Feeling stressed? Can’t seem to find a way to relax and forget about the worries of life even momentarily? Cheesy 1980s hits just might be the cure you’re looking for!
You read that correctly. Cheesy 1980s hits can help you reduce stress. At least, that’s what a recent study claims, according to an article by The New York Post. The study was conducted by Vera Clinic, which is an Israeli cosmetic surgery center. Their specialty? Hair transplants.
Anyway, the clinic decided to survey 1,540 adults with ages ranging from 18-65. What the clinic asked the participants to do was to go through “a series of mental stress tests,” the article said. While taking these stress tests, the participants were made to listen to different playlists on Spotify.
The playlists covered many genres of music. “Golden Oldies” from the 1960s, rock anthems from the 1970s, hits from the 1980s, R&B from the 1990s, jazz, modern classical, and dubstep were a few of the genres.
What the study found, according to the article, is that the survey volunteers fell “the most pacifying effect” when the playlist they listened to included cheesy hits from the 1980s. According to the article, 96 percent of the volunteers reported a decrease in blood pressure when they heard the cheesy songs from the 1980s. Also, 36 percent of the volunteers said their heart rates decreased.
One of the playlists used in the study was associated with the British show, “It’s A Sin.” This playlist reportedly included 1980s-era songs such as “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division, “Freedom” by Wham!, “Call Me” by Blondie, and “It’s a Sin” by Pet Shop Boys.
Why Do Cheesy 1980s Hits Reduce Stress?
So, what is it about the cheesy 1980s hits that helps reduce stress? While the study was “purely observational” it appears to demonstrate that songs from that era can give listeners positive feelings of nostalgia. Dr. Ömer Avlanmış, of the Vera Clinic, reportedly first made this argument to the Daily Star, according to The New York Post.
“The results may seem surprising on first inspection — but medically they make a lot of sense,” the doctor reportedly said. “(These) 1980s pop hits could have positive nostalgia attached to them for many people, and their upbeat, party-like sounds can induce the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain, both increasing feelings of happiness and calm.”
Interestingly, study participants also reported lower blood pressure and heart rate when listening to heavy metal. Songs from the first decade of the 2000s also had a similar effect. Classical and R&B hits from the 1990s also reportedly calmed listeners.
So, which genres of music were the least successful at reducing stress. The results aren’t really that much of a surprise. According to the article, techno music annoyed the study participants the most. In fact, 78 percent reported an increase in blood pressure while listening to techno.