Heavy metal lowers blood pressure and anxiety, study reveals

Got the pandemic blues? Maybe it’s time for some Municipal Waste.

Jean-Michel Labadie of Gojira

Image: Miikka Skaffari / Getty

A study has revealed that heavy metal is one of the best genres of music when it comes to lowering your blood pressure and anxiety levels.

The study was conducted by hair transplant specialists Vera Clinic, which asked 1,540 volunteers (aged 18-65) to complete non-verbal reasoning tests designed to produce low levels of stress. Participants were given a soundtrack to listen to at the same time, made up of varying Spotify playlists. The volunteers were fitted with heart rate and blood pressure monitors to gauge the effectiveness of the different playlists throughout the experiment.

The results showed that listening to heavy metal reduced blood pressure for 89 percent of respondents, and decreased heart rates by an average of 18 percent. It was the second most effective genre at reducing stress, as the eighties-pop-packed soundtrack to Channel 4’s drama It’s A Sin won out by reducing blood pressure in 96 percent of volunteers and reducing heart rates by an average of 36 percent.

Of the results, Vera Clinic’s Doctor Ömer Avlanmış said: “The results may seem surprising on first inspection – but medically they make a lot of sense. 1980s Pop Hits could have 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.”

When it came to heavy metal, Avlanmış noted that “angry music can help listeners process their feelings and as a result lead to greater well-being.”

The study comes in the wake of continuing pandemic-related restrictions, during which many lockdown-stricken fans have turned to streaming and music in general to alleviate stress, leading to the volume of music streamed spiking across 2020. It’s perhaps reassuring that, during an unprecedented time of stress, science says that spinning that old Cannibal Corpse LP will help.

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