Paper: Why do depressed people prefer sad music?


people with depression had a far greater preference than controls for sad, low-energy music (but not fear-inducing music). Critically, though, when they heard these clips again, they reported that they made them feel more happiness and less sadness, contradicting the provocative idea that depressed people are seeking to perpetuate their low mood.

^^ This finding dovetails nicely with Ellen Winner’s (and others’) ideas on the psychology behind how music and art “work” (book). In an NPR Forum episode, she discusses how any art is pleasurable if the person feels a sense of recognition in it.

scientific article:
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