A new study asked people diagnosed with depression
to listen to different types of music. And they preferred sad songs over happy ones. But it’s not because they just wanted to wallow in their own misery. It turns out listening to sad music when you’re sad can actually make you happier.
Researchers also found evidence suggesting depressed people are not seeking to maintain their negative feelings, but rather that they find sad music calming and even up-lifting.
People in the study had to listen to different songs that were either sad, neutral, or happy. And they tended to prefer slow, sad songs, like “Adagio for Strings” from the movie “Platoon” . . . which is one of the saddest songs ever:
Then researchers had them listen to the same songs later on. And again, the sad songs made them feel the happiest. Researchers think it’s because listening to happy, uplifting music can be irritating when you’re feeling down.
The majority of the participants with depression who favoured sad music said that they did so because it was relaxing, calming or soothing.