Young heavy metal listeners are more likely to suffer from depression, new study finds

Dr Katrina McFerran says teen metallers generally listen to music 'in a negative way'

Young people who are at risk of depression are more likely to listen to heavy metal music, a new study has found.

According to University of Melbourne researcher Dr Katrina McFerran, young people who gravitate toward heavy metal music repetitively are more likely to end up depressed.

McFerran has said she has conducted in-depth interviews with 50 young people aged between 13 and 18, along with a national survey of 1000 young people and said that those who listen to heavy metal generally do so “in a negative way”.

Speaking about her research, she said:

Most young people listen to a range of music in positive ways; to block out crowds, to lift their mood or to give them energy when exercising, but young people at risk of depression are more likely to be listening to music, particularly heavy metal music, in a negative way.

She continued:

When someone listens to the same song or album of heavy metal music over and over again, they do so to isolate themselves or escape from reality. If this behavior continues over a period of time then it might indicate that this young person is suffering from depression or anxiety, and at worst, might suggest suicidal tendencies.

McFerran added that if parents are concerned by their children’s listening habits, they should question them in detail about the music they listen.

She added:

If parents are worried, they should ask their children questions like – how does that music make you feel? If children say the music reflects or mirrors the way they feel then ask more about what the music is saying. If listening doesn’t make them feel good about themselves, this should ring alarm bells.