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

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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.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.