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Heavy metal music and managing mental health: Heavy Metal Therapy

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Heavy metal music was thought to be associated with mental health difficulties in early research. However, fans and performers often describe it as helpful for managing well-being, and more recent research proposes that it may have a role in terms of processing emotions and/or as a positive community influence. This article describes the development and theoretical background of the online peer support project Heavy Metal Therapy, which is informed by ideas from the recovery movement, voice dialogue and narrative practice. It describes the current facilitation/moderation process for the project including the use of recovery stories and blogs, and the dissemination of recovery model ideas via social media for people who find metal music helpful for managing mental health and well-being.
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Keywords: heavy metal music; mental health; peer support; psychology; therapy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Metal Music Studies is the journal of the International Society for Metal Music Studies.

    The aims of the journal are:
    • To provide an intellectual hub for the International Society of Metal Music Studies and a vehicle to promote the development of metal music studies;
    • To be the focus for research and theory in metal music studies – a multidisciplinary (and interdisciplinary) subject field that engages with a range of parent disciplines, including (but not limited to) sociology, musicology, humanities, cultural studies, geography, philosophy, psychology, history, natural sciences;
    • To publish high-quality, world-class research, theory and shorter articles that cross over from the industry and the scene;
    • To be a world leader in interdisciplinary studies and be a unique resource for metal music studies.
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