I was recently curious as to why I know so many people who enjoy sad music. It seems especially in times of grief or extreme sadness, like after a rough break-up, everyone wants to listen to a stranger wail about lost love.
I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea here – I am certainly not above this. In fact, for most of my middle school years you couldn’t find a song on my iPod touch that didn’t contain either angry punks violently strumming their acoustic guitars to songs about heartbreak or soft piano ballads. But when we’re sad, why do we want to listen to sad music? Even Ne-Yo sang about not wanting to listen to happy love songs after his break-up. So what gives?
Fumbling around the Internet, I found an article about why sad music resonates with listeners. Here’s what one article divulged:
“you get pleasure from connecting with the music and letting your imagination run with the spontaneity of the melody; you regulate and vent your emotions after identifying with the song; you empathize with the musician and feel less alone; and at the end of the day, that empathetic sadness you’re feeling with the music isn’t real — through the music, you can appreciate the negative emotions conveyed by the artists without actually having to experience the “real life” consequences of their sadness.”
– Rebecca Adams, Huffington Post
If this holds true, then I guess it’s not a bad idea to check out some sad music when you’re feeling blue. Accordingly, I’ve listed out five of the best wallowing songs for you all.
Hurt – Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails Cover)
Typhoon – The Sickness Unto Death/Honest Truth/Belly of the Cavern
Middle Brother – Million Dollar Bill
Dr. Dog – I Hope There’s Love
William Fitzsimmons – I Don’t Feel It Anymore
But, you know, there comes a time when you’re sick of listening to sad songs. I mean, honestly, eventually the tears dry up and you start to feel angry. So I’ve also attached some empowering break-up songs to help you get through that period of your life. Go ahead, sing along while you trash your ex’s old stuff.
The Front Bottoms – Au Revoir (Adios)
Lily Allen – F*ck You
Taking Back Sunday – You’re So Last Summer
Billy Talent – The Ex
Ben Folds Five – Song for the Dumped
So there you have it. Songs to get you through the tumultuous time that is the end of a relationship.