If you want to sound good and feel good when you sing (without your voice cracking on you or feeling fatigue & soreness in your throat, etc.), you need habits that will take you there… and it all starts with the right morning routines!
I’ve got 7 morning habits that I recommend, and let me be clear—it’s not NEARLY enough to just do these on Sunday morning before you sing on your worship team… your singing (and your overall health!) will reap the most benefits if you do ALL of these, every day… and especially if you do them as early on in your day as possible! Having strong habits as you start your day will set you up for so much peace, strength, energy and LIFE all throughout the day.
1. Put Jesus FIRST.
Say hello to Jesus as you’re waking up. Make Him priority. Ask Him: what are you doing today Jesus? Where are you going today Jesus? Practice sensitivity to His presence right away, and then walk with Him all day! He wants to be part of every moment, and I promise you—every part of your day (including any singing you do!) will be much, much better if you’re doing it WITH Him.
2. Read your Bible.
If you’re not already on a Bible reading plan, start one—and make it a priority to feed on Scripture as early on in your day as possible. Read it, listen to it (I love the Dwell app!), or do a combination… just make sure to DO IT! It is the living water that you need every single day. It is your manna. You cannot live on yesterday’s bread! The Word of God is living and active (Heb. 4:12). It is truth (John 17:17). It is the power against the enemy (Eph. 6:17). Reading it is as necessary as breathing!
3. Practice gratitude.
There is always SO much to be grateful for. Every morning, think of things you’re grateful for and speak them out or write them in a journal! Morning “gratitude affirmations” are a huge thing these days—and not just for Christians. There are massive benefits to practicing gratitude daily—many studies, including this one, have linked the practice of gratitude to reduced depression, less anxiety, better heart health, stress relief and improved sleep (all of which are so important for our singing voice!)… and it makes sense! We enter His gates with thanksgiving (Psalm 100:4), and the presence of God does ALL these things for our bodies!
4. Drink water.
Put a glass or bottle of water beside your bed when you go to sleep and drink it as soon as you wake up. Your voice needs adequate hydration to function properly, so start as soon as you can in the day!
5. Do some light cardio or stretching.
Ease into your day with 5-10 minutes of light cardio and/or relaxed neck and back stretches. I love using a rebounder (i.e. a tiny trampoline!) for a few minutes early on in the morning, followed by a bit of stretching. Rebounding stimulates the lymphatic system to flush out toxins—which is so important for our bodies! (If you don’t have a rebounder, some jumping jacks or jogging on the spot will do!)
Do at least a short vocal warmup, if not a full vocal workout, within the first 2-3 hours of getting up (I recommend using the ones in my courses!). Especially if you use your voice for your job, it’s very important to warm up your voice in the morning to help prevent vocal fatigue and damage—so if you haven’t already, make lip rolls and humming your best friends! And… if you sing on Sunday mornings at your church, there’s an added benefit to regularly warming up your voice early in the morning—which is that your voice won’t take as long to warm up on Sundays because it will be more used to the process!
7. Make your first meal of the day extremely healthy.
The jury’s still out on whether breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” or whether fasting breakfast (“intermittent fasting”) is the most ideal for our bodies… and I’m not here to try to prove the case for either… but in any case, your first influx of calories—that important time where your body breaks the overnight fast… make it count! Bacon and eggs? Nope. Pastries? Nope. Bagel and cream cheese? Nope. Burger and fries? Nope. A large latte? Nope.
Here are my favorite nutritious breakfasts (I love to eat a hearty breakfast every day about an hour after I wake up!):
- hot oatmeal w/ cinnamon, ground flax & raw almond butter mixed in, topped w/ banana slices & fresh or frozen berries
- brown rice cakes topped w/ raw almond butter & banana slices
- coconut (non-dairy) yogurt mixed w/ raw oats & ground flax, topped w/ banana slices & fresh or frozen berries
Your mind may already be making excuses about how these things (especially ALL of them) will certainly NOT fit into your morning. That’s true… they probably don’t fit into your morning as it is now… they don’t insert themselves… YOU will have to make decisions. YOU will have to make changes. YOU will have to let other things go. YOU will need to strategize about how these habits can fit!
I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is simple… for example, try:
- Swapping out non-nutritious breakfast foods for better ones.
- Going to bed earlier so you can get up earlier to read your Bible, pray, practice gratitude and exercise.
- Doing a vocal warmup instead of listening to music on your way to work.
Ultimately, YOU need to decide whether you want to want to sing well, and if you want to have a healthy voice for many, many years to come… and if you DO want those things, then I encourage you to give your voice (and your body) the gift of these morning routines!