Here’s Why Heavy Metal Music is Actually Good for You

By Peter Dockril | Science Alert HeavyMetal-29227818_m-680x380

Editor’s Note: As a singer-songwriter, musician & music lover, I have politely listened to others who have, over the years, put down heavy metal & rap music as if to say that they have no musical quality or otherwise value. I have always disagreed with the categorical dismissal of these genres of music because, while I can agree that  there is bad music in every type, I have found these styles of music to have a lot of quality & benefit for me personally. I am thankful that this article has brought a scientific approach to 1 of these styles of music: heavy metal.

In contrast to the popularly held view that extreme music like heavy metal is responsible for causing feelings of anger, depression or isolation, it may in fact be capable of combating these very sorts of negative emotions, according to a new study published this week.

Researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia have found that when volunteers were exposed to extreme music genres including heavy metal, emo, hardcore, punk, and screamo, they actually experienced a range of positive feelings, such as calmness, happiness or being inspired. (It’s worth noting that the participants in the testing were fans of these genres already – if not, your individual results may vary!)

The study, conducted by honours student Leah Sharman and psychologist Genevieve Dingle, took 39 regular listeners of extreme music aged between 18 and 34 years and subjected them to an anger induction, where for a period of 16 minutes they were prompted to recall unhappy personal experiences that made them feel angry or stressed, involving their partners, employment or finances.

After the anger induction, participants were then monitored during a 10-minute window in which they either listened to 10 minutes’ worth of extreme music or were required to sit in silence for the same amount of time.

The researchers found that, rather than amplifying the negative emotions of anger or stress, those who listened to 10 minutes of head-banging tunes actually felt the better for it.

According to the research, published this month in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, “The findings indicate that extreme music did not make angry participants angrier; rather, it appeared to match their physiological arousal and result in an increase in positive emotions. Listening to extreme music may represent a healthy way of processing anger for these listeners.”


The researchers contend that we’ve had it the wrong way around when it comes to assumptions about heavy music and the emotional state of the listener. Their findings suggest that people don’t listen to hardcore, thrash and punk and become angry as a result; rather, listeners may choose music forms that match their current level of stress or agitation and use the energy and rhythm of the recordings to help process how they feel.

“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions,” Sharman said in a press release. “When experiencing anger, extreme music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger. The music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired. Results showed levels of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt.”

[Read more here]

Originally entitled: “Here’s why heavy metal is good for you”

Robert O'Leary 150x150Robert O’Leary, JD BARA, has had an abiding interest in alternative health products & modalities since the early 1970’s & he has seen how they have made people go from lacking health to vibrant health. He became an attorney, singer-songwriter, martial artist & father along the way and brings that experience to his practice as a BioAcoustic Soundhealth Practitioner, under the tutelage of the award-winning founder of BioAcoustic Biology, Sharry Edwards, whose Institute of BioAcoustic Biology has now been serving clients for 30 years with a non-invasive & safe integrative modality that supports the body’s ability to self-heal using the power of the human voice. Robert brings this modality to serve clients in Greater Springfield (MA), New England & “virtually” the world, with his website, www.romayasoundhealthandbeauty.com. He can also be reached at romayasoundhealth andbeauty@gmail.com.

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