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JONESGH's avatar

Why do we listen to depressing songs when sad/depressed?

Asked by JONESGH (3554points) November 1st, 2009

It tends to make it worse, but I do it anyway. Anyone else? Why do we do this?

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18 Answers

pinkparaluies's avatar

Because Americans love wallowing in sorrow?

Grisaille's avatar

Because it reflects our mood and shows that we aren’t the only ones feeling the pain.

EDIT: This sounded a whole lot better in my head.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

We like to wallow in our own misery. I suppose it has a lot to do with the mourning period we have to all go through. And so we listen to depressing songs, songs which we can identify with and go, “Yeah. I’m feeling you.. You get what I say..”

booboo7112's avatar

because it makes us feel better when we hear about other peoples depression

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Because sometimes, if we can’t express it ourselves, we need someone else to.

virtualist's avatar

It makes perfect sense. It is a resonant cycle. Music reinforces our moods and psyche. It’s only destructive when you cannot plug that powerful sucking wound. Music, again can aid in restorative healing and empowerment to a new beginning. One cries thinking about those who are trapped in a fear / recovery /fear cycle.

pinkparaluies's avatar

I say walk it off. Cry it out. And bounce right back.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t know; I don’t do that. I tend to listen to sentimental or happy music when sad. “Sentimental” is kind of a vague term, but I use it to refer to music that’s in between happy and sad. Sentimental is characterized by frequent switching from major to minor; whereas sad is minor and happy is major (in general). This is evident in plenty of music I have.

Edit: Because of this question, I was listening to Ravel’s Le Jardin Feerique, the most sentimental piece I could imagine, and right as the song was ending (the most exhilarating part—gives me chills each time) something awesome happened (through text message) and I just experienced one of the greatest highs ever…non drug-induced. Just wanted to share that. :P I don’t think I’ve ever had goosebumps last that long.

Likeradar's avatar

It helps to know that others have felt similar pain, and it helps having words put to our feelings.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

@DominicX Oh I know very well of the tingles that music can give me. Salut D’amour has given my tingles plenty of times. Plus, what ever could’ve happened through text messaging to give you extra chills? ;)

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Because we want to know there are other people that feel as we do.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

reaffirmation that one’s feelings are justified.

shego's avatar

I guess it is the same reason people drink when they are depressed. But I personally listen to positive happy music when I am upset. I do it because I never know what song is gonna make me get up, and make a fool of myself. Then I feel better.

Vincentt's avatar

It’s like having to act cheerful when you’re sad or angry: it just doesn’t work. When you’re in a certain mood, well, you’re not in the mood for music that doesn’t fit that mood. I find that music can make emotions stronger, but it can’t make you switch emotions. (Well, actually sometimes it does, but rarely.)

@pinkparaluies I do that too, as a non-American :)

smack's avatar

being able to relate. for most (sorry @shego ) happy music is only going to make someone feel worse because they aren’t able to relate to the emotion conveyed in that song.

shego's avatar

@smack it’s all good. Everybody is different.

deni's avatar

I do not do this. Many people do and I can’t understand why. If I’m sad, I blast disco. Does the trick.

Steve_A's avatar

Just my opinion, but I think it is a way , or a medium which you can get those feelings out and so you might find that you need to listen to sad/depressing music that YOU yourself can connect with what your feeling.

Where as a happy song is more there to uplift a person, so yes it does make sense in one way to listen to “happy music”.

But such a thing is also relative to the person I believe. I love heavy metal and dark songs. I often listen to it to be happy and whenever I feel like it. Another person might listen to it and go “WOW that’s all screaming and angry music, devil music” or something along those lines.

A good example I think maybe is think about going to a friend,family member, or even a therapist and you are talking to get things of your chest as to not be sad/depressed.

Ask yourself do you feel any better than you did before IN THAT MOMENT of talking,thinking,explaining,etc….about being sad/depressed? Most likely not infact you may very well break down MORE but its because you are getting them and bringing them up.

Because IN THAT MOMENT of listening to music, which to me is like communication there information being sent there and if the music is making you bring up sad/depressed feelings it’s not to surprising I think. So it can be similar to what I said before, like talking.

In the end I think you will feel better. But if it worsens maybe you have a serious issue here?

Again its just my opinion, I do not have anything creditable to back me up…..

An ending note here, remember every person is different what one does, or what works for one person may not for the other. Simple as that.

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