Yep, some days are just more down than others, and if you’re looking for songs to listen to when you’re feeling sad, you’ve come to the right place.
According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, listening to sad music can actually help you feel better—especially if it leaves a lump in your throat or makes you cry a little. For the study, researchers asked participants to fill out a survey on how they tend to respond to music, including how often they get goose bumps, feel shivers down their spine, feel like crying, and get a lump in their throat.
The scientists took the responses and lumped participants into two groups: Those that got chills and those that teared up. They then asked each person to listen to six songs to try to get an emotional response out of them, with three that the participant could choose on their own. Whenever the person felt a reaction, they were asked to push a button and then move a mouse around on a screen to show how much pleasure they were feeling. Researchers also monitored their heart rates and watched them for other physical signs they were into the music (like crying, smiling, etc.). Afterward, the participants were asked to rate how intensely they felt and how emotional they thought the song was.
Both groups had deeper breathing and pleasure while listening to the songs, but researchers found that songs that made people cry also left them feeling calmer than they did before. “These results show that tears involve pleasure from sadness and that they are psychophysiologically calming,” scientists concluded. Basically, tearing up while listening to John Legend can leave you feeling way better than you did before you pressed play.
So, the next time you’re bummed out and need a boost, you know what to do. Here’s the playlist to begin the journey back to happy days below.