Editorial: Sad Music Is Better Than Happy Music

Benji Keeler, Reporter

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Imagine coming home after a long day from school. You’re tired and just want to relax and listen to music. You lay down and put on a playlist, but all you hear is uptempo beats and cheery loud lyrics. Sad music is highly discredited. It’s written off for just being depressing, slow, and dull. People think a sad song will just bring down their mood, and can’t compare to a happy, upbeat tune. 

But when it comes down to it, sad music is better than happy music. 

Sad music can make listeners experience a variety of feelings. Not only can it make a listener relaxed and emotional, but can also put them in a good mood. According to Science Alert, “sad music triggers positive memories that can help to lift our mood.”

Listening to upbeat happy music will raise the listeners heart rate, while the slower sad music can allow for relaxation and an easy and enjoyable listening experience. Sad music can evoke, “significantly stronger mind-wandering than happy music,” according to a study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information

In fact, the most frequent emotion felt when listening to sad music is nostalgia, not sadness. According to Pacific Standard, “sad music brings up ‘a wide range of complex and partially positive emotions, such as nostalgia, peacefulness, tenderness, transcendence, and wonder.’” 

When listening to music, take the time to enjoy and appreciate the work and thought that went into each song. The emotion and intent is much more prominent in a sad song. Most happy, upbeat songs are made with the intent of getting stuck in your head and making you want to move with the beat. When writing a sad song, the artist is putting a personal touch into the lyrics and the music, putting a lot of thought and emotion into every note. This makes listening to a sad song so much more enjoyable, being able to feel what the writer is trying to portray through their music.

People often write off sad songs as being nothing more than that. A sad song. But in reality, it’s so much more. Sad songs should be listened to more frequently, added to more playlists, and given the credit they are often denied in favor for a happy song. While you shouldn’t abandon your happy music all together, the sad songs make you feel much more. Keep this in mind next time you make a playlist or attempt to relax.