Pamper Yourself

In this blog, I’ll share some tips that will benefit your voice and your well-being.

Singing is all about relaxing and being active at the same time.
It’s important that your body is relaxed and tension-free and at the same time, singing is quite active for your body.

When we’re missing the relaxing bit, singing is uphill! Too much energy is spent on battling the tensions which then leads to more tensions…

When it comes to easy singing, it’s important to relax the jaw, neck, shoulders and stomach area.
Relaxing is part of the foundation of healthy singing.

Here are a few tips to help you sink into relaxation:

  • Tune into your body
    Become aware of your body. Don’t change anything, just make a mental note a few times a day on how your body is feeling.
    Do you feel any tension? Do you feel a peaceful flow of energy?
  • Explore your challenges
    Once you’ve tuned into your body, you’ll know which areas are challenging for you.
    Now you can explore that place or those places a bit more.
    Maybe you can do some beneficial daily exercises or stretching. Maybe you can communicate with your intelligent body and ask how you can help it.
    Either way, be mindful of relaxing the tense places when you sing.
  • Do Yin Yoga
    Yin Yoga is a very gentle kind of yoga that will help you connect with your body in a relaxing and feminine way. It feels so good to stretch the parts of the body that most of us don’t give much attention in everyday life.
    You can find plenty of videos on Youtube to help you get started.
  • Pamper yourself
    Here’s my favourite tip: Before you go to sleep, give yourself a loving massage on the shoulder / neck area.
    I usually alternate between two essential oil massage blends, but you can go super simple by just mixing a tea spoon of carrier oil (e.g. olive oil) with 1 drop of pure essential organic lavender oil.
    It makes such a difference for your well-being in the moment and promotes a good night’s sleep too.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2022
Photo: Elly Fairytale


A Singing Christmas

christmas tree with baubles

Make this Christmas special by singing your way through December! Here are some ideas for how you can use your voice and spread joy in and around you.

I LOVE December. I love the crisp fresh air in the daytime, the cosy dark evenings, the Scandinavian Christmas cookies, the lights, the traditions. And the beautiful Christmas songs.
At the same time, I’ve sometimes wondered why we put so much action into the shortest month of the year. It’s a bit crazy, really. And by the time we get to Christmas, everyone is a bit tired. After all, it’s winter. Nature is telling us to relax.

To begin with, I’ve lowered my level of ambition. And that’s a good thing. Secondly – and maybe more importantly – I have decided to give focus to joy and presence. Lot’s of good things and especially singing.

I sing the Christmas songs as lullabies to my two sons before they fall asleep, and we sing by the piano, sing in the car (until they say “NO, stop singing, mom!”). I actually also sing as part of my job, so yes, I sing a lot.

And I’m going to sing my way through Christmas.

There’s no doubt that the last couple of years have been challenging for all of us. We’ve been stretched, different values have become more evident and the uncertainty of this new shift in the world can be quite unsettling.

We need to keep our spirits up! And singing is an excellent way of doing just that. When we sing together with our families, the songs and the music connect us and dissolve any different values that we might have.

Singing brings us into the present moment. Singing brings us together.

Here are some ideas of how you can spread Christmas joy around you

  • Make a play list
    If you haven’t done so yet, make a play list with your favourite Christmas songs. You can do that on Youtube or Spotify and many other places, I’m sure. It’s so nice to sing along.
  • Send a Christmas song to your loved ones
    Make a recording of a Christmas song that you think your friend will appreciate. Make it simple, and don’t listen to your voice. Just send it.
  • Create a Christmas song pamphlet
    Make pamphlets with your favourite Christmas songs and have them ready to go. Bring them out when uncle John has had a couple of drinks too much – or maybe even before, and who knows, he might not look so deep into the bottle…
  • Enjoy yourself – and forget about other people
    If anyone comments on your voice in less than positive ways, ignore their words and make sure you enjoy yourself.
    Listen: You’re here to have a beautiful experience, and you can’t be limited by other people’s limitations.
    Go on and sing!

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021

Singing Can Be Easy

Everyone can learn how to sing, because we all have a voice and it’s always with us, waiting to be used. So why does it sometimes seem so difficult? Read on and discover the easy way to sing.

After I had sung a solo the other evening, a woman came over to me, looked at me curiously and asked: “Did you learn how to sing somewhere, are you a trained singer?”
It’s a question I get asked quite often – and it does amuse me at this point!
I’m pretty sure it’s confusing for people to hear me sing, because I look like I’m speaking when I sing – I sing with a free voice and it looks easy.

The old ways of training singers meant that you needed to “sound” a certain way. An idea of “this is what classical singers sound like”, or “this is how you sing pop music”. This idea has also trained the audience to listen for a specific sound…

The good news is that we don’t need to stick to the old outdated ideas about singing!
Singing can be easy and free. A singer can have such great flexibility that it’s possible to sing pop, jazz, classical or rock… You name it. You can sing without being stuck in a box of having to sound a certain way.

So, how do you sing in an easy way? Here are a some tips for you:

  • Sing with your natural voice
    Keep your voice as it is and start developing it. Don’t change your voice, let it be.
    When your voice starts evolving (and that happens when you start using it consciously) you’ll be able to express more and more of yourself with your voice.
  • Forget about sound
    Don’t worry about how your voice sounds. Just sing. And no, this doesn’t mean that you’ll sound like a cave-man or -woman (with all due respect!) – it just means that your focus is on expression rather than how you sound in the ears of others.
  • Honour your voice
    One of the reasons why so many singers get voice problems is that they overrule all the signals of the body.
    Your voice is an instrument. You wouldn’t play a violin with a hammer, and likewise you need to treat your voice with respect.
    Always listen to your body, and if it doesn’t feel easy to sing, you need to make adjustments.

There are big changes happening in the world these years. We have a great opportunity to move towards something that is more authentic and honest – a free expression of ourselves.

Are you ready to sing?

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021

Ah, the Nerves, the Nerves!

cheerful ethnic woman against vivid red painted wall

If you’re feeling nervous about singing, this blog is for you!
I’m sharing my top tips on how you can handle getting nervous – and have a good singing experience.

After a looong period of not singing with or for anyone (except for my lovely family) due to the circumstances in our world, I’ve felt somewhat nervous about being “out there” again, singing for and with other people.

To be honest, it can be tiring to feel nervous! Especially when it feels overwhelming and I have to calm down my whole nervous system again and again.
Yet, a new view on the whole thing is beginning to see the light of day.
That being nervous is part of being human. It’s the bridge to the next level in our human development; a basic condition for expanding your comfort zone.

And sometimes it’s interesting to go into that space of total courageous vulnerability. There’s no certainty there. Only acceptance and staying in the now.

The way I see it, handling your nerves has to do with being with them. Accepting them.
There are though a few things that you can do to make sure you have a good experience:

  1. Expand your comfort zone gently.
    We all have different backgrounds and different degrees of sensitivity. If you’re not singing as a professional, I highly recommend that you take baby steps and stretch yourself just a little bit at a time.
    If you find it scary to sing for others, start by taking voice lessons.
    If it feels like it’s too much for you to stand on a stage and perform, start by singing for or with your friends. Get comfortable using your voice more in a safe environment.
  2. Accept the situation
    Once you’re expanding your comfort zone, acceptance is the key. You’ll want to give yourself a good experience. Your singing may be less than ideal when you’re nervous – which can be frustrating when you were doing so well singing on your own.
    Expect that you won’t be doing 100% of what you’re able to – it’s completely normal.
    Instead, pat yourself on the back. You’re growing. It takes an effort, and you’re super cool to give it a go!
    See if you can be with it all.
  3. Breathe.
    Before you sing, take a few deep breaths. It helps calm down your body and the idea that something scary is about to happen. Especially the exhale is relaxing – which is very convenient as your singing happens with the outgoing air.
  4. Inhale lavender oil.
    If you respond well to essential oils, inhaling a bit of lavender oil or making a mix (1 drop of pure essential oil to 1 tsp of carrier oil) that you can put on your throat area, can be a great soother.
  5. Enjoy being alive.
    We sing live to have a living experience. Something special happens in the present moment. It’s nice to make the effort, and meaningful to share music with others.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Singing for Mothers-to-Be

Singing during pregnancy can give you and your baby beautiful nourishing moments together.

Give yourself and your baby some nourishing moments of singing. Here’s what you can do with your voice while you’re expecting.

Singing is a beautiful gift to give yourself and your baby during pregnancy. Obviously, lullabies are brilliant because your little baby (or babies) will get to know the songs while he or she is still in your belly. The songs will also ground you in the now and offer comfort.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can bring more singing into the 3 trimesters:

1st trimester
If you’re lucky, you don’t have any “morning” sickness. I had a dose of what I would rather call “all-day queasiness” with both of my boys, but not as bad as the daily vomiting that many women experience…!
I was singing during my 1st trimester because I was leading a vocal ensemble at the time, but I don’t particularly recall that I felt like singing much.

Here’s my advice: If you feel like singing or it gives you a nice distraction from feeling not too well, it’s a good idea to use your voice.
If, however, singing sends you straight out to the toilet for another date with Huuuughie, wait until you’re feeling a bit better.
And listen to beautiful music.

2nd trimester
Ah, the pleasant trimester. The sickness is hopefully gone (or on the way out) and you’re feeling more energetic. What a good time to sing! Although your baby is growing rapidly, you still have plenty of space to sing without feeling short of breath.
Dive into your favourite songs and enjoy singing! It feels so good, and the vibrations of your voice reach your baby too.
Focus on feeling good when you sing instead of sounding good. After all, you’re doing it for you!

The 2nd trimester could be a good time to sing with your partner too and let your little one get to know his/her voice.

3rd trimester
Your baby is getting big, and that means less space for your organs. I won’t say that it affects your ability to sing, but towards the end of your pregnancy you might want to take it easy with the singing (trust your body, it will let you know).
You’ll want to sing easy stuff (back to the lullabies) and anything that makes you feel good. Chanting can be nice too.
I did a couple of singing performances when I was 7 months pregnant, and it was doable, but it just felt like I had way less space and I felt a bit more out of breath. That was classical singing, though, and it does require more physical energy than most kinds of music.

I recommend that you break up the phrases of your song and keep it simple – in other words: Have a playful approach to your songs and let go of any ideas of what it’s supposed to sound like.

You don’t need to stand up to sing. Sitting comfortably on a chair or a pilates ball make great postures for singing. Or for the ultimate relaxation try lying down on your side while singing. It’s so soothing.

A last note:
Pregnant or not, you always need to listen to your body. Don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable.
My suggestions in this blog are for “normal”, uncomplicated pregnancies.
You have the full responsibility of your body.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021
Photo by Negative Space

The Magic of Singing

Singing can be magical. And the most wonderful thing is that you can experience the magic in your everyday life - right now.

Singing can be magical. And the most wonderful thing is that you can experience the magic in your everyday life – right now.

You can create little pockets of magic when you use your voice. Moments of light and joy that have a ripple effect into the rest of your day – and your life as a whole.

Creating magic doesn’t have to be a big deal. In fact, I’m a big fan of grounded instant magic that you just create in the moment that you decide it’s time for positive energy to flow through you. You can sing there and then (or if you’re in public and don’t feel like singing out loud, you can hum).

The magic has to do with raising your vibration, I think. Singing can bring you past emotional turmoil and lift your spirit. Wherever you are in life or whatever you’re going through, singing will lift you up. Sometimes just a little bit. We have a saying in Denmark: “Many small streams make a large river”; over time, singing can help create stability and empowerment.

I’m still amazed at how much magic singing brings into my everyday life (even though I had my first solo voice lesson 20 years ago)!

I sing a lot with my two young boys, and I highly recommend that you sing away if you have or know any kids. You’re giving them a gift for life, and it’s pretty fun for you too!

On our last holiday, I used singing to soothe my boys. Getting on board the ferry was an exciting (and noisy) event for them and entering a new environment in a foreign country called for some comfort.
I used singing to “bring them home”, and they were instantly calm.

I also use singing to stay connected to myself. As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I can sometimes get a bit too involved with what’s going on around me (and in the world in general!), so having an anchor like my voice is such a gift. I use my voice to transform emotions and to release what I have to say.

And we all have that gift.

I’d like to share a few ways you can use your voice to create some magic in your everyday life. See if you get inspired, and pick one to start with.

5 simple ways to let singing create magic in your life

  1. Begin the day with a song
    What better way to start a new day than with a song? It’s such a simple and profound way to connect to yourself and tap in to the life force.
    Just remember that it may take a little while for your voice to wake up, so be gentle. Chose songs that invites your voice to find itself.
    Or create a playlist and hum along some of your favourite songs.
  2. “Reset” your day
    Maybe your day started okay, but all of a sudden you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s time for a break, and a song may help you reset your day, so you can enjoy the rest of it in a good spirit.
  3. Wave goodbye to anxiety
    Anxiety and other negative emotions can be washed away when you use your voice.
    Your voice connects you to your core, and negative emotions are most overwhelming when you’re not connected to your core. It’s hard for stress and singing to co-exist!
    Sing, and empowerment happens. Your life quality goes up.
  4. Sing with others
    It’s so much fun to sing with a good friend or a close family member. It brings you even closer and opens up for the beautiful flow of co-creation. Pick some songs that you both know well or chose a song each that the other can learn for you to sing together.
    Pure joy!
  5. Use singing to unwind
    Just like starting the day with a song can be magical, so can finishing it with music.
    A lot of us end up in front of a screen when the day is done, but I find that it gives my spirit so much to have a screen-free evening every once in a while.
    Whatever your mood is, find a song that supports that. It’ s a great way of letting go of your day – big and small challenges – and release everything that doesn’t belong to you.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021

Need more inspiration? My eBook You Can Sing gives you easy-to-understand theory about your voice and practical steps that will help you overcome the four most common limiting beliefs when it comes to singing.

When You Think You Can’t Sing…

If you’re holding on to outdated ideas about your voice, it’s time for a tidy up in your mind!

Your beliefs influence your actions. So if you’re holding on to outdated ideas about your voice, it’s time for a tidy up in your mind!

What people have told you about your voice can have great consequences. Ideas can become beliefs, and these beliefs can either lift you up or put you down.

We’ve all at some point in our lives come across negative remarks. As adults, we may find it easier to brush them of and come back to our own truth. But anything we’ve heard as children, seems to stick for a long time. I’ve come across crazy stories many times as a music teacher. I call them stories because they’re not real (even if we think they are) and crazy because they’re often quite far out and tell us more about the sender than the receiver.

I’ll give you an example from my own life. In my early twenties, I moved to Reykjavik to explore my Icelandic roots, and found a school dedicated to singing. I was so excited to have my first lesson! So I entered the room to meet my singing teacher and accompanist, also quite nervous about this whole new situation. Being an introvert, I need time to find my feet in new experiences. The teacher was being very strict with me and after the third singing lesson I actually came out of the room crying (not the only one, as it turned out!).

I had a talk with the principal of the school and ended up getting a dream teacher who I had great chemistry with and learned so much from.

My point is that there will always be people out there who express their point of view, but you always need to check in with yourself and ask “is this really true?”

Let’s get a bit more practical. What do you do if you have a wish to sing, but you really think you can’t sing? This is where the tidy up comes into the picture!
Here are a few simple steps that can help you sing more confidently:

  1. Discover what’s stopping you.
    What limiting beliefs are you holding on to? If your initial thought is “I don’t know”, then just ask the question: “What limiting beliefs about my voice am I holding on to?”
    You will get answers!
    Maybe you need to start writing down your thoughts, or maybe just become aware of them.
  2. Clear your memory.
    You don’t need to forget what has happened, but you need to forgive. Forgive yourself for accepting someone else’s limiting belief as your own, forgive another person for saying it.
    You can use the 4-phrase Hawaiian forgiveness mantra:
    1) I love you
    2) I’m sorry
    3) Please forgive me
    4) Thank you
    It’s so simple and all-round. It works!
  3. Create positive affirmations.
    Now that you know what’s stopping you, it’s time to get creative and make an antidote. If your limiting belief is “my voice sounds like a crow”, you need to create a positive affirmation saying “my voice is pleasant”.
    Keep repeating your positive affirmation anytime the limiting belief comes sneaking up on you!
    You can find more positive voice affirmations in my blog Affirmations for Singing.
  4. Sing.
    Part of the healing process is to actually use your voice. Take action. Sing.
    Sing in the car or in the shower, sing in the kitchen, sing in nature. Use your voice in a way that feels nourishing to you. Be kind to yourself, and allow yourself to use the amazing gift that your voice is. Your way.

When you think you can’t sing, think again.
Children who haven’t been judged, sing all the time.
So can you.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021
Photo by Artem Beliaikin

Need more inspiration? My eBook You Can Sing gives you easy-to-understand theory about your voice and practical steps that will help you overcome the four most common limiting beliefs when it comes to singing.

What’s Stopping You?

empty forest

You’ve found me because you’d like to sing. So let’s dive into how you can fulfill that wish.

In life – and with singing – we all have blind spots. Luggage, karma, call it what you like. Things that are stopping us from living our dream life.

I think that when you resolve a lesson in one area of your life, it has a ripple effect on the rest of your life.

I like to start with the voice, because it holds so much information – both on a daily basis e.g. how I’m feeling on a particular day, and the voice reveals any blocks that we have or things that need healing, acceptance or transformation.

When you begin to use your authentic voice, you’ll also begin to stand more and more strong in yourself, you’ll begin to honour your wishes, know what you want and what you don’t want and cultivate the ability to say yes and no.

So my wish for you is that you will sit down for a moment and relax a bit, and ask yourself what could be stopping you from singing. Is it an old memory? Is it limiting beliefs?

Start clearing your limiting beliefs – they are not realistic. Begin to use your voice in everyday life and see what a difference it makes for your overall level of well-being.

It’s not so much about the singing, actually. It’s about how you view yourself, how much courage you have to live a life that makes you happy regardless of what other people think, and it’s the spark or inspiration to go for your dreams.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021
Photo by Anthony

The Beauty of Singing

I’m on a big mission to help more people sing. Because singing is fun, it brings more joy into your life and because it’s deeply empowering.
But equally important, because it can raise your awareness and ultimately bring more joy and beauty to our planet as a whole.

We need to be connected. To our higher selves, to our emotions, our bodies. To nature.
That connection is what makes a positive change in our world.

Singing is beautiful. And it’s something we can all do at all times. We all have vocal qualities, so it’s just a matter of recognising those qualities and to start using them.

We can sing in our own ways, as introverts or extroverts or something in between. As young or old. If you take good care of your voice, you’ll carry a nourishing instrument for life.
And we can sing the same songs with new meanings as we grow and transform.
Singing a favourite song is like connecting to an old friend.

Singing is with you in your ups and downs. You can express deep sadness and profound joy with your voice.

So how can you experience the beauty of singing?

Simply put, here’s what you need:
1) A good singing method
2) Courage

What “a good singing method” is depends on your personality type. Make sure it’s healthy for your voice, that’s the main thing. Your voice is strong and delicate at the same time, and you’ll want to take good care of your vocal chords.

You don’t need a singing method to sing – you can sing now! – but you may come across challenges such as your voice breaking, not knowing if you’re out of tune or you simply don’t know where to start. In those cases, it’s a good idea to get some professional help.

The courage part of singing is probably what feels the most challenging to a lot of us. Because we feel vulnerable when we sing. But you know what? From that place of feeling courageous and vulnerable, beauty happens. Deep joy happens.

The core of your voice has a beautiful spark that will be present in everything you sing.
Be courageous. It’s time for you to sing.

Here are a few tips to help you sing (more)

  • Make your wishes
    Think of a few songs that you’d like to sing. Make sure you keep an open mind and don’t write them off if you think they are too difficult (that’s your teacher’s job to judge). Write your wishes down as your motivation or goal.
  • Set yourself up for success
    If you’re pretty new to singing, start singing a song that you think of as quite easy. It could be a simple children’s song or a favourite song. Something that’s within your reach, but you’ll still stretch your comfort zone a bit.
    Moving forward, you can keep stretching your comfort zone by choosing songs that are just a bit more challenging.
    Remember that comfort zones are unique. For some, getting out of their comfort zones will mean singing to an audience, for others it will mean to sing alone at home without the curtains closed. Begin where you are and expand from there.
  • Listen to vocally balanced singers
    You learn a lot from listening to good singers, because your vocal chords respond to what you hear. And your ears benefit too.
    I could write a whole book on the subject of vocally balanced singers, but a few things to listen out for are:
    – Singers that sound distinct (in a pleasant way), meaning that you can recognise their voices when you hear them.
    – Clear words that you can understand, yet the singer looks like he/she is speaking.
    – A clear connection between the singer’s speaking voice and singing voice (they are two sides of the same coin).
  • Use your voice in everyday life
    Washing dishes can be a lot more fun with a song, and you can start or finish the day with a song. It’s a great way to reconnect to yourself and to begin or close your day in a positive way.

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021
Photo by Alina Lomilova

Feel free to leave questions / comments.

The Introvert Singer

Introverts make good singers.

Do you find it hard to sing as an introvert? In this blog, I’ll share how singing and being introvert go hand in hand – and give you ideas to start singing more in your own quiet way.

I used to think that singing was easier for extroverts. People who like to be seen and heard and who don’t have to think too much about what to say. If I could point at one thing that really promotes that belief, it would be the so-called talent shows. There’s a lot of main stream out there that happens to attract extrovert singers – with the odd introvert thrown in.

The fact is that working with your voice is an introvert process. Singing happens inside of your body, and it’s guided by your mind. It’s an internal process that can’t be forced or manipulated if you want to sing with an authentic voice.

So many qualities that introverts hold are a perfect match to singing. As an introvert, you thrive in your own company, you’re self aware, you have a strong ability to concentrate, you reflect and connect to your emotions. And you’re a good listener.
These qualities are all important when you sing.

There are so many ways to be colourful and to express yourself. It might not suit your personality type to burst into a duet with the person beside you in the queue in a shop. Less can do. Humming is a great way to stay centered when you’re out in the world, while honouring your personality.

So maybe it’s time for you to think outside the box and start singing. Start small and begin to stretch your comfort zone.

Simple and fun ways to bring more singing into your life:

  • As a birthday message to a loved one, sing a birthday song on their voice mail. It always brings joy to the receiver!
  • If you’re in a queue and feeling restless or overwhelmed, humming is a great way to relax and make the most of the waiting time.
  • When you’re driving, take the red light as an invitation to sing!
  • Is the idea of singing anywhere else than in a soundproof room all by yourself too embarrassing? Sing in nature. There are plenty of places out there where you can sing to yourself and the trees / bushes / water – and it feels so good.

It all starts with you. You can be that courageous person who brings more singing into everyday life. In your own way.
And guess what happens? Others will be inspired to sing more too!

Happy Singing!

© Nína O’Farrell 2021
Photo by Daria Shevtsova

Feel free to leave questions / comments.

Are you ready to sing?