Metal Music: Not Just Loud, But Also Proudly Therapeutic

Metal music, often seen as the rebellious child of the music family, has a softer side. And no, we're not talking about ballads. Explore how this genre heals the soul, one riff at a time.

Metal Music: Not Just Loud, But Also Proudly Therapeutic
Photo by Juliette F on Unsplash

The Unexpected Healer: Heavy Metal

Who would’ve thought? The genre that gave us headbanging, mosh pits, and lyrics about dragons, doom, and dystopia also turns out to be a balm for the soul. Yes, you read that right. Heavy metal, with its aggressive guitar riffs and thunderous drums, is therapeutic. So, the next time someone raises an eyebrow at your playlist, you can smugly inform them about the healing power of metal.

Nick Perham’s Revelations

Dr. Nick Perham, not to be confused with any rockstar, though he might as well be one in the academic world, took a deep dive into the world of metal. This Cardiff Metropolitan University lecturer found out in 2019 that metalheads aren’t just about leather jackets and devil horns. They’re a happy bunch! More so, they handle their anger in ways that would make a monk proud.

Despite the headbanging anthems and sometimes violent lyrical content, metal fans remain untouched by the aggression. They don’t become desensitized to violence. In fact, long-term fans were not only happier during their rebellious youth but also turned out to be better adjusted in their middle age. Who knew that the secret to a well-adjusted life was a bit of Iron Maiden and Slayer?

Metalheads: Happier in youth, and rocking their middle age like no other.

And here’s a fun tidbit for educators: Want to promote scientific thinking? Use heavy metal. No, not by making students listen to it (though that would be an interesting class), but by posing claims about music genres and their associations. It’s a headbanging approach to critical thinking!

Dr. Nicole Andreoli’s Prescription: A Dose of Metal

Dr. Nicole Andreoli, Ph.D., probably the coolest psychologist in New York City, has some insights that might make you ditch that meditation app for a Metallica album. According to her, heavy metal is like a stress ball for the ears. It reduces stress and promotes deep thinking.

Listening to music, in general, is therapeutic. But heavy metal, with its complexity and depth, has a unique way of allowing an emotional release. It’s not just about the adrenaline rush; it’s about processing emotions, reducing cortisol levels, and focusing. Metal fans, with their penchant for logical and complex thinking, are onto something.

Heavy metal: The unexpected zen master of the music world.

And for those who think heavy metal is all about rage, think again. While the lyrics often touch upon anger, there’s no evidence linking it to a desensitization to violence. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Listening to heavy metal is a safe way to process anger. So, the next time you feel the need to scream into a pillow, maybe just put on some Pantera instead.

In Conclusion

Heavy metal, often misunderstood and maligned, is more than just a genre. It’s therapy, a community, and for many, a way of life. So, rock on, knowing that with every riff, you’re doing wonders for your soul.