Heavy Metal Music and Managing Mental Health: Heavy Metal Therapy


Kate Quinn


Metal Music Studies




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.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Mental Health; Music Listening; Emotional Functioning; Wellness and Well-Being

Indexed Terms

mental health; psychology; heavy metal music; therapy; peer support; Emotions

Study Type

Editorial, Opinions, Position Papers

PubMed ID


Document Type