Global Health News
Sad Music Helps Ease Depression
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a The Verge article by Angela Chen)
You might want to keep that breakup playlist handy.
According to a study published in the journal Emotion, people with depression listen to sad music because it makes them feel better.
Researchers at the University of South Florida asked 76 female undergrads (half of which were diagnosed with depression) to listen to various classical music clips. The scientists found that participants with depression indicated they would rather listen to sad music than happy music.
Then, the researchers gave the participants new clips of happy and sad instrumental music and asked them to describe how the tracks made them feel. Again, the depressed participants preferred the sad music, but they also stated that the sad music made them feel happier. “They actually felt better after listening to the sad music,” study co-author Jonathan Rottenberg told WUSF News. It seemed to have relaxing and calming effects.
This challenges the assumption that sad people listen to sad music to make themselves feel worse, when, in fact, it may be a coping mechanism. It’s an intriguing finding that backs up earlier research and could have implications for fields such as music therapy.