Skip to main content

Heavy metal lowers blood pressure and reduces anxiety, according to new study

Lamb of God
(Image credit: NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Gone are the days when heavy metal was regarded as tailor-made for the angriest and most wound-up members of society. In fact, a new study has revealed that the genre is actually one of the best for lowering blood pressure and anxiety levels.

The study – conducted by hair transplant specialists Vera Clinic – asked 1,540 volunteers aged between 18 and 65 to complete non-verbal stress-eliminating reasoning tests, while listening to a variety of Spotify playlists. 

The participants were also fitted with heart rate and blood pressure monitors in order to study the effect of each playlist throughout the experiment.

The results revealed that – second only to the '80s-pop-themed soundtrack of UK Channel 4 show It's a Sin, which reduced blood pressure in a whopping 96 percent of volunteers – heavy metal was the most successful in reducing stress – with 89 percent of volunteers showing a reduction in blood pressure, and amongst those an average heart rate reduction of 18 percent.

Regarding the results, Doctor Ömer Avlanmış of Vera Clinic says, “Angry music can help listeners process their feelings and as a result lead to greater well-being.”

“The results may seem surprising on first inspection – but medically they make a lot of sense,” she says regarding the results of the '80s-pop-themed playlist. “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.”

So whatever your metal of choice, if you're feeling low, stick it on and crank that volume. And if anyone has a problem with that, you're backed up by science.

I'm a Staff Writer at Guitar World. I've played guitar for 15+ years and have a degree in Music Technology (Mixing & Mastering). I suppose that makes me qualified to talk to you about this stuff? I'm into all genres of music, but first and foremost I love all things rock and metal.