Use of Mp3-Players as a Coping Resource
Skanland, Marie Strand
Music and Arts in Action
University of Exeter
A crucial aspect of maintaining good mental health is to cope successfully with everyday stressors. This article explores the MP3 player as a technology of coping related to the stress of everyday life, in particular two common stressors in the urban environment: crowding and noise. The MP3 player has become a prime medium for everyday music listening, as individuals can carry a vast amount of music with them wherever they go. This unprecedented availability of music raises questions about its impact on the listener, or, as I will refer to him/her, the music user. In order to better understand the effects of this use, this article asks: how are mobile music devices used as a coping resource or device? The research presented here is based on twelve interviews with regular users of MP3 players who live or work in an urban environment. In fusing research on portable music players with research on stress and coping, this article suggests that the MP3 player may be a valuable coping device, enabling music users to enhance their subjective well-being and mental health.
Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 15-33