DROWN OUT NEGATIVITY
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.