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Can Listening To Loud Angry Music Actually Make You Feel Less Angry?

It has long been believed that listening to angry music can make anger issues worse – but is the reverse true?

The origins of anger

From an emotional standpoint, anger is often seen as a villain in our lives. It disrupts harmony, strains relationships, and can even lead to violence. But music that conveys anger and aggression could be an unlikely ally in helping us navigate and process these strong emotions.

Anger is the emotional child of pain. When we recognize the source of our pain, that pain evolves into anger. Anger and sadness are close relatives, springing from a similar sense of powerlessness and defeat. Physiologically, anger manifests as a rapid heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, quicker breathing, and increased muscle tone.

The degree of anger can range from mild irritation to all-consuming fury. How we interpret anger is also influenced by underlying moods and past experiences.

In many scenarios, it’s not just the situation that triggers our anger; it’s also our expectations of how we should feel. For instance, you feel resentful towards someone who’s slighted you. If they say something to you later, your reaction is likely to be anger – even if the exact words from a friend wouldn’t trigger that response.

Anger need not be a negative emotion

Contrary to common belief, anger isn’t exclusively harmful. It can catalyze change, drawing attention to a situation that needs remedying. Unlike fear, which tends to isolate, anger is an interactive emotion. It arises in response to external stimuli and prompts us to act.

Musical genres like heavy metal often get a bad reputation for inducing anger, aggression, and anti-social behavior. The sonic characteristics – chaotic, loud, and powerful – may be unsettling for some. Yet, these very attributes can also serve a therapeutic purpose.
The music might attract listeners who are already angry, enabling them to delve into and process their emotions. This regulatory function of music drives us to choose songs that resonate with our current emotional state, facilitating emotional adjustment.

Music to calm the anger

You might think that tranquil tunes are the answer to calming an angry mind, but surprisingly, metal music’s heavy chords and aggressive lyrics can be equally therapeutic. In practice, people who listen to what many consider “angry music” often report feeling more uplifted, inspired, and generally better about their emotional state.

This suggests that such music can act as an emotional regulator, dialing down stress levels, hostility, and irritability. So, rather than being an outlet for aggression or unrest, metal and other aggressive genres could empower you to manage your emotions more effectively.

Angry music serves as an emotional mirror. It allows us to explore our feelings fully, aiding in their diffusion. The levels of stress and irritability drop post-listening, leaving us in a more constructive and motivated state. This can be an eye-opener for those who have always viewed such genres as merely an outlet for aggression and unrest.

In summary

So the next time you find yourself overwhelmed with anger, try metal or another aggressive genre. You might find that the music resonates with your mood and transforms it, empowering you to manage your emotions more productively.

Do you find listening to angry music makes you angry or calms you? Tell us more in the comments.

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