- Publish Date
- Wednesday, 17 February 2021, 8:17AM
Listening to heavy metal can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your overall stress load, claims a recent study by a cosmetic surgery clinic in Europe.
The study recruited 1,540 adults between ages 18 and 65 for a series of mental stress tests.
During the tests, the participants listened to various playlists built around different genres of music. Researchers then measured physiological reactions in response to the music.
The mix of heavy metal classics correlated with a decrease in blood pressure in 89 percent of the participants. Heavy metal also appeared to cause a reduction in heart rate in 18 percent of the listeners.
"The results may seem surprising on first inspection, but medically they make a lot of sense," Dr. Omer Avlanmis, the study's leader, said of the results. "In terms of heavy metal, I'd observe that angry music can help listeners process their feelings and as a result lead to greater well-being."
The only playlist that produced more impressive results than the heavy metal playlist was a mix of '80s pop, which prompted a blood pressure decrease in 96 percent of participants and a heart rate reduction in 36 percent of participants.
"'80s pop hits could have a positive nostalgia attached to them for many people, and their upbeat, party-like sounds can induce the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain, both increasing feelings of happiness and calm," he added.
While the researchers at the Vera Clinic in Istanbul say the experiment proves that metal can have a soothing effect, it also showed that metal increased blood pressure in 11 percent of participants; the '80s pop hits caused a blood pressure increase in just 4 percent.
In terms of other styles of music, the researchers found '70s rock and techno seemed to aggravate listeners' stress levels, increasing blood pressure in around three-quarters of participants.
The Vera Clinic study joins a number of findings in recent years to affirm metal's chilling effect.
In 2019, Ph.D. psychologist Nick Perham theorized that metal heads are happier as young people and more well-adjusted by middle aged compared to other non-metal fans.
That same year, a study by an Australian university found that a death metal song about Satanic cannibalism was no more likely to inspire violence than Pharrell Williams' 2013 sublime pop mega-hit "Happy."
Metal might not be healthy all across the board, though. A study of drivers in the U.K. found that both metal and classic music produced distracting effects behind the wheel. The study found that modern pop music did the best job of keeping drivers both safe and alert while operating a motor vehicle.
This article was first published on iheart.com and is republished here with permission