Music and Mental Health: What Your Preferences Indicate

Music can be a great stress reliever because of its ability to take your mind off your problems and boost your mood. Certain therapists use music to soothe their patients and to put them at ease.

Music can also be used in therapy to form connections and to encourage free expression, creativity and thought. Children and adolescents may benefit especially from music-based therapy because of it is less structured and formal than more traditional forms of therapy.

Some forms of music, however, are generally seen as negative and even unhealthy. Heavy metal is one of the genres of music that has a reputation for being “bad” or negative. The music is often blamed for acts of violence and stirring up unhealthy feelings in younger people. Fans of metal are sometimes seen as being violent, disturbed or angry.

A recent psychology study may indicate otherwise. The study focused on a large group of students in college. The students who indicated that they were listeners of heavy metal music were not found to be any angrier than the students in the study who did not listen to metal. However, the metal-listeners were shown to be much more likely to feel depressed or anxious than people who listened to other types of music.

The researchers are unsure of “whether listening to this music leads to anxiety and depression, or whether anxious, depressed adolescents turn to this music for solace and emotional release.” They discuss the elements of heavy metal music and how they may affect listeners.

The study also examines the personality of people who listen to specific sub-genres of metal. These include emo, screamo, and hardcore, which feature highly emotional lyrics and extreme sounds and vocals.

To learn more about how the study was conducted and what the findings indicate, you can click on the link here:

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