Mindful Moments at a Metal Concert

By: Mackenzie Chapman

Mindful Moments at a Metal Concert

Share with your community


Sigh. Not one of those bah-humbug sighs. I’m talking one of those deep life is not perfect, but hey I made it! I’m here right now! sighs. That’s what I felt when the lights flickered and the first smashes of the drum echoed through the Shoreline Amphitheater. My head started nodding and my boots tapped the concrete as Rob Zombie bounced on stage and rolled through his latest songs. I couldn’t contain the massive grin across my face. To me, this is mindfulness.

I was surprised to find that Rob Zombie was on to what I was feeling. No, I didn’t get to meet him backstage or as he humbly walked through the crowd. Rather, halfway through his set, as the crowd jumped and screamed in excitement, he made a simple request. He called for everyone to put down our phones, stop recording videos and posting photos. Just be here. “Do you remember how to rock? Do you remember how to rock?!!” I roared with over 10,000 fans, raw energy ripping through the amphitheater. Yes! Of course! That, I can do!

Sure, I’ve always loved heavy metal, along with other genres of music that would make most of the crowd that night cringe (bluegrass anyone?). But I wasn’t merely excited for my favorite songs. I felt energized. I experienced relief. I had a sense of grounding.

Studies have recently shown that listening to extreme music, such as heavy metal, helps listeners regulate anger “as effectively as sitting in silence.” I haven’t had my brain scanned or heart monitored lately, but listening to music that matches what I’m experiencing has been more effective in processing those feelings lately.

Have you ever had to sit in silence waiting for a call from the Intensive Care Unit? Have you tried to take a quiet, restful moment in the midst of life’s tragedies? Silence is the space where the waves of frustration, impatience, outrage, irritation and grief flood in. Pushing those sensations away is impossible, but it’s also difficult to feel fully without identifying with them.

Almost all day, every day, I manage competing priorities and versions of myself. Daughter, sister, friend, partner, co-worker, employee, manager, caregiver… who isn’t ten different things to hundreds of people? It’s easy to forget that within all those commitments and roles, there is me. And everything I feel is part of what makes me who I am. That’s what the energy of heavy metal reminds me: I are not alone with these feelings. Good, bad and ugly simply equals human.

So one way or another, we need to experience the tough feelings, to be able to work through them. And one of the ways I like to do it is by throwing the sign of the horns with fellow fans, listening to the best metal artists in existence. It’s cool to know science supports this approach.

Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter on the latest industry updates, Rethink happenings, and resources galore. Simply follow the link to the footer and enter your email.

Related Resources

  About this Podcast Episode On this episode, Angela and Kristin discuss a topic that...
Some of us grew up in households, and even schools, where punishments were the norm....
  About this Podcast Episode On this episode, Angela and Kristin discuss yet another important...

Learn more about Rethink

Take care of your people with RethinkCare’s evidenced-based solutions that support the well-being your entire employee base in all aspect of their lives - from personal to parenting, and professional

Build strong school communities and healthy, safe learning environments for all your students with RethinkEd’s evidence-based strategies and technology solutions across SEL, Special Ed, Behavioral & Training

Start, grow and manage your practice with Rethink’s workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical best practice tools that help you optimize outcomes and operations

Support your members and your provider networks with Rethink’s solutions that support autism care management across your network while offering unique value-added services to your members.

logo rethinkfirst white

Together We’re Powering Potential

Transforming the Behavioral Health landscape requires scalable platforms that address a broad range of mental, emotional, and wellness needs. At Rethink First we are proud to work across the continuum of care to help individuals and the people they care about live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives.

The leading behavioral and mental health enterprise platform to support working parents, caregivers and their families.

Award-winning solutions empower districts and their educators to improve outcomes and wellness for all tiers of students and to build healthy and safe learning environments.

Fully integrated workflow automation and evidenced-based clinical tools help behavioral health organizations optimize outcomes and operations.

Patent-pending clinical solutions and member engagement services streamline autism care management processes and support outcomes for health plans, providers, and members.