There'll be sad songs that won't make you cry

There'll be sad songs that won't make you cry
Singer Lana Del Rey.

There was a scientific paper, published in a journal a few weeks back, which came to the conclusion that sad music can make you happy.

Well, duh.

Chalk another one up for scientists who make a living telling us what we already know.

The study is called The Paradox Of Music-Evoked Sadness: An Online Survey, and it appears in the peer-reviewed journal Plos One.

It's an in-depth survey of hundreds of people who were asked how certain sorts of music makes them feel.

The conclusion reached is that "listening to sad music can actually lead to beneficial emotional effects".


Sad music can help regulate moods, provide consolation, offer comfort and enhance empathy.

The "potential implications" of the study are that sad music improves well-being in well-adjusted people and, beyond that, can even be used in the treatment of those with psychiatric disorders.

As someone who's always used dark music to regulate his well-being and cope with black moods, I'm mystified as to why a study like this would have to be done.

Isn't this what we all do?

When I look through my iTunes library, almost all I see is music that is some degree of sad.

Steely Dan's Aja. Roxy Music's Avalon. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. The Blade Runner soundtrack. Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits. Blondie's Eat To The Beat. Future Islands' Singles. It just goes on and on like that.

At one point in my early twenties, when I was going through what must have been a clinical depression, I self-medicated with The Cure's Disintegration.

I can remember playing along on my guitar, disappearing into the murky soundscape.

There are times when I've wondered whether The Cure made my situation better or worse.

I always end up being grateful to those gloomy Goths.

They were there for me, and the simple fact is that I ended up coming out of the other side of that particular tunnel with their music in my ears.

That said, I can't listen to them any more without feeling pangs of what I felt in those days.

I still listen to sad songs, but not those sad songs.

The Cure is no longer my cure.

Lately, I've been self-medicating with Lana Del Rey, who offers up a sort of defiant strength in addition to her patented melancholy.

But guess what? Since I've been DJing at Kiss92, I've been forced to listen to a different sort of music.

Happy music.

Taylor Swift. Ed Sheeran. Ellie Goulding. Meghan Trainor. Jason Derulo.

The amazing discovery I've made is that happy music can also make you happy.

Maybe the point is really that any music can make you feel better about life.

Maybe that's the whole point of music?

Get on it, scientists.

Our resident Kiss92 DJ-journo explains why you might want to listen to sad songs - even when you're feeling blue

This article was first published on November 12, 2014.
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