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Sad music may help winter blues
wsadmusic
Listening to sad music while feeling down may seem like it could make matters worse, but it actually elicits positive emotions, according to a recent study - photo by Deseret News

     BERLIN, Germany — Listening to sad music while feeling down may seem like it could make matters worse, but it actually elicits positive emotions, according to a recent study.
    Sad music offers a number of emotional rewards to listeners, including some that happy music doesn’t provide, according to researchers from the Free University of Berlin. Liila Taruffi and Stefan Koelsch asked 722 people about how they felt while listening to sad music and published the results in the journal PLOS One.
    “This is the first comprehensive survey of music-evoked sadness, revealing that listening to sad music can lead to beneficial emotional effects such as regulation of negative emotion and mood as well as consolation,” the abstract for the study reads. “Such beneficial emotional effects constitute the prime motivations for engaging with sad music in everyday life.”
     The four main rewards were the reward of imagination, reward of emotion regulation, reward of empathy and reward of no “real-life” implications. The reward of no “real-life” implications means that listeners felt pleasure while listening to the music because they could experience the feeling of sadness in purity without violence or other contextual implications, according to the study.
    “Surprisingly, nostalgia rather than sadness is the most frequent emotion evoked by sad music,” the study reads. “Correspondingly, memory was rated as the most important principle through which sadness is evoked.”
     After conducting the study on sad music, researchers conducted a follow-up study on happy music for comparison. They said sad music was more frequently linked to inner functions, like reflecting on memories, introspection and fantasizing, while happy music was connected to more outward functions like socializing and celebrating.

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