The Soothing Nature of Heavy Metal


Your friends and family can’t figure out why you blast Insomnium while you do your taxes.


“Extreme music” like punk rock and metal has a calming effect on fans, according to a study in Frontiers in Neuroscience.


Thirty-nine people, aged eighteen to thirty-nine, had to perform sixteen minutes of “anger induction”, which involved them describing events in their lives that made them upset. The experimental group then had to listen to ten minutes of the music of their choice, which included: Manowar, Judas Priest, Slipknot, and Fleshgod Apocalypse. The control group just got ten minutes of silence.


Hostility and stress were found to increase during the anger induction, but people allowed to listen to their choice of “extreme music” experienced an increase in positive emotions and decrease in stress.

The Takeaway

The next time someone tells you your music is angry, you tell them that it’s cathartic—and you have the evidence to back it up.



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