With the recent news that even Brad Pitt listens to sad songs on repeat after a break-up, it's good to know you're not alone.
But does it help with the pain?
Well, yes according to a recent study published in the journal Scientific Reports which found that crying to sad songs does produce a measurable sense of pleasure for the listener.
The study had participants fill out a survey on their reactions to music. It asked, "While listening to music, how frequently do you (1) get goose bumps, (2) feel shivers down your spine, (3) feel like weeping, and (4) get a lump in your throat?"
Researchers then divided participants based on responses into a 'tears group' and a 'chills group' and asked each person to listen to six songs for an emotional response, including three of their own choice. They asked participants to press a button whenever they felt the intended reaction (chills or tears) and also moved a mouse around on a screen to signal the amount of pleasure they were feeling.
After after each song, participants rated how intensely they had felt their response had been and the emotional tone of the song. Throughout the session, the researchers also monitored the volunteers' heart rates and watched for other physical signs of arousal.
Whist there was overlap between the chills group and tears group such as both groups experiencing deeper breathing and pleasure from listening the authors noted that songs that caused the chills or tears reactions were described differently by participants.
Study authors wrote, "A song that induced chills was perceived as being both happy and sad, whereas a song that induced tears was perceived as sad as well as calmer. These results show that tears involve pleasure from sadness and that they are psychophysiologically calming."
As Science of Us concluded, "Think of it as a pick-me-up and a stress reliever in one simple step."
From: Esquire UK