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Like music to your ears: Music influences teen mental health

Like music to your ears: Music influences teen mental health

Music has an incredible amount of influence over our emotions. For adolescents, who spend a good amount of their time mulling over teen issues like crushes, grades, and peer relationships, music provides a place to escape from the hecticness of everyday life. Recently, researchers have discovered that music can have both positive and negative influences on teen mental health. It just depends on the genre and “mood” of the music.

Music that pumps you up

One study found that hardcore music — such as heavy metal — positively affected teen mental health. The study, conducted by the University of Queensland in Australia, showed the ability of music to reduce levels of stress, irritability and hostility in teens who felt angry or sad. Poor teen mental health, whether it be anger management issues or extreme stress, can be improved by listening to music that teens can get lost in — including pumped-up, aggressive music like heavy metal and screamo.

teen mental health

Image source: Flickr user- aukirk


Taste matters

Conversely, some genres of music can have a negative effect on teen mental healthAccording to recent studies published in the Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, certain musical styles (such as sad and upsetting music) can have long term effects on the brain. These studies found that anxiety and neuroticism levels were higher in teens who listened to moody music as a way to vent their emotions.
Researchers found noticeable differences between guys and girls participating in these teen mental health studies. Guys who listened to music to wash away negative experiences and emotions had less activity in their medial prefrontal cortex, whereas girls showed increased activity. These results, researchers claim, signify that the way teens listen to music may have long term effects on their brains.
While the effect of music on teen mental health can be helpful or harmful, it plays a significant role in a young person’s development. The next time your teen is sitting alone in his or her room listening to mood music, remind them of the harsh effects this may have on their mental health.

Trails Carolina can help

If your teen is struggling with depression, anxiety, or problems with aggression, Trails Carolina can help. Our multidimensional wilderness therapy program can help your son or daughter get back on the right track towards future success and happiness.
For more information about how Trails Carolina can help your teen, please call 800-975-7303.