Immediate Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on the Voice

Published:November 22, 2022DOI:



      The benefits of mindfulness meditation are well documented. This study evaluated the immediate effects of mindfulness meditation (MM) on the voice and voice user.

      Study design

      Prospective experimental study.


      Participants: 19 vocally healthy (VH) individuals, and 26 individuals with common voice disorders (CVD; benign lesions and hyperfunctional muscle tension) deemed stimulable for voice therapy. Exclusionary criteria: prior training or regular meditation practice. Participants recorded speech samples before and after a 11.5-minute prerecorded session of MM. Primary outcomes: phonatory aerodynamics and participants’ self-reported experience of voice. Secondary outcomes: self-reported anxiety, vocal acoustics, speech breathing patterns, and auditory-perceptual outcomes. Baseline self-reported measures of voice (Voice Handicap Index-10 - VHI-10), breathing (Dyspnea Index – DI), stress (Perceived Stress Scale - PSS), and trait mindfulness (Cognitive and Mindfulness Scale – Revised, CAMS-R, Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire – FFMQ) were compared between groups.


      At baseline, CVD had significantly higher VHI-10 (P< 0.001) and DI (P= 0.0014), and lower trait mindfulness (CAMS-R, P= 0.02). No difference between groups for PSS or FFMQ. Changes postMM: decreased CPP for all-voiced sentences for VH (P= 0.003), decreased mean SPL (P= 0.012) on sustained vowel for VH, increased mean phonatory airflow during sustained vowel for CVD (P = 0.012). VH demonstrated a decrease in CPP on the all-voice sentence, and CVD demonstrated an increase, resulting in a significant between group difference (P= 0.013). Participants reported improvements in voice, emotional and physical states. State anxiety decreased for both groups (= < 0.001). No other objective outcomes reached significance.


      After a brief MM, participants experienced improvement in physical, emotional, and cognitive states, and in their perceptions of their voice. Results indicate that a brief, single session of MM may be beneficial for some, but not sufficient to override habitual voice and speech patterns. Given the benefits of MM, future work should evaluate MM in a standard voice therapy protocol.

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