Health News: Metal, Hardcore, Punk Music Is Medicinal, Says New Studies

Could Wiz Khalifa be cashing in on the latest health trend by touring with a punk band for his Boys of Zummer tour? Science and the health media seem to imply that Wiz Khalifa might be better off in multiple ways — if he would just listen to more punk and metal music.

As it appears, if you like heavy metal or punk music, it turns out you may be healthier than your non-metal peers — if a slew of recently published studies are believable.

Of course, people have suspected for years that metal music was doing something positive for their minds and spirits — but had little science to back up their claims. For example, in 2007, The Telegraph headlined an article by stating “Heavy metal is a comfort to the bright child.”

Although most articles about metal music these days pertain to the failing health of aging rockers, Psychology Today quotes underground music extraordinaire Steve Albini on why punk music is good for people’s mental health with the following.

“The first thing is I was forged in punk rock. Everything about the way I conduct myself and the way I see the world is a product of seeing the punk scene in action. The punk scene had to operate on limited resources. It had to be inclusive, because there weren’t enough people that you could afford to exclude anybody.”

But is this outlook of Steve Albini’s superior in any way? Psychology Today goes on to back up Steve Albini’s quote by stating, “Research suggests that having a sense of purpose is associated with increased health and well-being and even predicts longer life.”

Also adding to the idea that punk or metal music will help cure you, Consequence of Sound posted a video interview on June 29. In it, Sami Jarroush interviews Dr. Genevieve Dingle to talk about the University of Queensland study “that found that hardcore music actually calms listeners down.”

In the original release of the study by the University of Queensland on June 17, they titled it “Head-banging tunes can have same effect as a warm hug.” Quotes from the research about punk and metal music state the following.

“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions… 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.”

However, this study by the University of Queensland mimics one that was conducted in Israel in 2013 and France in 2009.

Ultimate Guitar stated on September 11, 2013 that, “The Hebrew University of Jerusalem asked 175 people to role-play a confrontation after listening to music of their choice, that sounded either angry, happy or neutral. While the people who chose angry music were more likely to complete the task, they were also found to have a stronger sense of well-being compared to people who actively avoided feeling unpleasant.”

What was the key? The punk and metal music people were listening to may have influenced them to be content with being unhappy sometimes — instead of stressing that everything always had to be happiness-inducing. Maya Tamir, a researcher for the Hebrew University study, said the following about the positive effects of metal music.

“Rather than seeking happiness at all times, it may be important to seek happiness at the right time. Encouraging people to seek happiness and shun unhappiness irrespective of context may not necessarily be adaptive in the long run.”

Do you need more evidence that you should diligently listen to metal or punk everyday to protect your health? Other studies from the past few years show metal, punk, and hardcore music may be making you more confident or better at your job.

[Photo by:Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images]

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