Listening to music to cope with everyday stressors
Everyday stressors—the irritating and disturbing events that happen in the context of everyday life—are common. The present research examined the relationship between everyday stressors and the use of music listening as a coping mechanism. In particular, it examined the use of music listening to cope with different types of everyday stressor and examined the relationship between this usage and listener characteristics, including demographics and music engagement style. Participants in the USA, Australia, and Malaysia (N =553) completed an online survey. A factor analysis was used to identify five types of everyday stressor: Social, Financial, Performance Responsibilities, Work-related, and Daily Displeasures. Individuals listened to music significantly more often to cope with social and work-related stressors than performance responsibilities and daily displeasures. Moreover, individuals who demonstrated a stronger affective listening style and those who reported listening to music for emotion/problem-orientated and avoidance/disengagement reasons were found to listen to music most often to cope with everyday stressors. These findings have implications, for both listeners and health professionals, when considering how music listening can be used as a self-administered tool for coping with everyday stressors.