Heavy Metal Can Help Lower Blood Pressure + Heart Rate, Study Reportedly Claims
Can listening to heavy metal help lower one's blood pressure and reduce their overall stress levels? That's what a recent study from a cosmetic surgeon in Istanbul has reportedly concluded.
The results from the inquiry by Vera Clinic, a Turkish hair transplant and rhinoplasty practice, were published last week (Feb. 11) by MetalSucks, after which the New York Post and Guitar World also reported the claims. It showed that heavy metal was one of the best musical genres for lowering blood pressure and heart rate, second only to '80s pop in terms of its effectiveness.
The study recruited 1,540 adults, ranging in age from 18 to 65, for a series of mental stress tests. During the tests, the participants listened to various Spotify playlists of different popular music genres. Researchers then gauged their physiological reactions in response to the music.
A mix of metal classics elicited a decrease in blood pressure among 89 percent of those studied. The heavy metal also prompted a reduction in heart rate in 18 percent of the listeners. The '80s pop playlist — the soundtrack for the British show It's a Sin — fared better, however, prompting a blood pressure drop in 96 percent of respondents and a heart rate reduction of 36 percent.
Conversely, the metal tunes caused an increase in blood pressure for 11 percent of participants; the '80s pop a BP spike in 4 percent. Still, the number of respondents showing a blood pressure decrease and drop in heart rate would seem to prove that metal can have a soothing effect.
"The results may seem surprising on first inspection, but medically they make a lot of sense," offered Dr. Omer Avlanmis, the study's leader. "In terms of heavy metal, I'd observe that angry music can help listeners process their feelings and as a result lead to greater well-being."
As for what musical genres fared the worst, it seems that techno may aggravate listeners the most. A playlist of techno classics gave 78 percent of respondents an increase in blood pressure, only 22 percent showing a decrease. Seventy-seven percent of participants also showed a BP uptick when listening to '70s rock anthems, with only 23 percent recording a reduction.
It's not the first time a study has posited heavy metal's health benefits. In 2019, a Ph.D. psychologist, professor Nick Perham, theorized that metalheads often have a better capacity for handling their emotions due to the aggressive nature of the extreme music they consume.
Now, metal listeners can add a prospective advantage in blood pressure and heart rate health to their favorite music's positive attributes. Talk about an entertaining way to give oneself a wellness boost!
It all goes to show that heavy metal can indeed be good for one's health.