Music, Your Testosterone and Your Mental Health!

I wanted to share something this week that is quick and fun, and that I thought was interesting.

I once theorized that the heavy metal and hard rock music genres might raise testosterone levels given their more aggressive sound. Or even that men with higher testosterone may gravitate TOWARD genres like heavy metal and hard rock for that same reason.

As it turns out, reality isn’t far from my theory, but there was a little something unexpected.

According to a recent April 2018 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, using a sample size of 76 men and women, it was found that men who listen to music genres such as heavy metal or soft rock more often possess higher testosterone levels than men who prefer genres such as classical and jazz.

The hormone differences by musical taste were negligible among the female participants, however.

Now, I was honestly surprised about soft rock!

I would’ve never guessed that a dude who listens to, say, Air Supply would be sporting the same T levels as, say, a guy who blasts Metallica.

This is not to say that there are not outliers, but on average, that was how testosterone played a role in musical preferences.

On a different but somewhat related note, according to another 2018 study out of Australia, it was found that listening to heavy metal and being part of the heavy metal “community” actually protects young people from mental health problems!

Believe it or not!

A couple reasons given were that the music helped the study participants cope with feelings of anger and ostracization, and build a sense of identity and community.

But, I am sure that might also be the case for other genres of music that have a distinct identity and community, such as Goths.

But, that paper only explored Metal.

And that study echoes a 2015 paper, where they found that listening to extreme music, such as Metal, did not make angry participants angrier, rather it interestingly appears to increase positive emotions, and may represent a healthy way of processing anger for listeners!

But, hey, there are always outliers. Comment if you see what I did here.

I can tell you from personal experience that lifting heavy iron while listening to heavy music definitely puts me into the zone and gets me absolutely pumped!

I literally leave the gym walking tall after a strong session. Then again, I attribute pulling heavy deadlifts to catalyzing that state of mind as well.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ripping a heavy barbell off the floor is the closest a human can get to feeling Godlike, in my opinion. And I recommend every one of you experience that! Preferably each and every week, health allowing.

Anyhow, let me know what you all think in the comments below. I thought this was an interesting topic, and not one you often hear discussed in the fitness or music communities. At least not beyond conjecture.

What kind of music gets YOU pumped? Do you ever notice any negative effects on your lifting without the presence of that music?

REFERENCES

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886917306980

http://www.iflscience.com/brain/men-with-high-levels-of-testosterone-prefer-soft-rock-to-classical-music/

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jcop.21949

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4439552/

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