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I just read (and loved) Leah Sottile’s Finding Happiness in Angry Music, featured in The Atlantic. I related to Sotille as she described her experience of rocking out to heavy metal as (strangely) soothing, and cited how heavy metal enabled her to express and process some of her ‘negative’ emotions, namely, anger, in a way that little else allows for. Heavy metal for some, hardcore punk, gangsta rap and other forms of more aggressive music for others, allows people to “actively engage with anger in a controlled, safe, temporary way.”

In her article, Sotille cites a study done by Maya Tamir and Brett Ford at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in which individuals are asked to perform certain roles and get to choose from three different types of music prior to their role-play. Tamir  found that the people who chose to be pissed off actually showed a greater sense of well-being overall than the people who avoided feelings of unpleasantness.

“Music is often used as a way to manipulate emotions… emotions are something that we humans know how to use strategically, and avoiding the bad ones and always seeking the happier ones won’t really get us anywhere” says Tamir.

 

*What do you listen to when you need to let out some rage? 

 

Read the full article:

Finding Happiness in Angry Music