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The Melancholy Attraction: Why We Are Drawn to Sad Music

Updated on July 11, 2014
Listening to sad music creates a peace within us that is unmatched by anything else.
Listening to sad music creates a peace within us that is unmatched by anything else. | Source

We have all been there. Tears are streaming down our faces, and holes are being dug in our hearts, but we end up plugging in our earbuds and turning up the volume to a sad song, letting it wash over our beings as if it were a waterfall. This is such an instinctual reaction to us that we don't have to give as much as a single thought about, but if you take a step back and really take a good look at this situation, it would seem very counterintuitive. Why would you crave sad music when you are sad? Wouldn't you be craving the happy tunes to lift your spirits? No. And the reason is actually quite simple.

It Is Natural

Being human, there are some things that we need in order to function to our top potential. One of those such things is the need for emotional connection.

Everyone finds emotional connection in different ways, but music is by far one of the most universal conductors. There are so many genres, styles, and forms that music comes in, so there is always, without fail, something for everyone. That is the beauty of music: it is applicable to everyone in one form or another.

Another interesting aspect of music is the fact that it can correlate to every different emotion that one might have. This is another reason why music appeals to everyone. People like the fact that music can understand them the way that people cannot.

There is something about feeling pain through art that makes it enjoyable to us. It isn't that you enjoy feeling depressed, it is just that you want to be understood, and through the art of music, we can achieve this. It is a natural thing for humans to crave. We all want to feel like there is something we can turn to when it seems like no other fellow human understands us, and music is, more often than not, always the first alternative that we turn to. There is an easy bond created between artist and listener during the experience of music that makes this possible.

So next time you are feeling down, don't feel like it is a bad thing to want to listen to music that mimicks the way you feel. Just block out the world, turn up the volume, and be understood. We all need it.

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