Why Do Sad Songs Make Us Feel Good? Adele ’30’: The Psychology of Why Sad Songs Make Us Feel Good
Adele’s new album, 30, is now available to purchase.
We streamed its first single, Easy On Me, to hundreds of millions of people last month.
This song elicits emotions that are difficult to put into words.
However, we can all agree that it is a depressing song.
It isn’t self-evident that we should enjoy sad music.
We usually try to avoid feeling sad.
Such music would be depressing and unappealing to an alien.
Sad music, on the other hand, draws us in and helps us to feel better.
So, why does listening to sad music make you feel so good?
Sad Music’s Biology
To begin, there are biological theories to consider.
Hormones like prolactin and oxytocin are released when we experience real-life loss or empathize with another’s suffering.
These assist us in coping with grief and loss.
They achieve this by calming, consoling, and supporting us.
Such chemical changes may occur in us as a result of feeling Adele’s pain or recalling our own.
It’s possible that clicking on Adele’s song is akin to clicking on our own metaphorical morphine drip.
This theory is still up for debate.
Sad music does not appear to increase prolactin levels, according to one study.
Other research has suggested that prolactin and oxytocin play a role in making sad music feel good.
Sad Music and Its Psychology
We enjoy sad songs because they “move” us deeply.
This is known as kama muta, a Sanskrit term that means “moved by love.”
Chills, goosebumps, a flood of emotions (including romantic ones), a warm feeling in our chest, and elation are all signs of being moved.
Read more:What does it mean to be moved? Goosebumps, tears, and tenderness
But why do we feel moved? “The things that tormented me the most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive,” wrote American writer James Baldwin.
This could explain why people with a high level of empathy are more likely to be moved by sad music.
Indeed, after listening to 30 songs, we may want to watch reaction videos to see what other people are thinking.
This allows us to share a powerful emotion with others.
Our sense of being moved is boosted by a sense of communal sharing, which also triggers feelings of comfort and belonging.
Here’s another idea…
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