A new international study has found listening to sad music was the best way to recover from a relationship break-up as it had the same soothing effect as a sympathetic friend.
Researchers concluded that when consumers experienced serious emotional distress they turned to a surrogate to replace a lost personal bond and lift their mood.
Their findings appear to contradict popular opinion that upbeat music or humorous movies were a better way to beat distress.
In the study, consumers were presented with various frustrating situations and asked to rate angry music, compared to joyful or relaxing music. Other volunteers were separately asked to recall experiences involving loss.
The authors found people experiencing relationship problems were more likely to prefer “sad music” or “tear-jerking dramas” that reflected their negative mood.
Preference for sad music was significantly higher when they had experienced the break-up of a personal relationship, compared to an impersonal loss such as losing a competition.