Listening to sad music makes you sadder, says study

12 January 2018, 17:19

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart album cover

Does listening to gloomy music make your mood worse? A new scientific report says yes - and you’re putting your mental health at risk if you keep on listening.

You know what it’s like when you’re feeling a bit “down”… You throw on a gloomy record and have a good melancholic wallow.

In the words of Richard Ashcroft on the classic Bittersweet Symphony: 

"I need to hear some sounds that recognise the pain in me… YEAH." 

However, a scientific study says that that’s NOT the thing you should be doing… especially if you’re a bloke.

A study by researchers in Denmark have investigated the relationship between mental health and music listening habits and discovered that “anxiety and neuroticism” was higher in people who were more prone to listening to “sad or aggressive” music too express their negative feelings.

And it was more prominent in males…

Are you surprised by this development?

According to the report, published in the Frontiers in Human Neuroscience journal, “This style of listening results in the feeling of expression of negative feelings, not necessarily improving the negative mood.”

So this classic would be a no-no if you’re in a particularly blue frame of mind.

 The report goes on to say that males who listened to music to express their negative feelings showed less activity in the medial prefrontal cortex.

Are you a chap? How does this make you feel?

However, for females who listen to music to distract themselves from the negative emotions, the same part of the brain perks up a bit.

Have a listen to this tune, ladies and see how it affects you.



The report concludes that the music you listen to may “help or harm” your own mental health.

So watch this video at your own risk!


Or you could just take the risk and listen to Radio X's 50 Saddest Songs Of All Time...