Music helps heart health

A new study suggests that listening to your favorite music is actually good for your heart. The research from the Maryland School of Medicine supports a previous study showing that laughter is good for vascular health. From the University of Maryland:
Music, selected by study participants because it made them feel good and brought them a sense of joy, caused tissue in the inner lining of blood vessels to dilate (or expand) in order to increase blood flow. This healthy response matches what the same researchers found in a 2005 study of laughter. On the other hand, when study volunteers listened to music they perceived as stressful, their blood vessels narrowed, producing a potentially unhealthy response that reduces blood flow...

Compared to baseline, the average upper arm blood vessel diameter increased 26 percent after the joyful music phase, while listening to music that caused anxiety narrowed blood vessels by six percent. “I was impressed with the highly significant differences both before and after listening to joyful music as well as between joyful and anxious music,” says Dr. (Michael) Miller...

Most of the participants in the study selected country music as their favorite to evoke joy, according to Dr. Miller, while they said “heavy metal” music made them feel anxious. “You can’t read into this too much, although you could argue that country music is light, spirited, a lot of love songs.” says Dr. Miller, who enjoys rock, classical, jazz and country music.
"Joyful Music May Promote Heart Health"


  1. I have to call bull on her genre judgments, which are plainly influenced by personal bias. Mainstream country music (the kind you have to listen to everywhere) raises my blood pressure. Metal relaxes me and does the whole beneficial blood vessel thing.

  2. I was under the impression that country music is pretty doom-laden? Thematically, if not musically?

    And to be honest, a lot of metal is pretty funny.

  3. I agree with Clumpy. Metal makes me feel good, empowered, alive.
    Which is not the case if some guy is blowing reggaeton full volume through his car stereo.

  4. Well, no matter how much you enjoy metal, the sounds are objectively very aggressive.
    Aggression->boost to the sympathetic nervous system->constriction of blood vessels. No matter how cathartic or energetic your music is, if it makes you pump adrenaline, it will probably be bad for your heart.

  5. I think it has more to do with the fact that heart patients tend to be older, and older people are more likely to listen to country than to metal.

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