My Favorite Things

I’ve compiled
a list of some of my favorite products, books, sites, and gadgets that can help expand your knowledge of the voice as well as help you maintain a healthy vocal lifestyle. With any of these products, it’s important that you try them out for yourself before using them in a performance or audition. Everyone responds to products differently and you don’t want any surprises when faced with an important vocal event.

You’ll see links below to purchase these items online. You
may also find these products or similar ones at your local drug store, natural and health product store, or home goods store.


Warming Up

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Belt Box
The Belt Box makes warming up in NYC apartments on in a crowded audition room a piece of cake. I recommend practicing with the Belt Box to get used to the sensation of the sound being muffled. You want to make sure that you aren’t holding back or compensating when using the device.

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Lozenges and Sprays
*Remember that nothing you eat or drink touches your vocal folds so no lozenge or spray will directly impact your voice or make a hoarse voice miraculously better. These items are more geared towards relieving dryness and helping to soothe the pharynx when it’s irritated. Also, never try these products for the first time at an audition or performance. You want to know how your body reacts before relying on them during an important vocal event. If you have a hoarse voice that has persisted for more than 10 days, you should seek medical help from a doctor, such as a laryngologist.

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Fontus Lozenges
These lozenges are delicious and great for easing a sore throat as well as adding moisture to a dry mouth or throat. They last a long time too. You can purchase them in small 2.2 oz bags or larger 16.5 oz bags.

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Grether’s Pastilles
These are a mainstay for many professional singers. They soothe the pharynx and can help with dryness. They make a few flavors, but black currant is my favorite. They also come in larger 16.5 oz containers and smaller 3.75 oz containers.

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Thayer’s Slippery Elm Lozenges
These are delicious as well and great when your throat feels irritated. Tangerine is my favorite flavor, although they have many to choose from.

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Entertainer’s Secret
This is a glycerin spray that can help relieve dry mouth. It doesn’t impact your vocal folds directly, but it can help when you feel overly dry in your mouth or throat.

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Hydration and Humidification

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MyPurMist
This is the most amazing of all steamers. It creates a mist, not steam, which has finer particles that penetrated deeper into your sinuses and airway. This is a must have for anyone with allergies or sinus issues. Steaming is the only way to directly hydrate the vocal folds. Be sure and ONLY use distilled water with this steamer. I recommend the corded version for everyone as your go-to steamer. They have a cordless version, but it requires buying special water capsules from the website, which is an inconvenience.

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MyPocketMist
If you’re looking for a travel or very portable steamer, I recommend the MyPocketMist. It’s pocket size and comes with a mouthpiece and mask. You can’t control the amount of mist or the temperature (it’s all cool mist), but for the price and portability, you can’t beat it. You use any bottled mineral water, which is easy when you’re traveling.
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Pure Guardian Humidifier
There are a lot of humidifiers on the market, but this is my favorite brand. The tanks stay really clean and they offer both warm and cool mist. This is the model I use and recommend for home use, but they have MANY different models available for different sized rooms as well as different budgets.

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Hydroflask
Nothing beats drinking water when it comes to staying hydrated, so having a good water bottle is essential. There are TONS of amazing water bottles on the market, but I love my Hydroflask. It keeps my water ice cold all day and even keeps my ice frozen.

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MyHy Electrolyte Supplement
Did you know that we sweat on average about 1.5 gallons of water a day? Once you add in exercise, dance class, or performing in a show under stage lights, that number increases. Replenishing with water is great, but it’s only half the story. Electrolyte supplements help replenish everything your body loses when it sweats, which not only improves physical performance, but also helps in recovery time. I’ve tried many electrolyte products, but this is my favorite. Disclaimer: my brother created this product (we LOVE hydration in the Flynn household), but it’s really, really good. I’m a proud sis. The product will launch soon, but you can still purchase it directly through my brother by contacting me. Click here to contact me about MyHy.


Travel Essentials
In addition to the Mypurmist, a great water bottle, and your electrolyte supplements, here are some great additions to add to your carry on when you travel.

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Humidiflyer
One of the most brilliant inventions for voice users when they fly is the humidiflyer. You wear this mask while you fly and you breathe in moistened air instead of the dry air that planes are notorious for. This is a pricier gadget, but essential for the frequent flier.
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Travel Humidifier
Travel humidifiers are essential for touring and travel. They allow you to use a small water bottle as the water tank and are portable enough to be stashed anywhere in a carry on or checked bag. These small humidifiers also work great as a personal humidifier at a dressing station backstage.

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Ayr Saline Nasal Gel
This gel goes into your nose and helps keep you from getting too dry and irritated. This is great when you fly or when you have a cold, allergies, or sinus infection.


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Ocean Saline Nasal Spray
This spray keeps your nasal cavity moistened. Spray when you have a cold or other sinus issue, or when you fly to keep from drying out.

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Voice and Body Related Gadgets

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FlexxSonic Personal Massager
This massager has been excellent for helping release tension. It can be used for neck, back, jaw, and even tongue tension. I recommend using it before you begin your warm up to help relieve muscle tension.

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Therabands
Therabands can be used in multiple ways to help your voice and body. They are good for providing resistance with any stretches or movements that you do. Consider investing in a set so you have them to use while warming up your body and voice.

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Technology

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Yeti Microphone
This is an excellent microphone for Skype lessons and recording voice overs or demos. It’s moderately expensive but a good investment if you’re having Skype lessons frequently.

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Samson Meteorite Microphone
This is a great option for a microphone if you’re wanting something affordable, compact for traveling, and good quality. It’s great for Skype lessons, but not good enough for recordings or voice overs.

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Books

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The Owner’s Manual To The Voice
If you want to know more about vocal health, voice myths, the difference between different voice disorders and treatments, this is the book for you. It’s easy to read and comprehensive. It’s great for performers, voice therapists, and teachers.

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What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body
This book details anatomy in a very accessible way. If you want to learn more about your body and how every inch of it can impact your singing, this is the book for you.

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Your Voice: An Inside View
This book offers a great start into understanding anatomy, physiology, acoustics, resonance, and vocal health. There is a CD that comes with the book that plays audio samples as well as interactive anatomy pictures.

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The Vocal Athlete
This book is pretty in depth and technical, but provides great research about vocal health, function, and training for today’s singer.

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The Vocal Athlete Workbook
This is the workbook that accompanies The Vocal Athlete book. This workbook is filled with exercises you can use with yourself or your students.

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Singing for Dummies
Dr. Pam Phillips is an excellent teacher that I’ve had the privilege of working with in the past. If you’re looking for a book that covers many singing topics, this book is for you. She has simple explanations that make pedagogy assessable for everyone.

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The Inner Game of Tennis
This is one of my favorite books about mental preparedness. If you are a student in training or if you struggle with the mental side of peak performance, this book is for you. In fact, I think everyone should read it! It’s that good (and it’s short!)

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Performance Success
This book is designed to help you succeed in peak performance. If you struggle with performance anxiety or nerves, this book helps you learn how to handle the stress of performing. The centering down process is especially useful.

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