6 Reasons Why Metal Music is Good For You
We’re sick of hearing that listening to metal music is bad for you. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, we would just appreciate any middle-aged squares keeping their judgements on how rap music is behind knife crime and metal music makes you violent to themselves. By the same logic we guess that Miles Davis’ fans are too chill to ever get anything done and avid Tchaikovsky listeners can’t help but pirouette everywhere they go. We think not. So, here are our top 6 reasons why listening to metal music can be good for your general wellbeing and mental health.
Establishing a sense of community and belonging is what often defines our happiness. The human condition requires us to use those around us to make our existence make sense. One puzzle piece doesn’t make much sense by itself. It needs the other pieces around it to make its purpose clear. Contrary to the idea that fans of heavy metal music are all experiencing a communal mid, early and late life crisis, feeling a sense of belonging in a group of like-minded people with a common interest is exactly what you would expect from a well-adjusted human.
Millions seek this sense of united purpose and shared experience through authoritarian religions. How lucky are those who’ve found their place in a free community like that of music fans? Most people struggle to say, “good morning,” to the person sitting next to them on the bus, whereas one metal or rock fan has an instant connection with another just by a glance at their band t-shirt or other aspects of their appearance. Therefore, metal music as a culture instils so-called ‘Metalheads’ with a sense of existential belonging. There is an undisputed power in a united group of people especially when so many divides exist in our society.
2. Cognitive Development
Complex music and melodies have been said to increase brain function. According to Interesting Engineering, “listening to music you like, like Heavy Metal, can have incredible benefits for your cognitive abilities and memory.” It’s common practice to play babies classical music in the womb to encourage healthy cognitive development because of the polyphonic strands of melodies and variety of instruments. But what’s more complex and varied than metal music? We’re not saying to blast Judas Priest in the direction of the nearest foetus you can find. We’re just saying that if complex music increases memory capacity and brain function then us Metalheads are probably all f**king geniuses. If only we could figure out in what form our genius manifests itself, then we’d probably take over the world. Ozzy Osbourne for Prime Minister! You know what, maybe not. Forget we said anything.
3. Inner Peace
It’s often said that metal music or songs with violent themes and words in them can lead to an increase in violent behaviour in the listener. It’s time we debunked that myth. Studies actually show that the opposite is in fact true. Listening to music you enjoy, of any genre leads to feelings of relaxation and peace. According to one 2019 study published in the Royal Society Journal, heavy metal “fans derived positive emotional experiences from the music.” Heavy metal fans may not have a reputation for being centred, well-adjusted, zen individuals but that’s only because we’re so busy sticking it to the man that you can’t hear the continuous “ommmmm” in our inner monologue. Or something like that.
4. Metal Reduces Stress
According to Neuroscience News, “research suggests […] that listening to music is cathartic.” This only applies to music that you like though. The study they refer to, proved that listening to music the participants liked reduced stress, lowered their heartrate and decreased the levels of anxiety in the participants. However, listening to music they did not like (including metal) increased their anxiety levels. So, make of that what you will. We think it literally translates to “you do you” and let the Britney fans keep their babay, babay’s. Live and let live after all, right? So, listening to music you like is good for reducing stress and anxiety. A very worthwhile pastime even if it’s not Tchaikovsky on your car sound system.
If you don’t enjoy classical music or jazz, then don’t listen to it. Just because your great Aunt Beryl doesn’t understand the subtle, (or not so subtle) complex themes of Five Finger Death Punch’s greatest hits, it doesn’t mean metal is any less valuable as a genre. Science says it’s good for you if you like it, so phrases like ‘guilty pleasures’ have no place in describing your taste in music. Who says you have to like what other people like?
5. Encourages Reading
Yes really! Fans of metal music are more likely to spend their free time reading material which is associated with the ‘scene’. Magazines such as Kerrang! Metal Hammer and Heavy Metal are just some of the popular publications frequently bought by metal fans and stocked in the usual magazine outlets. Wouldn’t you think that metal magazines would be considered as a fairly niche market and therefore not stocked at the supermarket or the newsagents? The fact that this type of reading material is so widely available suggests that they are very popular, and it is therefore worth the while of the retailer to stock them.
Whatever your hobbies are, if they promote an interest in reading and research then that is good for your brain. Everybody knows that reading is good for you. No one (to our knowledge) has proved that it’s only reading Austen and Shakespeare that is going to benefit you. Reading is good. End of.
6. Promotes Trying New Things
Neuroscience News reports that being a fan of metal music has been proven to encourage adventurous choices and inspire an appetite for trying new things. They write that “looking further into the differences between heavy metal fans and non-fans, research has shown that fans tend to be more open to new experiences. That’s no bad thing. Variety is the spice of life, so we’re just living it to the fullest potential by taking risks and going where the wind takes us.
Some people are happy listening to the same top 40 hits from their youth, and we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with Tina Turner, she’s awesome, but fans of metal are more likely to search for new types of music and actively look for new songs and bands. It makes total sense to us that this appetite for new material would translate into the rest of our lives. So, by all means listen to disco music and eat the same cheese and tomato sandwich every night if it makes you happy, but that’s just not us.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our little tribute to the benefits of metal music and the community that surrounds it. With the UK Metal Merger becoming a serious tour de force right now, we couldn’t be prouder of our country’s metal music industry.
House of Tours supports all creatives and genres of music, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t have a serious soft spot for all you Metalheads and Moshers out there. Head on over to our House of Tours Facebook page to see more about the UK Metal Merger and the #ILoveMetal movement.