The best vocal health tips for singers focus on what to avoid doing, as well as what to add to your daily care habits to nurture your voice.
(UPDATED 28th June 2022)
The topic of vocal health comes up regularly when I’m working with singers and I also see many “Help, I’ve lost my voice/am sick and have to gig!” posts on social media.
If you find yourself in that predicament, check out my tips on how to get your voice back.
Focusing on your vocal health all year round is essential if you’re a professional singer, or an emerging artist (or want to be).
Here are my top vocal health tips for singers, to be applied at any time of the year.
What to avoid:
- Avoid misusing or abusing your voice through excessive talking and shouting over loud music.
- Limit dehydrating drinks or stimulants like coffee, energy drinks and alcohol.
- Avoid smoke-filled environments and don’t smoke ANYTHING! (this includes marijuana and vaping)
- Minimise throat clearing
- Stop forcing, pushing or straining when singing
In an ideal world, staying away from these practices is going to give you the best chance of maintaining great vocal health.
Must Do Vocal Health Tips:
1. Wake up your voice daily
Regardless of whether you plan to sing or not. Try using a siren to stretch and wake up your voice before speaking (and singing!) each day.
2. Have a hydration plan.
Firstly, drink the amount of water that is right for your body.
You can also use steam for topical hydration by inhaling it from a hot drink, a bowl of water with a towel over your head to trap the steam, in the shower or with a specific humidifier or vocal steamer.
3. Use excellent technique when singing and pay the same attention to your speaking voice.
When I am coaching artists, we spend a lot of time on speaking voice mindfulness not only to preserve your vocal folds but to also balance and access different voice qualities that we want to use to tell our stories.
4. Check your diet
Are you suffering from silent reflux that is damaging your voice without you knowing it? Avoid spicy foods or eating too close to bedtime as these can trigger reflux.
How can you tell if it’s silent reflux?? If you wake up with an unusually hoarse or croaky voice that can often be a symptom.
5. Release tension
Stretch your body daily and check-in with your postural alignment to ensure you aren’t causing muscular stress with poor posture habits that can end up make singing harder than it needs to be.
6. Vocal Rest
In addition to getting the right amount of sleep, you need to rejuvenate your mind and body.
Try to rest your voice periodically by not speaking for 20-25 minutes following high use situations like a gig, soundcheck or even if you are in a meeting that has you speaking for an extended period of time.
This allows any swelling that has occurred to reduce before the next workload placed on your vocal folds.
What tips or tricks do you use to keep your voice healthy?
Share them below in the comments. I LOVE trying out new remedies and preventative measures!
Keep healthy and keep singing!