Listening To Heavy Metal May Actually Make You Calmer, Study Says

Apparently, Ozzy Osbourne and the heavy metal genre may hold the key to happiness.

A recent study has deduced that “extreme” music genres, like heavy metal, punk, and emo may actually help calm listeners that are angry. Researchers say that the results contradict the idea that heavy metal listening is linked to aggression and misconduct.

The study was published in the Frontiers of Human NeuroScience in May and was conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia. The way the researchers found their statistics was by asking 39 lovers of extreme-music to describe an annoying situation involving finances, work, or relationships, three of the toughest issues people must deal with. In order to measure the participants’ emotion, researchers monitored their heart rates and asked them how they felt throughout the process which gave them anger. Some participants sat in silence for the 10 minutes that followed. The others spent 10 minutes listening to the heavy metal song of their choice.

Instead of increasing listeners’ anger, which is what most people would expect, the heavy metal calmed them, producing a result similar to sitting in silence.

“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions,” Leah Sharman, a student at the university’s School of Psychology and co-author of the study, stated.

This heavy metal study was done on participants from the age of 18-34

“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.”

“A secondary aim for the study was to see what music angry participants would select from their playlist,” Sharman added.

“It was interesting that half of the chosen songs contained themes of anger or aggression, with the remainder containing themes such as – though not limited to – isolation and sadness.”

“Yet participants reported they used music to enhance their happiness, immerse themselves in feelings of love and enhance their wellbeing.”

The study cited its multiple limitations, like the study being done in a laboratory with very controlled conditions, rather than subjects be at peace in their bedrooms, the study refuses the accepted notion that heavy metal music causes anger. It notes that “further research is required to replicate these findings in naturalistic social contexts, and to investigate the potential contributions of individual listener variables on the relationship between extreme music listening and anger processing.”

The choice to listen to heavy metal music to match an angry mood may be an active way to understand and regulate negative emotions.

This is one more reason for Heavy metal listeners to continue.

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]