Cry Me a River…


In a continuation of homage to some of my favorite reads from other bloggers, I was inspired to write this piece after visiting Journey Back to Word’s blog relating to sad music “This Will End in Tears”.  She profiles a PBS Newshour  video interview of Adam Brent Houghtaling’s who is the author of the “This Will End in Tears: The Miserabilists Guide to Music.

I have an extremely eclectic taste in music but am also attracted to sad songs or songs I perceive to be sad.  Music has power and can convey an emotion or a feeling that coincides with how you are feeling already.  I am personally drawn to specific music depending on my moods, so the question for me is more about whether or not the music causes the emotion or the emotion helps draw you to the music that tends to fit your personal story and current emotions.

I have read some interesting studies that have tried to determine if there are inherent qualities in sad sounding music that evoke sad emotions.  Dogs will howl at certain pitches of sound, some say it is from pain others say that certain sound causes dogs to be sad.

I do think it’s possible that continually listening to sad music (like 24 hours a day 7 days a week) could lead to depression.  I also believe that sometimes sad music can help you get through some very trying times because it can help you realize that you are not the only person who has ever been through the specific type of event that you are going through or maybe your life isn’t as bad as the person’s life is who wrote the song.

There is an awesome article that deals with the health benefits of listening to sad music, “Adapted to Music, or Addicted to It?” The author explains how researcher David Huron has a theory on how sad music can actually make you feel better.  He states, “The effect of prolactin, Huron said during an interview, is “a bit like Mother Nature wrapping her arms around you, consoling you, and saying, ‘There, there; it’s okay.’” Prolactin is apparently a hormone that affects stress levels and helps to control emotions and has something to do with the production of breast milk and erectile disfunction.  Yeah.. anyways not sure how that all ties to sadness and music.. moving on..(Another link to prolactin for those interested in understanding the connection)

In our current society of complete technology not only can we hear what an artist is trying to say but we are able to have the images which often deepen the emotion.  Here are just a couple of my own very favorite “sad songs.” Sometimes I am not even sure why they bring about a melancholy in me.. I just know that usually after listening to them and sometimes having a good cry I will often feel better and thanks to Mr. Huron, now I know why.  Enjoy.

I usually have music in my home the entire time I am awake or at home.  I have approximately 6000 songs on my Ipod so to narrow the list down to just a few favorites was very difficult.  Some of my overall favorite artists for moving songs:  Ben Harper, Joss Stone, Elton JohnPau Donés, Norah Jones, (and many, many, many more)

I’m only including this video because I am a child of the 80’s (or a teen) and though the songs don’t necessarily move me over the top, they were an important part of our Friday, early evening cafeteria/gym dances.

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