Metal enthusiasts may have heard the myth that death metal is bad for your health. But is this really true?
Science has now proven that heavy metal music can actually be beneficial to both mental and physical wellbeing. In particular, it helps you cope with depression, stress, and anger.
1. It Can Help With Depression
Metal music often gets a bad rap, but recent research indicates it may actually help people manage their emotions better. In fact, some studies suggest it could even aid in combatting depression!
Recently, an Australian study discovered that listening to heavy metal music can reduce levels of anger and stress in people. To test this hypothesis, researchers played 10 metal tracks for 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute break. Participants who listened to angry music felt less stressed and had lower heart rates than those who listened to happy songs.
Research also suggests that listening to music can help reduce ruminating thoughts, which are commonly linked with depression. Rumination occurs when someone becomes stuck in negative thought patterns and finds it difficult to break free.
Another way music can benefit mental health is by instilling a sense of community. Many people suffering from depression feel isolated and alone, so being part of an online community that shares similar interests can be therapeutic.
This can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and boost one’s sense of worthiness. Furthermore, it makes one feel a part of something much larger and stronger than themselves.
Music can aid mental health by stimulating the release of serotonin and oxytocin, hormones which have numerous physical and emotional advantages such as increased energy, better sleep patterns, and reduced anxiety levels.
Death metal can be an effective therapy for depression due to its heavy and loud nature, as well as being highly cathartic. The growls and shrieks of extreme metal are often distressing, while their blast beats add a layer of intensity.
Metal music has many ways to help with depression, but some of the most popular are reducing stress and anger, combatting feelings of loneliness, and creating a sense of community. Many lyrics in metal songs can be autobiographical in nature and help put you in a more positive mindset.
2. It Can Help With Stress
Many who appreciate metal find that it helps them cope with stress. This is especially true for those suffering from depression, which causes low moods and loss of interest in what once excited you. But listening to death metal can reduce those negative emotions you may be feeling and lower cortisol levels – leading to less stress in your life overall.
According to a study, heavy metal music can help you relax. It also has the capacity to lower your heart rate and blood pressure – leading to improved overall wellbeing.
For those suffering from high levels of stress, music can provide a welcome relief by relieving tension and anger. Furthermore, this type of music helps release intense emotions which in turn helps reduce your level of anxiety.
Metal songs often combine emotional lyrics with their signature larger-than-life sound. This unique genre can be especially therapeutic for listeners experiencing intense emotions such as anger.
Heavy metal music often produces an energetic response due to its loud volume and vocals that are shouted or screamed rather than sung.
Metal music has the power to elicit an array of feelings, from anger and joy, as well as improve mental health and increase one’s sense of self-worth.
According to a 2019 study, those who enjoy this genre of music tend to have higher cognitive functioning than other people. They may possess better problem-solving abilities and an enhanced awareness of emotions.
Another study discovered that heavy metal can help you get your work done faster, likely because the music helps you focus on tasks. Furthermore, metal songs have been known to relax you – especially beneficial if you have a stressful job or must focus for extended periods of time on something important.
3. It Can Help With Anger
According to a study published in Frontiers of Neuroscience, listening to extreme music genres such as death metal can help people process their anger and relax their emotions. A recent study from the University of Queensland found that those who listened to these genres experienced less irritability and stress while enjoying their favorite tunes.
Researchers recruited 39 extreme music fans (heavy metal, punk, emo, hardcore and screamo) between 18 and 34 years of age. First they conducted an 16 minute “anger induction” where subjects talked about things that annoyed them. Afterwards they randomly gave participants either 10 minutes of heavy metal from their playlists or 10 minutes of silence.
They then evaluated their feelings after each session and discovered that listeners of this genre experienced less anger and stress when listening to their music, even when it was significantly louder than when they sat in silence.
Researchers also observed that listeners of this genre were better able to regulate their emotional states, feeling more calm, active, and inspired. This contrasts with previous studies which found louder music caused more aggressive behavior.
Research team stresses that while this experiment was done in a lab setting, it might not necessarily apply to everyday situations where individuals might listen to similar type of music when feeling distressed. As results will vary based on individual situations, seeking professional help if you’re dealing with anger or stress related problems is recommended.
To test this hypothesis, researchers utilized heart rate monitors to monitor participants’ state of arousal. Furthermore, each participant was asked to recall a triggering event from their lives and was then divided into two groups for monitoring: one group listened to music while the other sat silent for 10 minutes.
The results showed that music could help calm participants’ anger, which is in line with other studies showing it can help people process emotions and reduce anxiety. Unfortunately, this study only involved a small sample size; further investigation is necessary to fully comprehend its effects on a wider group of individuals.
4. It Can Help With Community
One of the advantages of heavy metal is its ability to foster a sense of community. This can be especially advantageous for young people who struggle with finding friends and feeling like they belong with their peers.
Metal fans often share similar tastes in music and aesthetics, which helps them form bonds that can last a lifetime and foster an atmosphere of belonging and connection.
Metal fans tend to be highly passionate about their genre, as evidenced by how much time and energy they invest into listening to their favorite bands. This shows how essential music is for them; it allows them to express themselves and find a sense of purpose through expression.
Death metal fans have many benefits for mental health, the most significant being its ability to foster a sense of community and facilitate friendships with others – an invaluable skill set for college students as they transition into adulthood.
Another benefit of being a metal fan is that it helps develop critical thinking skills. When authorities claim heavy metal causes depression or violence in its fans, research into this phenomenon can encourage you to do some digging of your own and gain an insight into scientific reasoning, logical fallacies, research design issues and biases. All of which will assist in sharpening those critical thinking skillsets.
Your metal expertise can also be put to the test in conversations with others, which helps develop empathy and enhance communication skills. Furthermore, discussing topics like mental health or addiction with others is an invaluable skill that will serve you throughout life as you help create a more supportive community.
In addition to these advantages, metal fans can also help boost your self-esteem. This confidence can be enormously helpful for anyone; but especially students who are working to develop their self-worth.