5 reasons people like to listen to sad music when they are down

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

It just doesn't make sense!

As soon as people feel down they usally start to look for ways to help themselves feel better, this makes a lot of sense because after all we all want to be happy right?. But why do some people start to listen to sad music when they are down?

Why would someone want to listen to negative sutff?
And what's even more strange is that some people actually feel better after listening to sad music!

How can this be?
In order to understand how music affects people's brains and emotions you need to know how people process the music and songs they listen to in their minds.

5 reasons people like to listen to sad music when they are down

  • 1) You are right: When we feel bad we always want someone to tell us that we are right. If someone thinks that life is unfair then he would feel much better if someone confirmed this belief. Now what sad songs do is that they repeat the same negative beliefs sad people have and make them think they are right
  • 2) You are not alone: People find problems much easier to tolerate when they discover that they are not the only ones affected by them. In my previous article Why do many people feel lonely after finishing high school or college i explained how students find life problems more bearable when they all suffer from them together. Now what a sad song does is that it makes the person think that he is not the only one suffering and so it makes him feel better
  • 3) Its not your problem: Most sad songs send indirect messages such "life is bad but you are good", "its not your problem its just the bad world you are living in"...etc. Although such beliefs are wrong they still make people feel better since they find something else to blame other than themselves
  • 4) Venting: Contrary to common beliefs venting bad emotions is one of the things that can help people feel better. When a person expresses his sadness in any form including listening to a sad song he usually vents some of those bad emotions without noticing.
  • 5) No further action is required: We humans are lazy by nature. We want quick results, we hate to work hard and we prefer to get things done for us without excreting any effort. Now what most sad songs do is that they reassure the listener that no further action is required from his side. After all if you are living in a cruel world then why do any extra effort? Even though those beliefs are very negative they help the listener escape from the burden of responsibility and so he feels better (see also Self deception examples)

Should i listen to sad music when am down?

NO.Even though Sad music can improve your mood for a short period of time still their long term effect is catastrophic. In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i explained how sad songs can turn your temporary negative thoughts into permanent negative beliefs that result in prolonged sadness and depression.

The only situation where it's ok to listen to sad music is when you make sure that the song lyrics doesn't include negative beliefs about life (which is very hard to find by the way). Vent your emotions, feel sad, talk about your problems but avoid negative music that can program your mind that way.

The book The ultimate guide to getting over depression was released by 2knowmself, the book provides a 100% guarantee for feeling better else you will be refunded. 2knowmysef is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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