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Sad Songs Make You Feel Better?!

by Abby

So, I'm really happy that I found this article, because this is true with me! Sometimes when I hear a sad song that I can't really relate to, I feel better! Sounds sick, right?

A new study by the University of California at Berkeley reveals that listening to sad songs can make a person feel better. Researcher Stephen Palmer says, ''Like a sympathetic friend, music, movies, paintings, or novels that are compatible with our current mood and feelings are more appreciated when we experience broken or failing relationships. People experience serious emotional distress when intimate relationships are broken and look for a 'surrogate' to replace the lost bond. In one study, volunteers were presented with various frustrating situations and asked to rate angry music relative to joyful or relaxing music. The study contradicts popular opinion that upbeat music and humorous movies can help people get over a relationship break-up. Participants liked angry music more when they were frustrated by experiences such as being interrupted, or someone always being late.

In another study, the volunteers were asked to recall experiences involving loss. Preference for sad music was significantly higher when they had experienced the break-up of a personal relationship than when they had an impersonal loss, like losing a competition. Consumers seek and experience emotional companionship with music, films, novels, and the fine arts as a substitute for lost and troubled relationships.