Arts & Entertainment

Sad Songs Can Make You Feel Better



Why Sad Songs Can Actually Help You Feel Better 

Is there anything better than connecting to a song with lyrics that speak to exactly how you’re feeling when you’re in a bummed-out mood? There is something cathartic about listening to sad music, specifically when you’re struggling with various emotions. Sinead O’Connor hit these sad tones perfectly in her rendition of “Nothing Compares 2 U” while “Angie” by The Rolling Stones perfectly describes what a person may be feeling after a lost love. Although these songs can undoubtedly trigger some serious tears, did you know that listening to sad music can actually help you to feel better? 

Why Do People Turn to Sad Music During Difficult Times? 

Any music lover will tell you that there is something completely comforting when it comes to listening to music, particularly when you’re sad. A 2014 study entitled “Paradox of Music-Evoked Sadness” uncovered an interesting array of information about the connection between sadness and the impact that music can have on this emotion. The study looked at many different facets, including the rewarding aspects of music-evoked sadness and other situational factors that helped shed light on the important role that sad music can play when transitioning from sad emotions into more positive ones.  

Some Songs Are Interpretive

A song can affect your mood regardless of age – it can strike a personal memory, or a moment in time you captured in a film, show, or real-life interaction. A song can change its own mood depending on the presentation – compare Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” with the original by Nine Inch Nails. A song can be a love song from the performer’s point of view, becoming a stalker song, as in the case of “Every Step You Take” by the police or “I Will Possess Your Heart” by Deathcab For Cutie. 

Music can trigger a multitude of emotions, but music can also counteract a number of emotions as well. This is just one of the many reasons why so many people who are struggling with sadness may start to feel some type of relief in the midst of despair when they start to listen to sad songs. 

Why Sad Songs Can Make You Feel Better 

There are a few key reasons why sad songs can help you to feel better. Here are just a handful of examples: 

  • Emotional rewards 

In many ways, listening to a sad song can help you to feel some type of emotional reward. Think for a moment about your favorite sad song. What were the lyrics of the song? Did you get lost in the beat and the tempo which made you feel as though someone else in the world understood exactly what you were going through? If the answer is yes, you likely felt some type of emotional validation or reward while listening to that song.


  • Better memories 

Sad songs tend to be on the slow side, which is something that can help you, yourself, slow down for a minute and really take stock of what is going on around you. Sometimes, all you need is that mellow pace to realize that the world around you really isn’t that bad and you have the strength that you need to carry on.  


  • A positive role model 

It’s not uncommon for a fan to draw inspiration from their favorite artist. By listening to a sad song from your favorite musician, you may be able to find what you need to pull you out of your funk due to the fact that that singer was able to do the same thing. 


Keep Your Sad Songs for a Rainy Day 

Everyone will experience bad days at a certain point in their life. Learning how to cope with this type of emotion with positive decisions such as listening to music will help you to manage what you’re feeling in that moment so be sure to set up a killer playlist with sad music any time you need it. Whether you decide to play it softly or blast it on your speakers, completely giving in to this type of music could be your first step toward happier emotions. 


Picture is licensed through Adobe Stock (I normally don’t credit that)

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