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Totally Tubular! '80s Pop Songs Can Beat Stress, Lower Anxiety & Heart Rate, Study Reveals

Feb. 17 2021, Published 4:57 p.m. ET

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When life is tough … listen to ‘80s jams? Apparently, yes! According to a study by Vera Clinic — a Turkey-based cosmetic surgery center that specializes in hair transplants — it asked 1,540 adult (ages 18-65) volunteers to experience mental stress tests, during which they listened to several Spotify playlists, including ‘60s “Golden Oldies,” ‘70s rock anthems and ‘90s R&B. 

Overall, playlists with upbeat and cheesy tunes from the ‘80s helped the participants feel at ease. As a result, 96 percent of the group had a decrease in blood pressure while listening to the throwback tunes, while 36 percent felt their heart rate drop.

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On one of the playlists, which is called “It’s A Sin," it featured several hits, including Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings," Blondie’s “Call Me," Laura Branigan's "Gloria," Toni Basil's "Hey Mickey" and Daryl Hall and John Oates' "You Make My Dreams (Come True)."

So, why are ‘80s music potentially the cure to easing anxiety? According to Vera Clinic’s Dr. Ömer Avlanmış, he says “the results may seem surprising on first inspection — but medically they make a lot of sense.”

“[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,” he explained. 

Additionally, heavy metal classics, 2000s pop songs, modern-classical, which included the Bridgerton soundtrack (not surprising — have you heard those calming violins?), also helped lower anxiety.  

As for what made people aggravated? Techno music had a 78 percent increase in blood pressure, most likely due to the numerous beat drops, while '70s rock anthems, dubstep, '60s golden oldies and jazz and blues also left people with a big increase in their blood pressure, Metal Sucks reported.

So, whether you want to jam out to Whitney Houston, Prince or Guns N' Roses, during the work day or on a walk, it sounds like it will be calming for your brain — and your heart! 


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