Sad Music Made Me Happier

By Faith Gonia

I rely on my phone for my mental health. 

It sounds terrible, I know. Yet, whenever I have a bad day, the Spotify app on my home screen provides a cure-all for any overwhelming emotion—music. 

Rich melodies, powerful lyrics, familiar notes—each song gifts its listeners auditory art that, according to modern studies, improves mood and reduces anxiety. Music as a whole helps to process one’s emotions and, potentially, lift one out of gloom entirely. 

In the past year or two, I have developed a habit of queuing a sad playlist whenever I feel blue. Acting as an outlet, songs like ABBA’s “Our Last Summer” or Coldplay’s “Sparks” possess eloquent lyrics that listeners find affinity with. 

Through this routine of immediately playing a song upon any sense of distress, I have discovered that listening to the lyrics of dismal music works wonders in processing how you feel. A sorrow melody might swell feelings of sadness short-term, but contemplating and relating to the lyrics often grants the listener a greater understanding of their own low spirits. 

Turning on sad music when you feel sad is not counterproductive as it may seem, but rather a valuable step to alleviating unhappiness.