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Grandma was wrong: new study says Punk and Metal are good for you

A new study by the University of Queensland suggests that loud and aggressive music genres like Punk and Metal actually help you to calm down.

If you’re one of those people who pumps up the volume of ‘Enter Sandman’ all the way to 11 every time you stub your toe, you might be doing the right thing.

UQ’s School of Psychology Dr Genevieve Dingle and honours student Leah Sharman have performed a study that reveals that ‘extreme’ music characterised by powerful, loud, and chaotic sounds such as Heavy Metal, Punk or Screamo actually help listeners to stabilise their rage and inspire positive thoughts.

According to Ms Sharman, “We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions.”

The study – published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience – was conducted among 39 individuals aged 18 to 34. First, the participants were exposed to a 16-minute ‘anger induction’ session in which they described personal events in their lives that propelled negative and enraging emotions.

Then the participants spent 10 minutes listening to songs from their own playlists, followed by another 10 minutes of pure silence.

74% were Australian locals – we suspect there was a lot of Parkway Drive in those playlists – while the rest were born in various countries all over the world from Oman to Sweden.

“It was interesting that half of the chosen songs contained themes of anger or aggression, with the remainder containing themes like – though not limited to – isolation and sadness,” added Sharman.

“Yet participants reported they used music to enhance their happiness, immerse themselves in feelings of love and enhance their wellbeing.”

The results of this study refute previous research that linked extreme music to violence and delinquency. Dingle and Sharman did note that “further research is required to replicate these findings in naturalistic social contexts, and to investigate the potential contributions of individual listener variables on the relationship between extreme music listening and anger processing.”

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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