Science now suggests that metal fans could actually benefit from listening to heavy metal music for their mental wellbeing.
Studies have demonstrated that heavy metal music can help regulate emotions and manage anger more effectively while simultaneously relieving stress and depression.
1. It helps to regulate emotions
Heavy metal music can be highly addictive and potentially harmful, yet also highly effective at helping regulate emotion. Studies have demonstrated how heavy metal listening helps manage feelings of stress, anxiety and depression as well as offer relief to those dealing with mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse.
Policy makers and mental health professionals tend to view heavy metal music with suspicion, yet evidence abounds of its positive benefits for mental wellbeing. One recent study from Humboldt State University demonstrated this point by finding that teenage fans who enjoyed heavy metal during the 1980s experienced lower risks of suicide, sexual activity early, mental disorders later and physical ailments more frequently as adults than non-fans.
Heavy metal music and externalizing behaviors such as aggression, delinquency and respect for social norms and women has been widely studied (Arnett 1991b; Coyne & Padilla-Walker 2015; Mast & McAndrew 2011). Early research showed that male fans of heavy metal displayed higher sensation seeking levels than their counterparts who weren’t fans; more reckless behavior occurred; they were also more likely to engage in sexual activity (Arnett 1991a and Arnett 1991b).
These findings demonstrate how music-use may play a significant role in shaping externalizing behaviors regardless of one’s musical preferences, suggesting that identifying and managing risk-taking behavior might be key in avoiding future psychological problems.
Some researchers have linked heavy metal music with increased risks of mental health conditions; however, much still needs to be done on this front – for instance it remains unclear how heavy metal affects self-image issues.
There is some evidence to support the notion that heavy metal exposure may promote prosocial behaviors and decrease aggressive cognitions in adolescents, although exactly how this works remains unknown; it could occur through either psychological or biological pathways.
Due to heavy metal music’s association with aggressive themes, it is crucial that its potential benefits and risks are explored thoroughly, which will aid both clinical decision-making and public policy-making processes.
2. It helps to deal with anger
Heavy metal music is an extreme genre that features loud, distorted tones and lyrics with violent themes. While this genre may cause anger and frustration among fans, many find comfort listening to it and it can even aid their mental wellbeing.
Studies have demonstrated that heavy metal music can help regulate anger. Listening can provide an outlet for listeners’ problems while giving them a feeling of escape.
Researchers have also reported that heavy metal music can help alleviate anxiety and depression, improve cognitive functioning and increase brain activity.
However, it should be kept in mind that there is currently limited evidence on the long-term effects of listening to metal music. Studies have demonstrated that heavy metal fans tend to be happier during their youth and better adjusted during middle age than non-fans.
Studies have also demonstrated that those who enjoy heavy metal music don’t become sensitised to violence, nor experience higher levels of anger than non-fans; perhaps because fans tend to be more critical about its content than non-fans do.
Gowensmith and Bloom’s (1997) research demonstrated that heavy metal fans did not experience higher self-reported levels of anger when listening to music from their preferred genre versus other genres, which is consistent with findings from other similar studies.
There are also other factors that may contribute to someone becoming angry while listening to music, including stress or negative outlook on life, stereotypes about certain genres, or simply listening without headphones on.
At its core, genre impact analysis is important – particularly for extreme music with its intense sound and potentially offensive lyrics that may make listening difficult for some listeners.
3. It helps to deal with stress
Studies have demonstrated the power of heavy metal music to help relieve stress. This can be particularly helpful for individuals prone to feeling anxious or depressed, and also keep your brain alert which can prove invaluable when studying.
One reason that metal can help relieve stress is its high energy level; it can make you feel great! Additionally, metal helps release endorphins which improve mood and increase feelings of happiness.
Heavy metal music can help alleviate stress in another way: by helping you feel like part of something greater. This is particularly helpful for individuals struggling to feel purpose in life – by listening to bands you like or attending gigs, you can form connections with people over shared passions.
Metal fans often form strong relationships within their fan group and this can be beneficial to mental health. The sense of community that can be found within metal communities can be unparalleled and be especially helpful to those suffering from low self-esteem or depression.
Recent research has demonstrated the power of extreme music to help individuals manage anger and other negative emotions more effectively. Regular listeners were asked to recall events which made them angry or distressed before listening to extreme music of their choice for 16 minutes before receiving 10 minutes of silence as a reward.
Extreme music not only allowed them to express all of their emotions, but it also helped them feel better and become more active. They found the music particularly effective at soothing feelings of anger and isolation as well as having an uplifting impact.
Although not an exhaustive research study, extreme music can be effective at managing stressors that we experience regularly. Furthermore, extreme music has also proven useful at managing other negative feelings like anger and depression – something to keep in mind whenever feeling down or anxious.
4. It helps to deal with depression
Many are wondering whether heavy metal music can benefit their mental health. While many might view heavy metal with negative associations – and even perceive that it might lead to suicide or violence – new research demonstrates otherwise: heavy metal actually helps fans manage depression more effectively.
Heavy metal music has many obvious health benefits, one of which being reduced stress hormone levels such as cortisol. Cortisol can contribute to depression so being able to reduce its levels can be a huge relief.
Heavy metal music has many other important benefits, too: it can give you a sense of community while helping to form bonds between like-minded fans of this genre.
One study discovered that people who listened to heavy metal were less likely to engage in risky behavior and more likely to feel secure about themselves and have strong social networks.
Becoming a metal fan can help sharpen your critical thinking skills and sharpen your ability to evaluate other people’s ideas. Metal can teach you to question assumptions and beliefs of others – an invaluable skill when faced with challenging issues.
Death metal music may also help reduce anger and anxiety, according to one study that found people listening to death metal were better at relaxing themselves after stressful events than those who weren’t listening at all.
Music can help people cope with difficult emotions like sadness and grief. Therefore, it’s essential that you find music you enjoy that will aid your mental wellbeing.
Heavy metal music can be an intensely loud and intimidating sound that’s hard to avoid listening to, with its loud, harsh vocals often distracting listeners from other tasks while listening. Concentration may become impossible during such listening sessions.
When feeling sad, listening to soothing music such as classical or meditation music might help. These types of tunes may provide relief, or make matters worse if they don’t resonate with you.