We have asked our customers to share a wellness hack that has massive impact on their lives and we will be featuring a selected participant every month. Florence Rossignol from Oxford has kindly shared her top hack to support her mental and physical health.
My last name is Rossignol, which means nightingale in French. I’d like to think that a long time ago, one of my ancestors, who were living in deep rural France, was given the surname “nightingale” for his or her love of singing. As far as I can remember, I loved singing. My mother would play the piano and I would pretend to sing opera or Neapolitan songs. With my very high voice, I could reach the top notes without much effort, to the great amusement of the adults. But mostly I sang for my own pleasure, while listening to all sorts of music on the defective cassette player that would swallow ribbon, or on my way to school, and even to my ever-patient cat, the well-christened “Grisou St. Martyr”.
I stopped singing as an adult while I concentrated on my career. But when I arrived in Oxford with children in tow, I saw an advert on the school gates to join a choir. With a bit of trepidation, I joined, and I’ve never looked back. Singing in a group is not only much easier but also much more satisfying. Making harmonies and appreciating music you make togetheris a joy. You concentrate on the rhythm, the words and reading the music all at once, a proper brain workout! But while your brain is engaged, your heart rejoices. And when you know the piece well, you are the music. A miracle! A session ends and I think, what? Already? I come home energised and more at peace with the world. Countless studies have shown the benefits of singing in choirs for mental health, but to me, it’s not science, its magic.