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Why is Sad Music Enjoyable?

Feeling blue? Listen to some sad music. So say Japanese researchers in the journal "Frontiers in Psychology", who want to know: Why do we enjoy listening to sad music?

While sad music was found to introduce feelings of sadness (surprise!) in the listeners, it also evoked pleasant emotions, possibly by comparison, as listeners felt the music was sadder than they themselves felt while listening to it. According to the authors:
...Unlike sadness in daily life, sadness experienced through art actually feels pleasant, possibly because the latter does not pose an actual threat to our safety. This could help people to deal with their negative emotions in daily life..

Emotion experienced by music has no direct danger or harm unlike the emotion experienced in everyday life. Therefore, we can even enjoy unpleasant emotion such as sadness. If we suffer from unpleasant emotion evoked through daily life, sad music might be helpful to alleviate negative emotion.

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