Popular Culture

10 Ways That Listening to Music Can Ruin Your Life


Jim Thirlwell of the band Foetus singing on stage at the Rathskeller in Boston.

Music may be able to soothe savage breasts but if you’re not careful then listening to music can also damage your life and sometimes it can do so irreparably. Not everything on our list is life threatening but every single one of these items is a way that listening to music can ruin your life to some extent:

Permanent Hearing Damage


Headphones have become an essential part of modern living. They let us stay in touch with our inner groove when playing music over speakers would be intrusive and just plain rude. The trouble is that most of us are listening to music that’s too damned loud. Loud music piped in over headphones can cause permanent hearing loss and in later life may result in total deafness. The World Health Organization estimates that 1 billion people are currently ruining their hearing in this way. So, if you’d like to hear your grandchildren sing along to their favorite songs – turn the volume down and keep it there.

Lousy Product Endorsements


When Katy Perry starts endorsing junk food; you know that music has gone to hell in a handcart and its’ not coming back. Unfortunately, the world is in the middle of an obesity epidemic and what’s to blame? Junk food. In the United States in 1990 there were fewer than 15 percent of the population who were considered obese by 2010 that number had risen to 36%! Obesity isn’t just unattractive – it kills. Obese people get heart disease, cancer and diabetes among other lovely illnesses. So when Katy sings about eating crap; she’s literally trying to kill you.

Songs About Ageing Can Kill


There’s a ton of research that show when stereotypes about how awful the ageing process can be are promoted – then society begins to see the elderly negatively. This in turn can increase rates of illness and result in the elderly being afraid to seek treatment because they don’t want to be seen as a burden on society. In short being negative about ageing kills elderly people. This is unfortunate because research from the English University, Anglia Rustin, shows that songs about ageing are depressing, stereotypical sad songs that focus on loneliness, pain and death. So music about getting older is probably going to kill some older people which isn’t very nice at all.

Pop Music Makes Your Less Creative


Pop music might once have been an intelligent art form but in the 2010s it’s basically written for the lowest common denominator. The average reading level of lyrics in pop has dropped over the years to reach an incredible 3rd grader’s point today. When you map people who listen to pop’s SAT scores you can see one thing; they do badly. Really badly. Listening to pop music appears to sap the creative intelligence of the listener. If you ever needed an excuse to burn your children’s awful music collection – this is it.

Pop Music Is Designed to be Addictive


Pop music has always been written to a formula but today’s pop is written to a scientific formula. It’s supposed to be repetitive and monotonous because that’s the key to stimulating the brain’s pleasure centers. Yup, not only does listening to pop make you stupid but it makes you an addict too.

Sad Music Can Mess With Your Mind


The more depressing your music is – the more likely it is that you will suffer from neuroses and anxiety. Overall there’s a clear cut case for listening to happy music because happy music us happy and sad music makes us sad. However, it’s worth noting that you can multiply these effects through lyrical content so happy music with happy lyrics makes you happiest of all and sad music with sad lyrics is the biggest bummer going and can seriously mess with your mental health.

Music Can Ruin Your Relationships

couple yelling at each other

Actually music can also start your relationships, too early, because research shows that teens who listen to sexually explicit music are more likely to jump into bed with each other and do the wild thing than those who don’t. Worse, for women it also creates unhealthy messages that they’re supposed to be ex objects and exist to please men. This in turn, according to researchers at least, leads to unbalanced and unhealthy long-term relationships between men and women.

Bad Taste in Music Can Ruin Relationships Too


On top of that bad music taste can destroy any relationship; at least according to LA Weekly. It should come as no real surprise that if you listen to death metal exclusively and your partner is committed to show tunes that your relationship has as much longevity potential as a Trump for President flyer.

Music Plus Driving Equals Crash


Only an idiot would listen to music on headphones while they’re driving though it turns out there are lots of idiots out there and many places are actually having to make it illegal to do so. But it’s not just the total dopes who risk their lives by listening to music on the go. In 2004, those lovely folks in Canada ran some reaction tests and found that the louder the music; the more likely you are to have a crash. Then Ben-Gurion university followed this up and found that music induced 3 mistakes for 98% of drivers in a 20 minute period… so turn the music off while you’re driving please.

Music Can Make Studying and Work Worse


Researchers at the University of Wales decided to take a look at how people perform work and study when listening to music. To establish a baseline they also examined how people perform in silence, how they performed listening to numbers being read out and how they performed while hearing a single number repeated over and over. The worst performers? Yup, you’ve guessed it – they were the ones listening to music that they enjoyed. So listening to music might wreck your career or stop your education in its tracks; it might be better to pick another form of distraction for the office or college.


Melissa Stenson
Melissa Stenson is a senior writer at PopCrunch. She covers movies, tv, and music news. She also writes engaging and fun lists about various pop culture events.

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