Music listening can change our mood, and that mood change can help us to learn, manage difficult emotions and deal with difficult life events. Researchers have tried to determine if certain genres of music are “better” than others for developing these vital life skills. This article highlights recent research into a genre you might not expect to have such positive impacts. But you would be wrong – heavy metal soothes the savage beast after all.
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“Despite the often violent lyrical content in some heavy metal songs, recently published research has shown that fans do not become sensitised to violence, which casts doubt on the previously assumed negative effects of long-term exposure to such music. Indeed, studies have shown long-term fans were happier in their youth and better adjusted in middle age compared to their non-fan counterparts. Another finding where fans who were made angry and then listened to heavy metal music did not increase their anger but increased their positive emotions, suggests that listening to extreme music represents a healthy and functional way of processing anger.”