Bang Your Head!!
For those of you that know me, which is very little, I am a huge metal head. I began this in my youth, probably around 5th or 6th grade. My parents always listened to music. I grew up in the 80s, so I was exposed to excellent music. I still love most things from 1970s-2000s today. But when I am wanting to go to my happy place, whether that being getting pumped up for a PR in the gym, going on a road trip, or getting ready to operate in the operating room, my choice is death metal.
Yes, I listen to heavy metal in the operating room. Now, some of you may assume that we are having a mosh pit while someone is under anesthesia, that can't be further from the truth. Metal music helps me focus and relax, which some people cannot stand the "noise".
I was on a road trip with one of my sons yesterday. I have 9 kids, but I had the oldest of my youngest Domynik, who is 13 years old. He just finished up 7th grade. We were moving my youngest daughter to a different house in Hays, KS. So we drove from Winfield, KS with our trailer to get her moved. Anyway, on the way there, we listened to ACDC station on Apple music.
There was a great mix of music on there. Domynik, even though he is 13, really enjoys that genre of music. I asked him what his top three favorite songs were, and his answers were a little surprising:
Iron Man - Black Sabbath
Back in Black - AC/DC
One - Metallica
Man, I feel I had a huge parenting win on that! That kid was raised right. So that sparked me to write this blog post today.
For a long time, I have said how I feel metal music is good for your soul and just makes me feel focused and energetic, along with a good Orange Rockstar Recovery! Not a sponsor, but that is my energy drink of choice. So here is the proof that metal is good for mental health! I found a medical article regarding this topic
Title: The Healing Power of Death Metal: A Journey Into Mental Well-being
In a world where mental health issues have become increasingly prevalent, it is important to explore unconventional avenues that can provide relief and support. While it may seem counterintuitive, one such avenue is the genre of music known as death metal. Despite its reputation for aggressive lyrics and extreme sound, death metal has been found to have surprising therapeutic benefits for mental health.
1. Catharsis and Emotional Release:
Death metal offers a unique form of catharsis, allowing individuals to channel their emotions and find solace in the intense music. The heavy and aggressive nature of death metal acts as a conduit for expressing and releasing pent-up anger, frustration, and even sadness. In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers found that individuals who listened to extreme music experienced an increase in positive emotions and a decrease in negative emotions, providing a cathartic outlet for emotional release.
2. Emotional Regulation and Empowerment:
Contrary to popular belief, death metal promotes emotional regulation by enabling listeners to confront and process their emotions. The immersive and intense nature of the music can empower individuals to face their fears, anxieties, and insecurities head-on, leading to emotional growth and resilience. Research conducted by psychologists at the University of Queensland demonstrated that engaging with extreme music, including death metal, was associated with increased self-esteem and a sense of empowerment.
3. Sense of Belonging and Community:
The death metal community offers a unique sense of belonging and camaraderie, which can greatly benefit mental well-being. Shared experiences and a common love for the music create a supportive community where individuals feel understood and accepted. The sense of belonging can help combat feelings of isolation and provide a platform for social interaction and support. A study published in the Journal of Community Psychology revealed that individuals who identified strongly with a music subculture experienced enhanced social well-being and decreased psychological distress.
4. Mindfulness and Flow State:
The intricate and technical nature of death metal compositions requires focused attention, often leading to a state of mindfulness. Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and can have profound effects on mental health. When individuals immerse themselves in death metal music, they enter a state of flow, characterized by deep concentration and a sense of timelessness. Flow experiences have been linked to improved well-being, increased self-esteem, and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.
5. Stress Reduction and Anger Management:
Contrary to popular belief, death metal has been found to reduce stress levels rather than exacerbate them. The aggressive and intense music provides an outlet for individuals to channel and release their anger and frustration in a controlled manner. In a study published in the Journal of Music Therapy, researchers discovered that listening to death metal resulted in reduced physiological arousal and subjective feelings of anger. Moreover, it was found to be an effective tool for anger management and emotional regulation.
While it may initially seem paradoxical, death metal has proven to be a powerful force for promoting mental well-being. Through its cathartic qualities, emotional regulation benefits, sense of community, mindfulness inducement, and stress reduction capabilities, death metal offers a unique and valuable avenue for individuals seeking solace and support. Embracing the genre's aggressive sound and lyrical content can lead to emotional release, empowerment, and personal growth. As we continue to explore alternative approaches to mental health, death metal stands out as a surprisingly effective tool for finding solace, understanding, and strength.
Sharman, L., Dingle, G. A., & Memarzia, J. (2015). Extreme metal music and anger processing. Front