"I'm not OK."
"So long and good night."
"Welcome to the Black Parade."
My Chemical Romance fans, myself included, know these lyrics all too well. The band released their first hit single "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" off their second album, Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge, during Myspace's peak popularity in 2004.
Suddenly, MCR was a thing. Teen girls swooned over lead singer Gerard Way's eyes, thick with smoky eyeliner, and screamed along with him to every track for the band's next three albums until they sadly split in 2013.
As a former 13-year-old broody teen who doodled on her Chuck Taylors from Hot Topic (LOL), wore fishnet arm sleeves with thumbholes (LOL x2) and sported a fake Claire's nose ring for the better part of puberty (LOL x1000), my personal fave MCR songs for venting my ~teen angst~ were "Famous Last Words" and "I Never Told You What I Do For A Living."
These aren't exactly the quietest, chillest songs out there. They're angry. They're loud. They were the kinda music you blared from your speakers until your parentals banged on your bedroom door demanding you to turn that infernal noise down.
But new research published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal suggests your addiction to MCR and the countless awesome bands like them is actually good for you. Yep, really.
In the study, titled "Extreme Metal Music and Anger Processing," the University of Queensland's Dr. Genevieve Dingle and honors student Leah Sharman examined how extreme music like heavy metal and screamo helps us process anger. Turns out listening to angsty tunes really makes you feel better about whatever struggle you're going through.
"We found the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions," Sharman told The University of Queensland News. "When experiencing anger, extreme music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger ... The music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired."
You probs already knew this if you're into this kind of music -- I mean, that's likely why you listen to it in the first place -- but now there's scientific evidence to support you whenever someone ignorantly questions your taste in music.
(Just don't call it "emo." MCR's Way denounced that label in a 2007 interview, and called the genre "f--king garbage.")
For the study, 39 extreme music fans participated in an anger induction interview meant to increase their, well, anger. Immediately afterwards, some of the group blew off their steam by listening to music of their choice. The rest of the participants, the control group, sat silently sans headphones. Everyone took the PANAS, a psychological questionnaire that measures positive and negative feelings, at different time points during the experiment.
"Results showed levels of hostility, irritability and stress decreased after music was introduced, and the most significant change reported was the level of inspiration they felt," Sharman said.
These results contradict what the researchers call the "extreme music causes anger" stereotype, and instead support the notion that it "helps to process anger." In other words, listening to angry music makes you feel less like you're gonna punch a hole in wall -- not the other way around. Jamming out to MCR sounds like a much healthier way to process your anger, if you ask us.
I can definitely vouch for that feeling of increased inspiration, and I'm still riding the screamo/rock/punk/whatever-label-you-want-to-slap-onto-this-genre wave years after Myspace made it cool. "Make Me Wanna Die" by The Pretty Reckless, fronted by former "Gossip Girl" actress Taylor Momsen, has been the most-played song on my iTunes since its release in 2010. I own all their albums. I go to their shows alone because none of my friends are into the music.
I guess it really wasn't just a phase, Mom.