“Soothed by sadness” — from Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish

10 Nov

Soothed By Sadness

Nov 9 2014 @ 7:03pm


Tom Jacobs flags a new study that explains why we take solace in sad songs:

The results reveal that sad music brings up “a wide range of complex and partially positive emotions, such as nostalgia, peacefulness, tenderness, transcendence, and wonder,” the researchers report. Nostalgia was the most frequently reported emotion evoked by sad music (although it came in number two among Asians, behind peacefulness).

“The average number of emotions that participants reported to have experienced in response to sad music was above three,” they write. “This suggests that a multifaceted emotional experience elicited by sad music enhances its aesthetic appeal.”

In terms of timing, “our data suggest that people choose to listen to sad music especially when experiencing emotional distress or when feeling lonely,” the researchers report. “For most of the people, the engagement with sad music in everyday life is correlated with its potential to regulate negative moods and emotions, as well as to provide consolation.” In other words, sad music is “a means for improving well-being,” they write.

Something Epirotes have known for centuries…

Comment: nikobakos@gmail.com

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