Why Do My Eyes Water When I Sing? Wednesday June 30 2021, 12:42 AM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
Why Do My Eyes Water When I Sing?

Emotion Or Technique?

So you're finding yourself tearing up when you're singing a song. It likely sucks because you might lose vocal control when you're crying during a performance. Notes will start to get all messed up, your breathing technique will get noticeably worse, and then on top of that, you might get self-conscious about how you look crying while singing and lose your comfort.

The first question you need to ask yourself is, "Am I crying because I'm emotional, or am I crying because of something more technical?". You'd be surprised how many people involuntarily tear up while singing and didn't even realize they were experiencing an emotional effect, or why. It can be confusing to differentiate, but take a look at some reasons for your eyes watering up below and see if any makes sense for your particular situation. 

Reason #1 (Emotional): The Song Lyrics Hit You

The most obvious reason for tears is because the lyrics had an effect on you. It might be hard to pin down the reason the lyrics hit you though; it could go way deeper than a simple reason like "these heartbreak lyrics reminded me of my heartbreak".

Related Post: How To Write A Sad Song About Heartbreak

Song lyrics can bring on intense nostalgia, for example, bringing up emotional feelings from your youth or past. Or in another example, the lyrics could be speaking on a situation that wasn't yours but makes you think of someone you care deeply about that relate to the lyrics. The lyrics could just be generally sad and you feel the pain just because the lyrics are that good. 

To get rid of these feelings, it may help to run through the song over and over and over until your brain numbs to the emotional aspect of it all. Singing a deep song only for the third time will likely affect you pretty hard in comparison to singing that song for the 15th time. 

Reason #2 (Emotional): The Music Itself Hit You

Similar to the first reason, you might be overwhelmed by the emotion or the greatness of the song without even thinking about the lyrics. Music is a magical gift that pleases the soul, so don't beat yourself up about it if you're so lost in the vibes that you start to cry from overwhelming emotion. 

Repetition can also help you lessen these types of tears, but it's not as easy as getting over lyrics. One can never really get over how good music is, especially if it's amazing music. You could make yourself tired of the song by really overkilling the repeat though, so find a good balance of singing it a lot and not overdoing it. The fact that it hits you emotionally this way is a good thing. Your singing is likely far more passionate. 

Related Post: Why Singing Is A Gift We Should All Be Sharing

Reason #3 (Technical): Your Jaw Placement

Sometimes if you're singing with wide (long) enough jaw placement, you get tempted to yawn. Yawning often is accompanied by tears. Sometimes the yawn doesn't fully come out, but the teary eyes of a yawn still begin. Yawning while singing often happens your first attempt at singing on any particular day (which is likely early). To avoid these types of tears, spend extra time on your warmups, especially 'ahhs' with very long vowels that will shake out all the yawning teary eyes. 

Reason #4 (Technical/Emotional): You're Very Nervous

If you're performing in front of a lot of people and you're extremely nervous, it can cause your eyes to water. Your body does very strange things when affected by anxiety, and the reactions to people's fears can vary widely. When it comes to the eyes, people have reported reactions including blurred vision, dry eyes, watery eyes, twitching, and tunnel vision. 

The fix, for this reason, will take some time and might require a professional to help you. Anxiety is a common but extensive problem to treat, but if you take the time, you can successfully lessen the fear. It's a challenging process that I myself am still working on, but very much worth it for the many reasons that all types of anxiety inhibit the greatness in us all. Having confidence on stage is very possible even with anxiety present. 

Reason #5 (Technical): Humming/Closed Vowels

It isn't common, but some singers have reported getting teary-eyed while singing in a hum or singing a long note on an "n" or even holding a hard "e" vowel. This is caused by the fact that your whole face shakes when you practice certain vocal placements, and the vibrations that hit your eyes could be causing irritation that can make them water. 

This is another hard problem to fix, but play around with the wideness and intensity of your vowels when singing and see if you can lessen the vibration levels without messing up your sound quality. For example, singing "eee" with longer jaw placement instead of singing with vertically wide jaw placement will automatically lessen the amount of vibration that comes out, effectively decreasing the eye-watering and irritation. Certain placements of your tongue against the bottom of your mouth can also cause vibrations. Placing your tongue further away from the back of your throat can reduce the risk of irritation. 


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Yona Marie

This blog was written by singer, songwriter and producer Yona Marie. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!

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