Many people assume listening to sad music makes them feel worse; in actuality it does the opposite. Listening to a sad song triggers the release of prolactin hormone which eases feelings of grief and sadness by decreasing physical pain in your body.
Researchers have uncovered various factors which explain why we enjoy sad music, including memory association and our biological response to it.
It triggers memories
People enjoy listening to sad music because it brings back nostalgic memories, be they of an ex-partner’s departure, a death, or anything else traumatic that happened in their past. Many choose these types of songs because they remind them of painful times in their life – in addition to providing comforting emotional support that makes them feel less alone during trying times – something which is invaluable to mental wellbeing.
Music that triggers the release of prolactin hormone can also help alleviate feelings of grief by relieving stress and emotions, leading to reduced suffering and sorrow. Therefore, some listeners turn to “tearjerkers” when feeling down.
Some people also turn to sad music as an effective way of forgetting about negative feelings or experiences, like after a failed relationship. Adele’s Someone Like You could help ease any heartbreak you’ve been going through by helping you move past past hurts while looking forward to what’s great about your current one.
Numerous surveys have demonstrated that people typically associate listening to sad music with psychological rewards such as understanding feelings, emotional assurance, savoring emotions and emotional communion. It is thought these rewards may be related to homeostatic regulation – an internal balance maintained within an ideal range that promotes optimal functioning, wellbeing and survival.
People often report enjoying listening to sad music as it helps them process negative emotions and feelings more efficiently, acting as therapy against depression. Indeed, sad music has become an increasingly popular method for mental health treatment – it may lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety levels and target parts of the brain that traditional forms of therapy cannot reach; some even believe that sad music could provide more effective and economical antidepressant alternatives; however it remains unknown why this occurs; scientists are working hard at understanding this phenomenon so hopefully soon enough they’ll have an answer.
It’s a coping mechanism
Sad music can elicit strong emotional responses in some listeners, often making listening pleasurable even though its effects on mood may be negative. Researchers continue to explore why this occurs.
An individual who has recently experienced a breakup may find listening to Adele’s Something Like You soothing as they mourn their losses and move forward from the relationship, rather than dwelling on its difficulties and staying stuck in the past. This may help process emotions more efficiently while moving past difficult memories more swiftly and satisfyingly than dwelling on them and staying stuck there.
Listening to sad music can elicit strong positive emotions such as nostalgia. Recollections of pivotal moments in our lives often trigger such reactions, and can boost one’s mood significantly – another reason some prefer sad music as background noise.
Sad music can also help people process negative life experiences and find meaning from them – this practice is known as depressive realism, and can be therapeutic for some individuals; however, some find it challenging to focus on such emotions without dwelling upon them, leading them down a path towards depression and other mental health conditions.
Sad music can also evoke feelings of melancholia, an emotion defined as feelings of loss and melancholy. While grief and melancholia are negative emotions, they may also bring with them longing, comfort, or pleasure – two positive aspects that may also play into this equation.
Sad music can elicit more than just positive emotions; it can also produce an exhilarating or euphoric response in some individuals, possibly related to dopamine release from neurons, as well as stimuli such as smiling faces or words. While sad music may cause this response temporarily, it should not be used as a form of temporary happiness; nor as an alternative treatment option for mental health conditions.
It’s a mood enhancer
People in distress can turn to music as an outlet. Though it may seem counterintuitive, listening to upbeat tunes may actually help improve your mood by diverting away from negative thoughts and emotions and redirecting focus toward positive ones. Furthermore, music allows us to express ourselves creatively while connecting with others – although if serious mood disorders such as depression arise it’s essential that therapy be sought immediately.
Sad music often brings back fond memories. These can range from times past which were significant or meaningful in life to recent events that left one feeling sad – either way they provide an emotional connection and empathy with the artist and can trigger release of neurotransmitter dopamine; dopamine being associated with feelings of pleasure and rewards which in turn boost one’s mood.
Listening to sad music can also help alleviate depression by stimulating production of prolactin – a hormone known for decreasing grief by attenuating the pain caused by loss. Prolactin plays an essential role in dealing with trauma-inducing events as it keeps negative emotions from intensifying into destructive emotional responses that could spiral out of control.
One reason people like listening to sad music is that it encourages them to explore their emotions more in depth and make sense of past events. Research also indicates that when people become sad they tend to become more realistic – an effect which makes the therapy even more therapeutic.
Researchers suggest that the enjoyment people derive from listening to sad music might be caused by its similarity to common emotions, with their brain reacting similarly. Although researchers are uncertain how this accounts for its pleasure-giving effects on listeners, further investigation should be carried out in order to gain more insights into this phenomenon.
It’s a form of therapy
One study demonstrated that listening to sad music actually improves people’s mood. Researchers asked participants to name the feelings associated with listening to such songs, and compared those results with how they felt without any music at all. Most commonly associated with sad music included nostalgia, sadness and tenderness – though those with higher levels of depression reported feeling less depressed after listening to such tunes; likely because this helps distract themselves from negative memories associated with each track and make them feel better overall.
But this solution won’t always work; according to another study, listening to sad music may increase rumination – an integral component of clinical depression. Rumination involves dwelling on negative events or feelings and can become a cycle of negativity that keeps getting repeated over and over. Since it often reminds listeners of past experiences that led them down this path of negativity in the first place, listening to sad music may trigger even further reflection upon these memories, leading them down yet another spiral of negativity.
Ruminating can be hard to stop once it starts; therefore it is crucial that you find an effective means of managing these emotions and feelings – one way is seeking professional assistance.
Listening to sad music can make us empathize with characters and situations portrayed in its lyrics, providing comfort if we’re grieving for something we have lost like loved ones or an unhealthy relationship. Furthermore, its lyrics can prompt reflection about your own life experiences and provide opportunities to look at things from a positive angle.
As another form of mood regulation, many listen to sad music for this very purpose. Sadness releases dopamine into your body which then boosts your spirits and makes you happy again – unlike prescription-only medications!
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that listening to sad music will only provide temporary comfort; it won’t treat underlying mental health issues; therefore if you are experiencing feelings of depression or low self-esteem it is wise to speak to a medical provider regarding treatment options available to you.