With its links to gangs, drugs and guns, hip-hop music has never professed to be beneficial for health.

But Cambridge University psychiatrists believe that "hip-hop therapy" could help people with depression.

In an article in The Lancet Psychiatry, the team claims that lyrics that speak of overcoming hardships offer a refuge for the desperate, and that rapping about problems acts as an emotional outlet.

"Much of hip-hop comes from areas of great socioeconomic deprivation, so it's inevitable that its lyrics will reflect the issues faced by people brought up in these areas, including poverty, marginalisation, crime and drugs," said Dr Akeem Sule.


"In fact, we can see in the lyrics many of the key risk factors for mental illness, from which it can be difficult to escape."