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Bad mental state = Bad voice?

Hey there!
So I got a fairly different topic here which I'd like to adress.
Atm my life besides music seems to get a bit out of hand and I was struggling the last few weeks to maintain my usually strong and well controlled voice.
I just had a break up with my girlfriend a bit more than a month ago and all my confidence just flew right out the door. (we've been together for 4.5 years)
However I started to train more often now, since I got nothing else to do anymore.
Is it normal that such feelings can set your voice off?
Just give it time, or should I change something?
I just realized that my mental state seems to be more important than I originally thought, so could meditation and so on help my voice aswell to be in top shape?



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  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 9,665Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Singing is such a physical AND a spiritual thing that if you are down in your spirits, it's hard to let them soar in song.

    Sometimes people are able to channel sadness into their voice and let it out that way. But if it's bottled-up inside you, it may be tough to do something that is so closely related to your vulnerable, inner "You".

    At times you may be able to "escape" into singing and release your energy into a song, even when you are down. Other times, you just so distracted by regret and uncertainty that you are unable to release into your music.

    So yes. You can be feeling defeated at a time like this. And you may just have to sink and hit bottom before you're ready to come up for air and start looking forward to good things again. You may have to find a new friend or repair what went wrong with your old friend, but sometimes that won't happen. And so, you may just have to wait out a slump to see a little light on the horizon.

    In the meantime, you can go through the mechanics of training to keep the engine in good condition, even if your heart's not in it. Your heart will heal. But it may take a while.

    I'm sorry you're going through a time of loss. But there will be good days ahead, too. Prepare for them. Don't mope. Get ready now so when good times return you will be in the best condition ever! Better days are coming!

  • I can totally relate to this, mate. I split with my partner and mother of my daughter after 15 years around five years ago. My mental health went downhill rapidly, I stopped singing completely and lost two octaves from my range; the power in my voice vanished, my breath control diminished, my pitching failed horribly and I ended up a mess in general. When I did start singing again, I struggled to even get out of chest voice, fell back into unhealthy vocal habits and blew out my voice constantly. In other words, my mental state definitely impacted on my vocal health.

    It took me a long time to get over it but I managed it eventually with good support from friends and from my new girlfriend, so please know that it's totally possible to regain the control and skill you have there. Don't give up on yourself, but don't push yourself too hard. Hard as it can be, as Bob says there's light on the horizon, even if it's not immediately visible right now.

    I taught meditation (vipassana and samatha, to be specific) for several years so I had a good base of skills to stabilize my emotional state, but to be completely honest I had to go back to square one and really confront, deal with and process what I'd gone through. Meditation can help, but without some serious self-analysis and self-honesty it's only going to function as an elastoplast over a gaping wound. If you're interested in going down the meditation route, I would recommend looking into basic concentration and mindfulness practices as they'll help you develop equanimity which can help you objectively examine the feelings you're experiencing and help you see how they're impacting your vocal health.

    Good luck with everything, things will change; that's the only certainty in life, so keep on going, don't let your practice slide and try to embrace those new emotions as you'll find that you can access and channel them in a healthier way which can then give your voice a different sort of richness which comes across in performance.
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