Metal fans happier than those of other genres, new study finds

The report was titled 'The Life Experiences And Mid-Life Functioning Of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies, Musicians and Fans'

A new study has found evidence that fans of heavy metal are happier than those with other music tastes.

The Life Experiences And Mid-Life Functioning Of 1980s Heavy Metal Groupies, Musicians And Fans was recently published in the Self And Identity journal, alleging to have found that metalheads “were significantly happier in their youth” and “better adjusted currently” than peers who followed other genres at the time. They were also discovered to be happier than the youth of today.

The report sampled 377 people, either former metal fans, current metal fans or those who didn’t like metal past or present.


While the study admits that “metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky ‘sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll’ lives”, generally it was found that “the metalhead identity also served as a protective factor against negative outcomes”.

“Social support is a crucial protective factor for troubled youth,” the report reads. “Fans and musicians alike felt a kinship in the metal community, and a way to experience heightened emotions with like-minded people.”

However, the study also considered the possibility that those seriously affected by the ‘rock’n’roll lifestyle’ would be more hesitant to take part in such a survey.

NMEAndy Ford/NME

Meanwhile, another recent study found that listening to so-called “extreme” music can have a positive effect on an individual.

Researchers at the University Of Queensland in Australia recently investigated the theory that listening to musical genres such as heavy metal, punk, hardcore and emo causes anger.

The study was headed by Dr Genevieve Dingle and Honours student Leah Sharman, who used a sample of 39 regular ‘extreme music’ listeners.


Instead of the music increasing the individuals’ anger levels, the report found that it more commonly helped the subjects to “process anger”.


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