Individuals Going Through a Breakup Prefer Sad Music

C. Price
C. Price Updated:
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When going through a breakup, do you turn to sad love ballads or angry revenge songs?

New research suggests individuals are more likely to reinforce their feelings with matching music.

Published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the study found when asked to recall experiences involving personal loss, participants showed a significantly higher likelihood to prefer sadder music.

Researchers also found when facing frustrating situations, participants liked more frantic music.


“When asked to recall personal loss,

participants preferred sadder music.”

Participants were presented with interpersonal situations (losing a relationship) against impersonal situations (losing a competition) and then rated angry, joyful and relaxing music.

Researchers said when some people experience a serious emotional distress at the end of an intimate relationship, they frequently turn to such activities to evoke sadness. This can serve as a temporary surrogate for the lost relationship.

“Consumers seek and experience emotional companionship with music, films, novels and the fine arts as a substitute for lost and troubled relationships. Emotional experiences of aesthetic products are important to our happiness and well-being,” writes authors Chan Jean Lee of KAIST Business School, Eduardo Andrade of the FGV School of Administration and Stephen E. Palmer from the University of California at Berkeley.

Source: Journal of Consumer Research. Photo source: bp.blogspot.com.