Why Sad Music Warms The Musician’s Heart

Finally, an explanation for why my full-length album is so depressing.

It’s because I subconsciously knew it would make me and everyone else feel better.

“It seems that expressing sadness makes a musician feel good.”

– Discover Magazine

Stavin' Chain playing guitar and singing the ballad "Batson," Lafayette, La. (via Library of Congress)
via Library of Congress

In a recent study, researchers found that “expressing sadness activated the reward center of the brain while playing happy music did not.”

Basically, playing sad music causes a certain area of our brain (the area that makes a musician feel immersed in the music) to release dopamine when happy music does not.

Now, both sad and happy music makes the musician feel good, but just different kinds of good. Sadder music can cause a deeper feeling of good.

RELATED: 3 Ways Music Can Help Your Brain Function Better

And think about it: when you’re feeling low, you want to be around other low people and listen to low music.

If you’re low and you’re around happy people, they’d end up being annoying and you’d feel even lower.

So here’s to all those sad songs and sad musicians out there — we need you.