Metal Music Helps My Anxiety

July 14, 2021 TJ DeSalvo

I’ve discussed my love of music on this blog a couple of times in the past. Though my tastes in music can be somewhat wide-ranging, without question, my genre of choice is metal. That may take some readers by surprise – metal seems like a kind of music that someone with anxiety would hate, given its reputation for being angry and abrasive. In this post, I want to go into a bit of detail with regards to why I like it and why metal helps my anxiety.

Metal Can Help Anxiety Despite Stereotypes

First, I want to spend a bit of time dismantling a persistent negative stereotype regarding what metal sounds like. For those who may not know better, metal is just noise – abrasive, amelodic, buzzsaw guitars and angry men growling for five minutes at a time.

Now, there certainly are bands who sound exactly like that. But only a small fraction of metal bands conform to that stereotype. In fact, my favorite kinds of metal – power metal, progressive metal, symphonic metal – are characterized by almost the exact opposite descriptions: melodic songs, clean singing, and adherence to traditional songwriting tropes.

This illustrates one of the big reasons why I love metal: it is incredibly diverse. If I’m feeling down, regardless of what way I’m feeling down, metal can be there to support me. If I want to listen to something sad, I’ll put on an atmospheric doom record. If my heart is pounding out of my chest and I need to listen to something cathartic, I’ll put on an old-school thrash or a melodic death metal album. If I want to feel like I can take on the world, I’ll put on something by a power metal band (power metal being my favorite subgenre of metal).

Metal Is Emotional

The fact that metal is diverse plays into another reason why I love it so much: it’s emotional. And because metal is, by its nature, extreme, it’s always very emotional. People with anxiety, or any other mental illness, tend to be more emotional people, and because of that, I would argue require art that tends to be more emotional than average. Metal plays into that very well.

I used the term “cathartic” above to describe some of the more violent subgenres of metal, but really, because of how emotional the genre as a whole is, every kind of metal can be cathartic. It can take a lot out of you to listen to a metal album – when you’re done, you can feel exhausted. A lot of times, that’s exactly what you need when you’re feeling overwhelmed to get all of those emotions out. I can think of no better way to do that than listen to a metal album.

I understand that metal is not the most friendly genre of music to get into, and some people are just going to be turned off from the start. But I hope that this has at least convinced some of you to open your eyes to what’s out there – if you’re feeling anxious, you can do a lot worse for yourself than listening to metal.

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2021, July 14). Metal Music Helps My Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: TJ DeSalvo

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