October 22, 2015 | by Christian Milam

I consider myself a pretty healthy person. Despite my general laziness, I manage to stay fit. I can attribute this to a few causes – drinking lots of water, forcing myself to do at least 50 crunches a night, and listening to hardcore.

Depending on your level of involvement with hardcore, this will or will not surprise you. In the wake of several alternative to the alternative health movements like health goth and black metal yoga, hardcore for health is something that’s really only known within the genre.

I live in Texas, one of the most unhealthy states in the continental U.S., and my time at most shows is spent navigating a crowd of dudes who were sweaty and breathing hard well before they got in the door. But not at hardcore shows – they are (thankfully) filled with guys who look like they could get in the pit and then go for a run with little effort. Hell, they’d probably welcome it.

So why is this the case? Why is the hardcore scene populated with a generally fit bunch, as opposed to, say, country or heavy metal, genres that also appeal to passionate white dudes eager to blow off steam after work?

Listening to Aggressive Music Is Good For You: According to an Australian study, listening to “extreme” music can help regulate emotion, calm you down, and leave you with an overall PMA (that’s hardcore speak for Positive Mental Attitude).

Straight Edge Ethics Heal the Soul:
Not all hardcore bands subscribe to the sxe philosophy, but only the most unhealthy (or addicted) would argue that abstaining from drugs, alcohol, and other vices isn’t a good approach to life.

But if slowing down doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always the sociological, educational aspect of hardcore. A lot of hardcore music tackles a swath of important subjects, from street harassment and animal cruelty to mental health and DIY. Education is the root of healthy living, and hardcore tackles it head on.

A 3 minute PMA is Perfect for Getting Things Done: Hardcore, especially melodic hardcore, gives you a jolt of positive electricity, usually in 3 to 4 minute bursts. That’s the perfect amount of time to pick up a mess, make a smoothie, do those stupid crunches already, or any other activity that’ll leave you better off than you were before.

For example, Fugazi songs are about three minutes long – the perfect amount of time to brush your teeth or your beautiful, beautiful hair. I suggest “Fell Destroyer”, because Guy Picciotto telling you to “Ring the alarm” is a great way to start your morning.

Hardcore Gives You Life Pointers: Hardcore doesn’t just promote social good – its ferocious independence encourages you to ignore the naysayers, take control of your life, and do things your way. That wellspring of DIY is what encourages you to find and pursue what makes you happy, without fear. If hardcore is anything, it’s tough, and that fortitude helps you streamline your life to kick ass every day.

Christian Milam is a cartoon-faced writer in Houston, TX. She needs music as though it were a person, and likes writing about that, self-image, and overcoming childhood trauma. Follow her on twitter @mallpizza.