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Research Shows that Sad Girl Playlists Have Stayed Popular One’s psyche can benefit from listening to sad music.

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A new study discovered that sorrowful music positively affected mood because it restores a person’s sense of belonging.

At a social gathering or party, selecting an upbeat track, such as “That’s What I Like” by Bruno Mars, is common. On certain occasions, it may be desirable to listen to sad and relatable music, such as Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero.”

The preferred music genre can significantly impact an individual’s emotions and disposition, regardless of whether it is hip-hop, country, rock, or jazz.

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This phenomenon is particularly evident in the context of sad music. According to Tara Venkatesan, Ph.D., a cognitive scientist at Oxford University and an operatic soprano, different song attributes, such as tempo, mode, instrument selection, and dynamics, can elicit unfavorable emotions in the audience, as reported by Health.

A recent study in which Venkatesan participated and was published in the Journal of Aesthetic Education indicates that listening to sad music can induce sadness in individuals. However, the study also suggests that this practice may positively impact a person’s mood by creating a sense of connectedness.

According to Venkatesan, the primary objective is to highlight that sad music holds significance in establishing a feeling of association, irrespective of whether it genuinely elicits sadness in the audience. The sense of connection, rather than genuine sorrow, enhances the experience of listening to sad music.

Research Shows that Sad Girl Playlists Have Stayed Popular

Why Does Everyone Cry to Sad Songs?

The study’s authors speculated that the emotional connection engendered by sad songs is similar to that of heartbreaking chats.

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As Venkatesan gave as an example, when someone tells you about their terrible breakup, you may feel sorry since you can see they are genuinely saddened and lonely. However, as the conversation progresses, you may sense a more profound significance in your exchanges with this individual and a deeper connection between you.

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The study’s authors proved that listening to sorrowful music might make people feel closer to each other.

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In the first section, the authors emphasize the importance of expressing one’s feelings through music. Nearly 400 people were given descriptions of four songs to choose from.

  • A musical composition that exhibits intricate and profound sentiments yet is marred by significant technical deficiencies.
  • A musical composition that exhibits technical perfection yet cannot express intricate or profound sentiments.
  • A musical composition that exhibits a high degree of emotional depth and technical proficiency.
  • Musical composition lacks emotional expression and exhibits technical imperfections.

The participants were instructed to evaluate songs based on their embodiment of the essence of music.

The study revealed that the participants considered emotional expression more significant than technical proficiency during the evaluation of their song selections. Songs with high dynamic content were selected more frequently, even with lower technical quality.

In the subsequent phase of their study, the researchers recruited 450 fresh participants to evaluate their sense of connectivity while engaging in either music listening or conversing with others. The participants were asked to rate their level of connection with 72 distinct emotions, such as love, inspiration, contempt, and sadness.

It was discovered that the emotions that establish a sense of connection during conversation are the same emotions reflected in the music that is highly rated for exemplifying the essence of music. These emotions include sadness, love, joy, loneliness, and sorrow.

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In addition, the participants reported that musical compositions that convey melancholic emotions such as agony and hopelessness are not enjoyable to hear. Still, they effectively embody the fundamental nature of music and facilitate meaningful discussions.

Venkatesan explained that sad music is valued for its ability to create a sense of connection, regardless of personal enjoyment.

Previous studies have indicated that individuals may listen to sad music without any specific incentive, solely due to their preference for the particular piece or artist. According to a study conducted in 2014, approximately 33% of the participants reported listening to sad music while experiencing positive emotions.

Can Sad Music Make You Feel Down?

According to Shannon Bennett, Ph.D., who serves as the clinical director for NewYork-Presbyterian’s Center for Youth Mental Health, the effect of sad music on an individual’s emotional state is contingent upon their personal experiences and characteristics. This was reported to Health.

An individual may experience sadness upon hearing a specific song due to its association with a particular memory. The interconnection between emotions and memories can lead to despair when an individual listens to music that triggers a specific memory.

Bennett explained that a musical composition associated with either of those experiences could elicit a genuine sense of sadness. The intensity and duration of a personal experience, as well as the subsequent actions taken, are essential factors to consider.

This statement is consistent with a study conducted in 2016, which revealed that individuals who listen to sad music might sustain patterns of pessimistic thinking. Such individuals are often prompted to recollect melancholic memories or negative thoughts.

The experience of music and its impact on individuals is a distinct and subjective phenomenon.

According to Venkatesan, sad music has the potential to elicit various emotions in individuals, beyond sadness, based on their mental health condition. The author referenced prior studies regarding individuals’ encounters with sad music and identified three primary categories of emotional expression: grief, melancholy, and sweet sorrow.

According to the speaker, grief primarily comprises negative emotions such as despair. However, melancholia and sweet sorrow involve a blend of emotions, including longing, nostalgia, and even positive emotions, such as comfort and pleasure.

Psychological Benefits of Music

Bennett provided clarification that the presence of sad music does not necessarily imply that the listener is experiencing sadness. It has been observed that sad music can positively impact the listener’s mental well-being.

According to the speaker, music can serve as a means to practice enduring a complex emotion, which can be emotionally beneficial. The practice above is commonly referred to as emotional exposure. It is utilized in extensively researched therapy protocols to assist individuals in confronting emotions they may be hesitant to engage.

According to Venkatesan, sad music can create connection among individuals, similar to how a sincehowersation can foster a feeling of connection. The positive health benefits of the importance of relationships experienced while listening to sad music are highly probable.

According to certain studies, listening to sad music can induce a sense of “emotional communion” whereby the listener experiences a shared emotional sadness with the singer or composer.

According to Venkatesan, listening to sad songs can serve as a virtual contact form that may alleviate loneliness by providing a sense of acceptance and understanding.

According to the user, additional research indicates that listening to sad music enables individuals to connect with their inner selves and contemplate their emotional encounters, thereby facilitating their mood regulation.

According to Venkatesan, music significantly impacts the human brain and physiology, which can consequently affect one’s mood.

According to certain studies, listening to calming music can reduce salivary cortisol and psychological stress levels. This reduction indicates improved stress management and regulation when faced with stressors.

Bennett observed that music can elicit a positive emotional state, much like how a melancholic melody can evoke feelings of sadness. Individuals have the option to adopt affirmative actions that may lead them toward experiencing positive emotions.

The researcher, Bennett, concluded that the research findings might aid individuals in acknowledging that experiencing sadness is acceptable and that strategies are available to assist in overcoming such emotions.

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