throat. So, I want you guys to tune into that. How often are you clearing your throat? And is it usually at the end of a phrase or is it before you even start singing? If it’s before you even start singing, you might be dealing with some allergies. You might need to see somebody to help you with that.
Do 10 minutes of stretching a day
I know that 10 minutes might sound like a long time but it’s really not. When you wake up doing 5 minutes of some light head rolls. If your throat feels tight, you can do a little bit of laryngeal massage very, very lightly. Seeing, checking in with your shoulders, what’s going on with them. If your shoulders are up to here, you’re not going to have a very good time breathing or singing.
Give your neck some stretching. One thing I like to do is just sit up straight and then lightly lower my neck. Feel that stretch all down my back. That really helps a lot. So split it up, right? You don’t have to do 10 minutes all at once but doing 10 minutes a couple of times or even just stretching throughout the day. You guys, we are all having neck problems because of tech neck being on our phones. If we could just do this a couple of times a day and make sure that we’re really sitting up nice with good posture. Even if we’re on our phone, that we’re looking at our phone like this….
And not like this…
I catch myself doing that all the time. It’s going to save you so much strife in your singing and in the rest of your life as well.
Do a vocal warm up every day
So you guys can find warm ups to promote a healthy voice all over my YouTube channel – Singing with Lauren. Even if you don’t plan on singing in a day it’s nice to just do some scales. Do some bubble lips, trills, anything that really helps you feel connected to your body and connected to your voice.
Let me know what tip you’ll be implementing to have a healthy voice in the comments below. Don’t forget to sign up and join our free Facebook group – The Singing Collective.