Can head-banging tunes have the same effect as a warm hug?
And here we thought that if we were stressed out it’d be the sound of the ocean or some Mozart we needed in our ears. Turns out, if you really want to calm down, it’s punk and metal music that will do the trick. Stick with us…
At first, a group of researchers from the University of Queensland in Brisbane produced a thesis to suggest that extreme music causes anger in listeners. Now, they’ve done a complete 180 and disproved it.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that intense, loud, head-banging music would encourage aggressive or even violent behaviour but in actual fact, the opposite is true.
Arriving at this conclusion, the researchers carried out an experiment involving 39 people between the ages of 18 and 34. Those involved regularly listen to ‘extreme’ music such as ‘heavy metal’, ‘hardcore’, ‘punk’, ’emo’ and ‘screamo’ (whatever that involves). Unfortunately for those involved, they had to endure 16 minutes of “anger induction,” during which they spoke about what bothered them when it came to their relationships, money and work.
When they were eventually worked up and feeling frustrated, it was time to calm them down. The group were split into two; one group sat in silence while the other listened to the aforementioned ‘extreme’ music. What they found was that those listening to the aggressive music were just as calmed as those sitting in silence.
“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 the music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt.”
What do you listen to to calm down?