Music can be an amazing way to express our emotions and form bonds with those around us, while simultaneously soothing feelings of sadness when combined with lyrics that tell a narrative story.
According to a recent study, listening to sad music may actually improve your mood by helping to reduce daily stresses.
It’s a form of catharsis
Catharsis is the process by which one comes to terms with experiencing trauma or stress, and purification as well. Catharsis helps individuals better comprehend and address any underlying issues or conflicts they are dealing with.
Cathartic emotions may be brought about through various activities, including talking to a friend or listening to music. Such emotional release can be vital in helping individuals overcome any lingering difficulties they’ve been having while also improving how a person feels about themselves overall.
People who have experienced catharsis can often use their emotions to influence others to express themselves in similar ways. If you have recently suffered a tragedy in your life, sharing that experience with a close friend or relative may provide an outlet for those feelings.
Apart from speaking with friends or listening to music, another way people might experience catharsis is through art-making. Artists may suffer from depression; when their work reaches cathartic proportions they can often find relief in its creation.
Catharsis can be particularly therapeutic when people are feeling sad or grievous; but people can also experience catharsis through positive experiences like winning big prizes or fulfilling their dreams.
Catharsis dates back to Ancient Greek times, where it meant “purification” or “cleansing.” Later, this term came to refer to any number of excreting actions, and eventually entered our language as a way of describing how someone feels after experiencing some form of trauma or stress.
While some writers see catharsis as a positive force in literature, others take an opposing view. German playwright Bertolt Brecht held that theater should avoid creating catharsis as this can distract audiences from paying attention to what ideas the play is trying to communicate.
Sad-to-happy music can help artists reengage with their creative energies after experiencing hard times. Songwriters frequently compose tunes based on tragic or distressing events, which can help people to move through emotional hardship more freely.
It’s a way to relieve stress
Music can be an effective stress reliever and is a wonderful way to unwind after an exhausting day. Music offers many health benefits that help reduce stress by relaxing the brain, lowering blood pressure and decreasing cortisol production – three key ways it reduces tension.
Additionally, music may help improve sleep. According to research at the University of Singapore conducted by researchers who observed participants listening to both happy and sad music had the same beneficial impact.
Though many believe only happy music can bring comfort, both types can provide effective stress relief. The key is finding songs you love and listening to them regularly for relief.
Some of the most beloved songs contain emotive and passionate lyrics that provide a great way to reduce stress by making music more relatable.
People enjoy music because it helps them relax and access their emotions more fully, enabling them to release feelings while connecting with other people in meaningful ways.
Meditation can be an invaluable way to reduce your stress by helping you let go of worries and focus on living the moment.
An emotionally powerful sad song can provide great comfort when feeling down or experiencing high stress levels, stirring up nostalgic, peaceful or self-pitying feelings in us all.
BAST conducted a study that demonstrated how listening to Marconi Union’s song, “Weightless,” reduced anxiety levels by 65-75%. This may be attributed to its carefully constructed harmonies, rhythms and bass lines designed to lower heart rates and stress hormones while simultaneously calming participants down.
Recent research also demonstrated that listening to sad music caused greater mind-wandering than happy tunes, possibly because its faster tempo evokes less physical response or simply because its mixed emotional undercurrents engendered stronger thoughts and ideas.
It’s a way to express emotions
Music can evoke many feelings within us; sometimes as an outlet to release some emotions and sometimes as a means to cope with them. Additionally, it provides us with an avenue to connect with others and find understanding for their experiences.
After a long day at school, you might be looking forward to relaxing to some pleasant music. Your go-to tracks could get your groove going right away! Unfortunately, however, some songs disguise themselves as upbeat tracks but may actually contain hidden sadness that are only apparent upon close listening.
Studies show that music can have a profound effect on our emotions in many different ways. It can provide an outlet for sadness or even release dopamine – the “feel good” hormone which has the power to shift one’s mood drastically.
One study demonstrated that people experiencing sadness were able to appreciate happy songs even more when presented with sad lyrics, while major keys often evoke happiness while minor keys may cause mental tension and lead to feelings of melancholy.
Though many believe that people tend to gravitate towards sad music when feeling down, researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan report in their Psychology of Music paper that listening to sad music can actually lead to positive feelings. Kazuma Mori and Makota Iwanaga report listening to sad songs can actually bring pleasure rather than pain.
They conducted an experiment involving 51 college students. First, they listened to upbeat songs with sad lyrics in Swedish or Spanish they didn’t understand; later they read translations of these lyrics and rated their feelings on a scale from zero to six.
Notably, when participants listened to sad-sounding songs with happy lyrics in a foreign language, their experiences became more unpleasant than when listening without these foreign lyrics. Conversely, when hearing similar songs performed in Japanese with translations read aloud they felt less unpleasant compared to when hearing without lyrics at all.
It’s a way to connect
Music can be an excellent way to bond with others and build connections, helping us feel less alone and even improving mental health. But listening to inappropriate songs could lead to negative consequences.
People tend to resonate more closely with sad songs than happy ones, and numerous studies have demonstrated how listening to an upbeat playlist can provide an effective means of alleviating emotional strain.
Sad music can provide a source of catharsis when going through difficult experiences, like experiencing a break-up. Someone in that situation might listen to Adele’s Someone Like You and cry until feeling better; while someone prone to depression might listen to the same song while dwelling on how their relationship never worked out and leave feeling even sadder than before.
According to a new study, music that makes you feel happy or sad more complexly stimulates the pleasure centre in your brain in similar fashion as food, sex or drugs do.
Music provides the perfect example. A song which moves seamlessly between major and minor chords is far more complex than one with only one key progression – this difference allows a song to be emotionally fulfilling.
As listeners of music, we tend to search out and appreciate its most enjoyable and impressive features – be they lyrics, instrumental riffs or melodies.
We seek songs with innovative arrangements, but those which combine several of the above elements into one tune really stand out.
As an example, one of the most captivating aspects of any song could be its complex harmony – whether that involves multiple instruments, vocal parts or a more intricate melody line – and is sure to grab people’s attention.