From encouraging calm to instigating anger, music can have a profound impact on one’s emotional state and according to a new study, scientists have found that techno may not be the best option for reducing anxiety.

Research conducted by the Vera Clinic observed 1540 individuals between ages 18 – 65, who were played a selection of music from classical to pop to dubstep. Volunteers were connected to heart rate and blood pressure monitors while listening through a number of genre-specific Spotify playlists.

As one might expect, techno and dubstep were found to increase heart rates among the sample group of listeners with techno the “least relaxing” form of music. In contrast, the top genres found to decrease blood pressure were ’80s and ’00s pop, as well as heavy metal classics.

Clarifying the results, Doctor Ömer Avlanmış commented: “Medically they make a lot of sense. 80’s pop hits could have positive nostalgia attached to them for many people, and their upbeat, party-like sounds can induce the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain, both increasing feelings of happiness and calm. In terms of heavy metal, I’d observe that angry music can help listeners process their feelings and as a result lead to greater well-being.”

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Photo: pat00139