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.
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.
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.
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.