Depression is often associated with a reduced motivation to engage in behavior that will improve one’s mood. This paper presents a study in which 175 university students listened to a self-selected piece of music on Youtube that made them sad. Post- and pre-listening scores of depressed mood on the Profile of Mood States (POMS) were taken, as were measures of rumination and scores on the Like Sad Music Scale (LSMS). Results indicate that listening to sad music via this medium can significantly increase feelings of depression in people with a tendency to depression (as suggested by high rumination scores). Furthermore, people with a tendency to depression demonstrate a liking for such music despite the potentially unhealthy consequences of listening to it.
Why do People Seek out Music that Makes Them cry? This paradox is a complex one that appears to have no single answer. Rather, numerous factors appear to be interacting in the diverse responses of individuals to music. The present study tested the hypothesis that individual differences in dissociation, absorption, fantasy proneness, empathy, and rumination would be related to the enjoyment of negative emotion in music. Fifty-nine participants completed a survey pertaining to this question. Results revealed statistically significant positive relationships between enjoyment of evoked negative emotion in response to music with both absorption and the recently reported construct of 'music empathy,' Factor analysis and a regression model confirmed these results, and the approach suggests that further study of individual differences will continue to provide new insights into some of the subtleties of the enjoyment of negative emotions in music.