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Psychologist Confirms What We All Know: Heavy Metal Music Reduces Stress, Elicits Deeper Thinking

7 June 2023 | 12:24 pm | Mary Varvaris

More confirmation that listening to your favourite heavy bands is good for you.

Parkway Drive on stage

Parkway Drive on stage (Credit: Lucas Englund)

Clinical psychologist Dr Nicole Andreoli, PhD, based in New York City, has shared what we all know: heavy metal music reduces stress and elicits deeper thinking.

Echoing a previous study’s results from 2019, where The Conversation's Professor Nick Perham found that "Despite the often violent lyrical content in some heavy metal songs, recently published research has shown that fans do not become sensitized [sic] to violence, which casts doubt on the previously assumed negative effects of long-term exposure to such music.”

The study added, "Indeed, studies have shown long-term fans were happier in their youth and better adjusted in middle age compared to their non-fan counterparts."

Andreoli, addressing people on her TikTok account, concurs with The Conversation’s findings. “Listening to any type of music can be therapeutic and can allow for an emotional release. Heavy metal is no exception,” Andreoli said, per Loudwire.

Her video, entitled The Link Between Heavy Metal and Mental Health, has over 2.6 million views. Andreoli then addressed the real-life, scientific stress-reducing truth of chugs, riffs and screams, noting "Heavy metal has been found to lessen negative emotions by reducing cortisol levels, which helps to lessen stress.

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“Research has found that people who listen to heavy metal tend to think more logically and in more complex terms than those who don't listen to heavy metal. Heavy metal has been found to help the most with focus."

Andreoli concluded, "Now, lyrics in heavy metal do tend to focus on rage. But there is no research linking listening to heavy metal with a desensitization [sic] to violence. … Listening to heavy metal has been found to be a positive way to process anger safely."

You can check out her TikTok on heavy metal music and mental health below.

Andreoli’s statements about logical and complex thought patterns are also written about in The Conversation’s 2019 report, where researchers explained, "Heavy metal can promote scientific thinking but alas not just by listening to it. Educators can promote scientific thinking by posing claims such as listening to certain genres of music is associated with violent thinking.

“By examining the aforementioned accusations of violence and offence — which involved world-famous artists like Cradle of Filth, Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson — students can engage in scientific thinking, exploring logical fallacies, research design issues and thinking biases."

The Conversation also found that heavy metal music provides a healthy, functional outlet for processing anger. You can read that study here.