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December: Mental Health Focus | Metal Digest & Heavy Metal Therapy

This month is a very special one for Metal Digest and we are *so* stoked to bring you along this journey.

We are hosting a Mental Health Focus campaign with Heavy Metal Therapy.

Heavy metal therapy is an online community project about the link between heavy metal music and mental health, specifically the possible well-being benefits of engagement with extreme music that metal fans often describe.

It is primarily a collection of resources created by metalheads, for metalheads, with a focus on sharing stories and lived experiences, building playlists, and reflections in the form of blogs and academic writing.

This content is linked to social media which allows for further engagement amongst members of the community and is supported by moderators who act as ‘roadies’ facilitating the running of the project.  

Our goal and aspiration is to post our stories, educate, share resources, encourage our readers to talk about mental health, and most importantly create a community bound with the sounds of heavy metal, so that we are all, less alone.


“Like all of you, I realized very quickly that metal is good for my mental health. Brutally honest songs, cathartic gigs a community that is accepting, open and friendly. When you find out someone is a metalhead, things change between you. You suddenly realize you share some of the same values, beliefs, and philosophies.

I trained as a mental health nurse and a lot of my studies were around the recovery model (which looks at a person’s strengths and finding their own voice). I don’t do that anymore because unfortunately, I developed severe mental health problems. When coming out of the end of a particularly bad relapse I came across a group called Heavy Metal Therapy. HMT is part of a wider movement within the metal community. They were looking for input from those with experience of mental health problems. We are now a growing community accumulating experience and involvement in research. We are also linking up with a lot of organizations to form a worldwide community that is legitimizing how good our music is.

A lot of us who went on to work in mental health and academia took with us a love of our music and the belief that it is good for our wellbeing. We recognized that there is a uniqueness to metal in that it hits difficult issues head-on lyrically and can be used as a voice for distress. We know how the rapture of being at a gig makes us feel included. We get rid of anger in the consensual violence that is the mosh pit.

The best bit is that a lot of this is in line with existing and ongoing research. 21st-century Mental Health is about looking at a person’s strengths, at their values, and what makes them feel alive. Music, culture, and spirituality can be as important to someone’s recovery as talking and drug therapies. Metal has the potential to give us a voice to express our pain. Metal has role models who talk about mental health. Metal can emotionally regulate us. Metal can help us build a solid group of friends who don’t give a fuck about what we look like. Metal even encourages exercise, being outdoors (festivals), learning new things, and helping others. “

— Ben, Heavy Metal Therapy Roadie

We will keep the conversation going and we will be sharing interviews, playlists, articles and resources so stay tuned for more!

Would you like to share your story? Drop us a line! Please feel free to fill in the contact form below or send us an email at

Come on in!

Metal Digest is an online music magazine specializing in rock and metal. It is aimed at the mobile market, who can get their fix whilst on the go. Whether you walk, drive, fly, sail or teleport make sure you do it with Metal Digest, bitesize heavy metal rock and metal news, reviews and interviews for when you’re on the go.

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