May the anger soothe your soul

It was always there. Buried deep within me. There were hints as a youth. Those hints started to become more overt as I aged. It waxed and waned a bit over the years. Yet as I age, it has become stronger, more obvious, and more important to me.

I freaking love heavy music.

Like really, really love it. I do have my limits. There are certain very extreme bands or sub-genres of metal that are still a bit too much for me. But as I have aged, I find myself drawn more and more to heavy music. Genres like death, thrash, black and doom metal just seem to call to me. I siren’s song I cannot resist.

Often, people ask if this music makes me angry. Quite the opposite.

I’m not alone in thinking this either. I am aware of multiple studies in the sociological literature that highlight this fact: heavy and aggressive music helps to regulate emotions, particularly negative emotions. There has even been some suggestion that this leads to better emotional coping skills.

I don’t doubt it. After a particularly rough day at work, it isn’t uncommon for me to find the heaviest, most aggressive music to listen to on the way home. And by the time I get there, much of that pent up negativity has been flushed right out of me.

I liken it to a lightning rod. The anger of the music helps to pull it out of me and siphon it away, to a place that is safe and is much less likely to spill out on those around me. That’s a win in my book.

And so, I find that the angrier the music, the more it just may soothe my soul.

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