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.

Avatar of Graham Shannonhouse

Graham Shannonhouse

Get started today

Contact us today to learn how Trails Carolina can help your family

Contact Us LP

Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


Discover If Trails Is The Right Program For Your Child

Take our short online assessment and help us better understand how we can help your family.

treatment for anxiety in teens

Treatment For Anxiety In Teens: How Wilderness Therapy Can Help

At Trails Carolina, we will give your child the skills to manage anxiety in real-time as soon as they arrive on our campus. They will very quickly gain a sense of belonging at Trails because of the sense of community that naturally occurs with the other students who are dealing with the common struggles of learning to manage adolescent anxiety.

Depression And Anxiety Are More Common Than You Think

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. It is common for someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression and vice versa. The number of children and adolescents that struggle with anxiety and/or depression has increased over time. According to a report from 2011-2012, more than 1…
Mental Health New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Mental Health Resolutions for 2022

Traditionally the start of the new year is a time for adjustments and goal setting. We reflect on what we didn’t like about the previous year and optimistically make plans for bettering ourselves for the next. This time is ideal for incorporating these new year’s resolutions into one’s personal life. Most people focus on their…
family reuniting - trails carolina reviews
Trails Carolina’s wilderness camps for troubled teens are dedicated to helping teens work through behavioral or emotional difficulties, build trusting relationships with their family and peers, and achieve academic success.