7 Undeniable Benefits of Playing Heavy Metal Guitar...

Courtesy of The University of Queensland... 

There’s power in playing metal guitar. Heavy Metal Music has the ability to take you into a feeling of being on top and can set the mood for a great day, afternoon or evening. It also can positively affect your life in a VERY real way...

A study conducted by the University of Queensland in Australia has revealed the health benefits of listening to heavy metal music. Contrary to popular belief, which more commonly associates metal music with mosh-pits and head banging, research shows that listening to metal and other forms of “extreme” music can provide catharsis, release, and lead to feelings of calmness.

At the beginning of the study, Dr. Genevieve Dingle and her team of researchers at the institute in Brisbane hypothesized that extreme music would provoke anger and agitation in its listeners. What they discovered was that, in reality, “extreme music matches and helps to process anger.”

From a happier mindset to more motivation, there’s a host of wonderful reasons to get lost in playing a good heavy metal riff on guitar. Below are just a few science-backed benefits of playing your favorite metal riffs, (as if you really needed convincing):

Metal music relieves anxiety
Studies show that playing heavy music can physiologically ease stress and even reduce depressive symptoms. Researchers in the United Kingdom even claim that certain metal songs can reduce anxiety up to 65 percent. Simply put, heavy metal music can be medicine for your mind.

Playing Metal can put you in a great mood
No joke, a thrashing metal riff can really have you feeling like you’re “Walking on Sunshine” (sorry). Research shows that metal music can elevate your mood and make you happier overall. Performing metal with a great tube overdrive and gain will elevate your feelings. Just think of how good it feels to hit an open "A" power-chord through a cranked Mesa-Boogie.

Metal can help you heal
Admit it: You’ve played Metallica, MegaDeath or Slayer when you've been angry. Science shows it actually helps you get over anger issues. Research suggests that heavy music may actually induce positive emotions. A 2014 study found that when people listen to heavy metal songs they experienced more empathy because they connected to the darkness of the music’s artist but experienced no “real life implications” of the dark event. This, in turn, can feel cathartic, according to experts.

Metal can be motivating after a long day at the office
Pumping out an Anthrax riff may be the key to getting rid of those 9 to 5 blues. Studies suggest that playing metal music can boost your feelings of personal power. 

Test subjects were asked to describe something that might make them irritated or angry, for example relationship problems, or problems at work. They were then asked to sit in complete silence for ten minutes, or, alternatively, to listen to ten minutes of a heavy metal song of their own choosing. The researchers discovered that metal music relaxed participants as effectively as sitting in quiet meditation.

“We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions,” researcher Leah Sharman said. “When experiencing anger, extreme-music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger.”

“The heavy music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired,” Dr. Dingle added.

Playing metal music can improve your sleep
A 2008 study found that listening to heavy metal music helped ease insomnia symptoms in college students and young professional adults. Other research also suggests that heavy metal music can put you in a meditative state. Talk about a nice way to enhance those Zs. Next time you can't fall asleep, grab your axe and slam out some Maiden or Priest, you'll be sawing logs in no time.

Listening and playing metal is a major performance enhancer
Got a big project? Listen to some metal tunes. Can't spark those creative juices, grab your guitar and play some Pantera. Studies show just thinking of heavy music can boost cognitive performance on tasks like academic work and creative projects. Research also suggests that having a solid metal riff churning in the back of your mind can help you do well under high-pressure situations.

Heavy Metal Music Sticks with You
There’s a reason those old metal songs from the 80's never fade from your heart: Metal has been around for over 30 years and the music is the ultimate prompt for nostalgia. Experts believe that your brain stays attached to music from your youth because you listened to it when you were gaining a sense of yourself, your social connections and the world around you. In a way, playing all of those punk and metal riffs as a teen helped form your identity.

Ready to plug in that guitar and riff-out yet?


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