The Surprising Impact of Heavy Metal On Your Mental Health

Posted by Ramona Fernandez on

We all know that heavy metal themes are all about war, physical violence, rebellion & doom. Funnily enough though, studies show that metalheads are among the happiest people in any music genre?! Huh?


Stick with me to understand how the most aggressive and angry music in the world can impact your mental health.


Why messed up people listen to Heavy Metal

Everyone is messed up… and by that I mean, we’ve all been subjected to emotional trauma in one form or another throughout our lives. But, in my lifetime I’ve come across people who were more messed up than others. 

These people had suffered much deeper emotional trauma than the average Joe. They had either been bullied, physically abused and in the past had resorted to cutting themselves or substance abuse to dull their pain. 

I personally sustained physical & verbal abuse until my early 20s, which is when I discovered heavy metal… and for the longest time, I wondered why, with all that pent up rage and darkness had I not resorted to killing people for fun. Instead, I was able to push back against my oppressors, realise my self-worth and become a successful Fitness Coach.


Call it coincidence, but the people I met who were the most ‘f*cked up’ and had suffered deep emotional trauma, were the ones who listened to Heavy Metal.

Not to generalize that only people with deep emotional trauma listen to Heavy Metal... it's something I observed more often. Now, yes they suffered deeper emotional trauma… but they were surprisingly calm, very inspired and ambitious people. 

It made no sense! You would think that metalheads started fires & sacrificed children. But the more I read about the impact of heavy metal music on mental health… research pointed to the other direction. Listening to Heavy Metal actually made people calm!

Yup… and here’s why!


What Sales Psychology has in common with Heavy Metal

If you’ve read ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ by Jordan Belfort (the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio), in his book, he talks about sales psychology and how he gained people’s trust to make millions of dollars. 

In his book, he talks about the importance of matching his prospect’s emotions to convince them to give him their hard-earned cash. He draws a parallel with this story about his son, who came home really pissed off at a boy from school. 

Instead of asking his son to ‘calm down’... he walked into the room, looking and sounding angry, shouting that his son had all the right to be mad and that the other boy should be punished. 

This reaction got his son thinking... ‘hmm, dad’s on my side… he understands’. That simple gesture of matching his son’s anger immediately earned his son’s trust and he was eventually able to calm him down.

Mirroring or matching the emotions and words of prospects is a powerful sales psychology tool. It gets the prospect to believe that you’re on their side and that you’d be great friends because you’re so alike.

This is why heavy metal music has been found to be a ‘healthy way to regulate anger’. The deep, dark lyrics on rebellion, destruction and doom ‘matches’ the listener’s emotions… it understands them and helps them process their negative emotions to overcome destructive and suicidal thoughts

In cases where people had already been through trauma and had resorted to substance or self-inflicting abuse, heavy metal music resonated with their reality and almost provided a sense of relief.


The truth about Heavy Metal Artists

Ofcourse, I’m not suggesting that heavy metal music is the elixir of happiness. Human beings are complex creatures and there are people who have been subjected to extremely severe trauma who would struggle with any kind of therapy.

But for the most part, metalheads and within metalhead communities… There is kindness and happiness.

Take for example heavy metal artists like Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein (The Misfits & now his own band), Alissa White-Gluz (Arch enemy), Lena Scissorhands (Infected Rain), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) & Rob Zombie are all ‘Vegan’... because they oppose animal cruelty. In fact, some are animal activists because they feel so strongly about protecting animals.

Kinda goes against lyrics on killing and bloodbaths, right?!

Doyle is one of the NICEST guys on the planet. His kindness and generosity towards his fans is well-known even though he is surrounded by heavy metal. 

Most of these metal artists are very healthy too and either carefully watch their diet or train insane at the gym!

And so, while they’re playing about death and destruction… they’re actually super positive and nice people. This is a recurring theme among the metalheads I’ve met and has helped me understand why I transformed into a calm, positive person after I discovered Heavy Metal. 


Should you try listening to Heavy Metal?

Research has actually confirmed that listening to metal after a triggering event can help you calm down. Regular heavy metal listeners were shown to have reduced stress levels and blood pressure as this kind of hardcore music became a coping mechanism... heavy metal becomes their therapy!

In fact, people who were born in the 80s and 90s where rock and metal were popular culture, have actually shown to lead very healthy and fulfilling lives and can easily navigate negative situations. 

There’s a catch though… This only seems to work on fans and people who actually like aggressive music. In fact, people who don’t like hard rock or heavy metal can become more stressed or uneasy after listening to music they don’t like. 

But if you don’t try it, you’ll never know! It could even be a turning point in your life, like it was for so many metalheads I’ve met, myself included and become your ultimate stressbuster.

So the next time someone tries to piss you off, try listening to Rage against the machine and see if the “F*ck you, I won’t do what you tell me” helps you feel better!

If heavy metal music is your therapy, you've got to check out our best-selling T-shirt that represents your personality!


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