Although almost everyone has listened to sad songs, whether alone or with friends (or both), not many people know the very reasons why they like it though. Understanding what motivates us as people – especially when there’s a thing most of us do even though we have wildly different personalities – is key to understanding ourselves as well as each other, and that is the first step to becoming the best possible version of ourselves. There are many reasons why people might listen to sad music, but these are some of the most common ones.
People like sad songs because it reminds them of the memories they cherish. Oftentimes, they’ll look for the saddest songs of all time, because it brings back memories of good times and of friends and family. This is why listening to sad songs almost always comes hand-in-hand with nostalgia. While it may not seem that way at first glance, it’s incredibly beneficial. Knowing how to process sad emotions, and to find the good in them, is one of the best ways to be at peace with ourselves – and this includes our past selves. Other than that, reminiscing about old times can be a great way to bond with friends over shared memories, lift your spirits in a bitter-sweet way over things that are no longer in your life, or just think about it by yourself to see the road you’ve come.
Sometimes people struggle with finding an outlet for negative emotions. During especially stressful, or otherwise vulnerable times, a person might not have the ability to cry on their own, even if they feel like it would be very cathartic for them to do so. Just like watching sad movies, listening to sad music can help them detach from their situation, focus on the words, melody, the sentiment behind a sad song, and start crying over it. That, in turn, can help them cry it out when it comes to what they’re dealing with in their personal life. Keeping it all bottled up for long is rarely a truly healthy option. By listening to sad music, people that find themselves in this position are really creating a tool for themselves that can help them express their emotions and vent in a comforting and safe way.
Other times, it’s not that a person can’t cry – it’s just that they feel alone while going through something. Listening to music that describes a pain similar to what they’re feeling can give them comfort in knowing they’re not alone in this. Listening to sad songs can be an expression of these negative emotions for people who are not comfortable talking about how they feel with others. There are others going through the same thing, and they created something beautiful over it. It’s reassuring to know that sadness and pain don’t always have to be destructive or negative things – they can lead to something amazing as well. In this way, sad songs can help a person feel as if their emotions are valid and worth sharing, as well as make them feel less alone in the world. As an added benefit, people who feel validated in how they feel are more likely to ask for help or reach out for someone to talk to. In a way, music like this can be a bridge they need to open up to the outside world about what’s bothering them and help them find the strength to deal with it in a healthy way.
Having an emotional connection with a song is something that can be quite profound – it’s the reason why there are countless stories of fans meeting their musical idols and having an incredibly meaningful interaction even though they know they’ll most likely never see them again. A sad song creates this deep emotional connection that can’t be experienced while listening to happy music – it’s the reason why there are popular songs like “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, or movies like The Fault in Our Stars. Listening to melancholic music makes you feel things. It helps other people feel things too, and it can make them feel connected to you on a more personal level, which can help them understand you better.
Using music as an outlet to self-soothe is a deeply personal process – and it’s a hard one to describe. Sad songs can have a powerful impact on people, so being able to find those that connect with you personally is an important part of the experience. Understanding why we do things helps us improve ourselves as individuals, and trying to figure out what motivates other people is a great way to develop even further.