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Language Study Reveals The Happiest Music Fans

Published 1st March 2021
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Music is well-renowned for its ability to affect our mood, reduce anxiety, and improve wellbeing, which got us thinking: which music fans are the most positive as a result of their music choices?

To find out, the team here at OnBuy conducted an in-depth language study into the most popular subreddits for each music genre – 27 in total. We analysed each comment looking for mentions of positive words and swear words to identify which music fans are the ‘happiest’ and which are the most ‘aggressive’ when it comes to their word choices.

Who are the happiest music fans on Reddit?

Who are the happiest music fans on Reddit?

The music fans that use the most positive language online

Upon analysing the number of positive words used by fans of each leading music genre, we found that the following music fans were the ‘happiest’ and most positive online:

music fans that use the most positive language online

Our study revealed that Jazz fans are the most positive, making 77 mentions of positive words per 100 comments. Of the 23,884 comments posted by Reddit’s Jazz community, members used an impressive 18,439 positive words, with the most popular positive words being ‘Great’ (4,759), ‘Good’ (4,169), and ‘Best’ (1,691). 

When bearing in mind experts have claimed that Jazz music can affect the type of brain waves produced in humans, which can either stimulate or relax the brain as a result, it makes sense that these fans are so positive. 

Metal fans were found to use the second most positive language online. Boasting one of the biggest Reddit communities with 1,388,473 members, Metal fans made 62 mentions of positive words per 100 comments. Throughout the community’s 57,837 total comments, 35,737 positive words were used, with ‘Good’ being the most common (8,457 mentions). ‘Great’ received 6,687 mentions and ‘Nice’ received 4,045. 

Fans of Opera placed as the third most positive online, with a total of 56 positive words for every 100 comments. Of Opera’s 15,384 total comments, there were 8,630 positive words used, with their most popular word of choice being ‘Good’ (2,221 mentions).

Folk fans ranked as the fourth most positive online, according to our study. With 2,062 comments overall and 1,208 positive words used, our research found that the folk community, made up of just 23,751 members, made 55 positive words per 100 comments – one less than Opera in third. We found that the most popular positive word used by the folk community was ‘Great’, which had 326 mentions.

Fans of Indie, Rock, Trance, Blues, Grunge, and Classical also ranked among the top 10 most positive, with each genre’s community making between 52 and 43 mentions of positive words per 100 comments on Reddit.

The music fans that use the least positive language online

music fans that use the least positive language online

On the flip side, our study found Drill fans to be the least positive online. The Drill community made almost 85,000 comments on the platform, but mentioned positive words just 9,614 times, which equates to 11 mentions of positive words per 100 comments. According to our analysis, the most common positive word used among the Drill community is ‘Good’, which was mentioned 3,796 times, followed by ‘Best’ (2,416 times). 

Grime fans followed, making 22 positive word mentions for every 100 comments posted on their subreddit. In total, the community posted 22,268 comments and mentioned 4,879 uplifting words, with ‘Good’ being the most popular, and ‘Best’ following in close second. 

Drum and Bass fans were the third least positive on Reddit, according to our study. With a total of 36,713 comments by the community and just 8,611 positive words, Drum and Bass fans used just 23 positive words per 100 comments made. 

Interestingly, the genre with the most online fans, Hip Hop, was also the seventh least positive on social media, since fans of the genre made just 31 mentions of positive words per 100 comments. Interestingly, Hip Hop fans used the highest number of positive words, with 242,919 in total, however, they also made the most comments overall with 779,169.

You may also like: The Most Trolled Music Artists On Twitter

The music fans that use the most profanities online

We also sought to discover which music fans most used vulgar and bad language online, in contrast to positive language. Upon studying the main 27 genres of music, we found fans of the following genres to make the most use of foul language on Reddit:

 music fans that use the most profanities online

Punk fans were revealed to swear most frequently online, using 32 swear words per 100 comments. In fact, the Punk community swore 28,015 times in total across 87,817 comments, which is equivalent to making just 3.1 comments for every swear word used. Unlike all 26 other genres whose most commonly used swear word was ‘Sh*t’, Punk fans’ most popular swear word was ‘F*ck’. 

Our analysis found that Hip Hop fans used 25 swear words for every 100 comments, thus ranking in second. Of all 779,169 comments on the subreddit, Hip Hop fans swore 195,991 times, and 88,230 mentions were of the word ‘Sh*t’ alone! In total, we found that Hip Hop fans made 3.9 comments per swear word used, and also swore around six times more times than fans of any other genre. 

Swearing 17 times on average per 100 comments made, Rap fans used the third most vulgar language online. The community of 129,440 swore 6,489 times over 37,500 comments analysed, which is equivalent to making 5.7 comments per swear word. Over a third of profanities were the word ‘Sh*t’, which was mentioned 2,849 times.

The music fans that use the least number of profanities online

We also sought to discover which music genre’s fans were least likely to use expletives online, with the following results:
The music fans that use the least number of profanities online

Fans of Classical music and Reggae swore the least, using expletives just twice for every 100 comments posted. Despite having a community of 1,342,613 fans, members of the Classical music subreddit swore just 930 times within their 49,019 comments - equivalent to making 52.7 comments for every swear word used. To put this into perspective, Hip Hop fans swore roughly 210 times more than fans of Classical music!

Swearing just once more per 100 comments, Folk fans come next, swearing just three times for every 100 comments. In fact, six of the 13 swear words studied were not mentioned at all by this genre’s fans who swore just 56 times in total in their 2,062 comments. Due to the genre’s small community and lack of expletives, it was revealed that fans of Hip Hop swore 3,499 more often than Folk fans. 

Trance, Opera and R&B fans were found to swear the third least often online, with each genre’s fans swearing just four times per 100 comments - equivalent to making between 23 and 25 comments per swear word. Fans of R&B swore just 90 times, whilst fans of Opera and Trance both swore 606 times, according to our research. Where they did swear, however, the most popular choice of expletive across the genres was ‘Sh*t’.

The psychology behind music and mood

music psychology

Intrigued to find out why some fans are happier than others, we spoke exclusively with WeCure’s psychologist, Şirin Atçeken. “It is no secret that music affects your mental health, but it may surprise you that it is claimed that most jazz and metal fans are the happiest amongst music lovers. And this is for several reasons.

Jazz and metal are emotive and allow us to express our emotions whilst we listen to the music, but it’s two extremes. Jazz is a major stress buster and causes positive effects. It physically changes the body and lowers heart rate and pulse, making us feel calmer and relaxed. Jazz can also improve memory, focus, and boost our mood.

Metal also affects us and is a natural anger management tool. It allows us to tap into our anger sensors, and actively address them, helping to manage these negative emotions. People feel that their anger is matched to the music when listening to metal, and therefore find it easier to process it. Metal formulates a safe, and healthy space for this to happen. In some cases, metal also combats loneliness and makes us feel less alone in these emotions, allowing the listener to accept them.”

But it’s not just the music itself that creates a safe space to process and release emotion – it’s down to the people who commonly listen to these genres, too. By gathering together to form an online community of like-minded individuals with common interests, music fans can enjoy a comfortable environment to share their feelings. As mentioned in our study, metal fans boast one of the largest Reddit communities of all, with a whopping 1,388,473 members and counting.

Şirin said: “Another reason is that jazz and metal are notorious in building communities. People who listen to these genres are more likely to find common ground with other listeners and become part of the community - more so than pop music or classical. These communities provide kindness, relatability, friendship, and a space to share feelings, ideas, and a safe space to just be. This support increases happiness, positivity and feelings of love and acceptance.

One final reason that jazz and metal fans may be happier is that many of them, especially in older years, have accepted who they are as individuals and are more assured of themselves. Acceptance and understanding is the key to happiness after all."


listening to music
  • Firstly, we used a range of articles to collate a list of the most popular music genres. Using Reddit, we then located the most popular subreddit of each music genre, removing those with less than 20,000 members.
  • These positive words were then used to analyse the comments of all posts on each music genre’s subreddit in the past year. The number of mentions per positive word was noted and added together to create an overall total of positive mentions.
  • Using these numbers, we then calculated the number of positive words mentioned per 100 comments to create the final ranking.
  • All figures were correct as of 08/02/2021 when data was extracted.

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