Men's Health (UK) - - Contents -

Cer­tain beats can have an an­tide­pres­sant ef­fect. Let Stor­mzy clear the grey clouds

Con­sider the idea of a ther­a­peu­tic playlist and you’d be for­given for con­jur­ing the so­porific sounds of a rain­for­est canopy or se­cret wa­ter­fall – pos­si­bly ac­com­pa­nied by the aroma of a Dip­tyque can­dle or the odd joss stick. For­given, but wrong. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, when it comes to au­ral ther­apy, it’s grime’s pound­ing an­thems that will best help to beat your woes.

While be­ing re­peat­edly told to “shut up” by Stor­mzy might sound like an un­likely emo­tional salve, Univer­sity of Cam­bridge re­searchers dis­cov­ered that the “mes­sages of hope” and nar­ra­tives of suc­cess preva­lent in the genre can sig­nif­i­cantly boost your men­tal health – and even ward off de­pres­sion. Sports­men com­monly em­ploy a psy­chother­a­peu­tic tech­nique known as “pos­i­tive vis­ual im­agery”, which in­volves fo­cus­ing your mind on where you’d ul­ti­mately like to be. Rap’s ac­counts of over­com­ing ad­ver­sity repli­cate this ef­fect, pro­vid­ing a means of break­ing free from your prob­lems.

Grime also boasts ben­e­fits be­yond men­tal health. Plug into Skepta on the tread­mill and you’ll en­hance your performance by 15%. Psy­chol­o­gists at Brunel Univer­sity found that fast-paced mu­sic is best for in­tense ex­er­cise, so grime – av­er­ag­ing at a rapid 140 beats per minute – will help you hit new fit­ness tar­gets. It also dis­tracts you from phys­i­cal dis­com­fort, spik­ing your stamina and mak­ing car­dio feel eas­ier. Plus, its af­fir­ma­tive lyrics can have the same mo­ti­va­tional ef­fect on the lis­tener as be­ing shouted at by a per­sonal trainer.

So toughen up your playlist with the hard-edged sounds of grime – a genre as “dis­rup­tive and pow­er­ful” as punk, ac­cord­ing to a Univer­sity of West­min­ster study, al­beit some­what kin­der on mind and soul.

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