STUDY: Depressed People Feel Better After Listening To Sad Music

Sometimes when we’re feeling sad, we enjoy putting on sad music. In some cases, it might actually make us feel better — but why is that? New research suggests that people with depression can benefit from listening to tearjerkers when they’re already down. A recent study published in Emotion sought to build upon an earlier 2015 study that found depressed people enjoyed listening to sad music over happy tunes. For the new study, researchers played music for 76 female undergrads at the University of South Florida. Half of them were depressed, the other half not so much.

Just like in 2015, participants feeling depressed preferred hearing sad music to match their mood. For example, Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” was one of the offerings, which is universally recognized as “extremely depressing.” There’s more — not only did subjects enjoy the more melancholic selections, they expressed that the music made them feel better. Relaxing, calming effects were reported from the study, which further supports the notion that sad songs can be instant mood boosters.

There are obvious limitations here, obviously including the all-female pool of participants. Though this study was conducted on a small scale, there’s still something to be taken away from the research in relation to music therapy.

Source: The Verge