Count on This! The 10-Second Hum

Humming for 10 seconds or more can help both children and adults calm their minds and bodies.

Did you know humming is naturally relaxing?  

Humming makes vibrations in our throat. The vibrations activate a nerve that carries signals from the brain to the body. This nerve, called the vagus nerve, helps us to soothe ourselves and calm our bodies after we’ve been in stressful situations, so we can better manage big feelings.  

In moments of emotional distress, when we’re the most concerned about children’s emotional well-being, a strategy like this may offer children some short-term relief. Share this video with children and try humming along with The Count and his potato friend together (it can be to any tune or just a humming sound).  

Then, in challenging moments in the future (perhaps when children are feeling frustrated, angry, worried, nervous, or even over-excited), invite children to join you in humming, singing, or “buzzing” like a bee (these activities all create vibrations in the throat). Help them notice how they feel afterward.