A new study shows that punk and metal music may actually be calming as opposed to riling people up. The researchers at University of Queensland, a public research institution in Brisbane, Australia, set out to prove the popular theory that punk and metal music lead to more aggressive actions. The thought is if you can head-bang to it you can commit destructive acts to it. However, their research (like most things) did not go as expected.

In this article posted on Consequence of Sound the study is described as having 39 participants undergoing 16 minutes of “anger induction” where they talked about things that irritated them (money, relationships, work). After they were sufficiently irritated, they either sat in silence for 10 minutes or listened to 10 minutes of songs from their own playlists. What Dr. Genevieve Dingle and honors student Leah Sharman discovered was that the songs from their own playlists of metal and punk made them just as calm as the people sitting in silence. The study explains:

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 aspect of the study looked at the particular type of songs participants picked once they were angered. While half the chosen songs focused on aggressive and angry themes, many of the others contained themes of 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 added.

So put on those headphones and head for the nearest metal playlist you can find. You’re about to feel a whole lot better.

To read the full article click here.


Photo: Nick Karp