Turns out, heavy metal is the last thing people want to hear at the doctor’s

Photos of a doctor and of Metallica's James Hetfield with his hands over his ears
(Image credit: Donato Fasano/Getty Images | Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Heavy metal is the music people least want to hear when they’re at the doctor’s, according to a new study.

Medical news site The Intake surveyed 1,002 Americans about their health habits and favourite musical genres. 58 percent of the respondents said they were rock fans, making it the most popular type of music, with 15 percent self-identifying as full-on metalheads. 50 percent said they were pop fans and 25 percent were R&B and hip-hop fans.

However, 31 percent of everyone surveyed stated that, of every genre in the world, heavy metal is the last thing they’d want to hear in a medical waiting room.

Writer Andrea Curry noted: “With its serene and timeless compositions, classical music was deemed the most relaxing genre by 50% of patients. This choice could transform a tense wait into a tranquil interlude. The smooth and mellow tones of jazz might be why it also ranked highly for relaxation, followed by the understated vibes of Lo-Fi.

Curry then wrote of more aggressive forms of music, including metal: “Conversely, the intensity of metal, hip-hop, and rap were the least favored, indicating that these genres may exacerbate an already stressful medical situation.”

The study also found that metalheads are the type of music fan that visit the doctor the least, with 27 percent of metal-loving respondents saying they “rarely” go.

“As for health check-up regularity, country music fans were the most diligent, with 53% visiting the doctor on a regular basis,” wrote Curry. “Meanwhile, metal fans were the least likely to visit the doctor’s office, with over 1 in 4 admitting they rarely did so.”

Fans of punk rock yielded more mixed results. The survey named punks the fifth-healthiest kind of music fan overall, but also noted that they were among those who most frequently admitted to lying to their doctor.

“Folk music fans topped the charts for dishonesty with doctors at 31%, closely followed by indie lovers and punk rockers,” reported Curry.

“On the flip side, classical music aficionados were least likely to distort the truth.”

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.