South Korean high school students almost never have time to rest or enjoy a brief night out with friends. While in the process of preparing for college and pondering about their future, these students are overworked, stressed, and anxious due to both individual and parental pressures. For these depressed teens who are suffocated with academic responsibilities and, in some cases, faced with temptations for committing suicide, a few hours of play may be all that’s necessary to evoke a smile.
“Since I’m only a few years away from graduating, I’m constantly stressed about the SATs and my grades,” said Christy Yoon, a sophomore at a Palos Verdes high school. “I study until late at night and get up early for school, but I’ll occasionally try to go to karaoke with my friends to eliminate stress.”
Many teens tend to be influenced by K-pop. While individuals may have their “bias” group and find happiness in simply listening to the group’s songs or watching the members perform, research has also shown that music can positively influence a stressed teen’s life. Although all genres of music prove to be effective in stress management, it is up to the individual to see which type is most enjoyable to him/her.
According to a study by the Department of Music of the University of Sheffield, “group singing can produce satisfying and therapeutic sensations even when the sound produced by the vocal instrument is of mediocre quality.” In addition, studies have shown that the endorphin and oxytocin hormones may be released when singing and that they stimulate feelings of pleasure and alleviate anxiety and stress.
“I always have a great time shouting and dancing to my favorite songs,” said Stephanie Kim, a sophomore at a Palos Verdes high school. “Since I know my friends won’t judge me, I really get to be in the moment and forget about all my worries while we’re all jumping around like crazy people together.”
While karaoke and listening to music is just one of the many ways to cope with stress, it’s vital to remember that we all need a break. Though most strive to tread through stress, this burden only slows us down.