I wrote a couple weeks ago about the self-destructive tendency of listening to sad music when I'm sad, arguing that my relationship to sad music is probably unhealthy. As many of you may realize, I am not a psychologist. My guess, based on nothing but personal suspicion, appears to be contradicted in The Paradox of Music-Evoked Sadness: An Online Survey, a study by Liila Taruffi and Stefan Koelsch, as reported on Boing Boing by Dan Ruderman in the recent post We listen to sad music to feel nostalgic:
[...] The researchers found that [...] emotional stability is negatively correlated with enjoying sad music when the listener is sad. That is, emotionally stable listeners tend not to turn to sad music when they are experiencing sadness, and they likely regulate their mood during sadness by listening to happier music.
The authors additionally conclude that there are several implications of their results for music therapy, including the possible beneficial effect of sad music for regulating emotion in less stable individuals.
Literally up until the last sentence of the post, I figured it was pretty much arguing in favor of my point: that listening to sad music when you're sad is often a kind of self-destructive behavior. But, apparently, the researchers feel that the relationship that emotionally unstable people have to sad music is potentially beneficial -- which makes me feel a lot better about all the OK GO and Bluetones I've been listening to in the last week or so.