Decoding people's love for sad music

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

On 19 November 2021, the iconic British singer, Adele, released a new studio album after nearly five years. Her fans had been missing her and had been waiting patiently for her to release new music. Her new studio album, named 30, became an instant success immediately after being released. The lead single of the album, “Easy on Me”, released on 15 October 2021, broke the all-time record for the most-streamed song in a single day on Spotify with 24 million global streams.

Aside from the legacy that Adele has, there is something that draws the attention of people to her songs. There's something about her songs that makes them sell millions of copies of her albums around the world. Apart from her good singing and the good music, it's the content of the songs that people love. People love listening to songs that give off sad vibes and bring back memories of the past.

If you look at the top singers in the world right now, the majority of them became successful by singing songs with sad lyrics. Songs that have sad lyrics that are relatable to many people, and people enjoy listening to them. Let us look at a few reasons why.

Makes us feel connected

When we listen to sad music, most of us don't actually feel sad. Only 25% of people reported feelings of genuine sadness after listening to sad songs. Rather than feeling sad, the majority of the people feel a sense of connection after listening to sad songs.

After understanding the lyrics of the song, we realize that the singer also went through the same sad experiences as we did. After looking at the comments people made regarding the song, we realize that we're not alone. We feel connected to them. This makes us feel good.

Coping hormones get released within us

The hormones prolactin and oxytocin get released when we listen to sad songs. These hormones make us cope with loss and pain by making us feel calm, comforted, composed, and supported. These hormones are usually released when we go through pain or empathize with someone else's grief. Listening to sad songs helps in triggering this effect and these hormones get released within our body.

People love nostalgia

People love the nostalgia that they experience after listening to sad songs. Studies have shown that when nostalgia is triggered in people, they start experiencing positive emotions. Nostalgic events are associated with certain people and they give us hope for the future. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that nostalgia gives meaningfulness to the lives of many people who deal with a fear of mortality.

Helps people learn from the sadness

Sad songs help people learn from the sadness they faced throughout their lifetime. When people reflect on the sadness they face throughout their lives, they take lessons from it. They think about the mistakes they did in the past and learn from them. They decide not to repeat those mistakes again. Listening to sad songs is similar to getting a dose of morphine at the click of a button.


People remember the negative emotions and experiences in their lives more than the positive ones. This is because people get affected by sad incidents more than happy incidents, so sad incidents stay inside their heads for a longer time. After listening to a sad song, they go back to the place that affected us and left a hole in their lives. They reminisce moments that changed their lives for the better or the worse. The conclusion is that there is nothing bad about listening to sad songs. It definitely won't affect your mental health. So go to your playlist and listen to as many sad songs as you want.

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Content creator and freelance writer. I aim to provide quality content that readers will enjoy and find useful. I write about relationships, personal growth, health, life, finance, and a variety of other topics.


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