Heavy metal made its loud, raucous debut in the 1970s, scaring the crap out of some people, especially parents.

With bold guitars, brash lyrics, and demonic imagery, heavy metal was completely different from mainstream rock music.


Alice Cooper is here and his snake is hungry for innocent children. Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.

As with any major shift in popular music, heavy metal was adored by teens and feared by their parents. Concern was abundant, especially after studies in the 1980s suggested young metal fans were at risk for poor developmental outcomes.

But no one bothered to see what happened to "metalheads" when they grew up — until now.

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Researchers from Humboldt State University conducted surveys with 377 people, including 154 who self-identified as metal fans, groupies, or musicians in the 1980s, to see how life turned out for former headbangers.

Turns out, much of that worry and fear was misplaced.

When it comes to satisfaction with life, apparently metal musicians and fans have a leg up on their peers.

Looking back on their youth, metal fans reported being significantly happier than their peers.

Photo by Patrick Lux/Getty Images.

They were also less likely to live with regrets.

While metal fans and musicians were more likely to engage in risky behavior (think sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll), they were also less likely to regret the experiences of their youth, with around 33% reporting having regrets, compared to 51% of non-metal fans.

Metal fans scored high in terms of identity development and community building in adulthood, too.

Photo by Carsten Rehder/AFP/Getty Images.

Research findings suggest metal fans felt a kinship within the metal community. These familial connections contributed to a strong sense of self and may have insulated them from the problems many young people face during adolescence, like low self-esteem.

While the results are in, there's plenty more to study, especially when it comes to music fans of color.

Though they were dismissed by mainstream society, 1980s metal fans were still predominately white. The authors of the study suggest an additional exploration of hip-hop fans, who don't necessarily have the benefit of white privilege.

Photo by Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty Images.

"Youth of color have to not only struggle with their own personal search for self, but they must cope with the knowledge that they will never be truly accepted by the larger culture in which they live," the authors of the study said.

But for now, proceed to rock and roll all night.

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And while you're at it, party every day. After all, it could be good for your health.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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