Listening to ‘Shallow’ on Repeat Can Help You Deal with a Breakup, Says Science

young woman listening to music

It doesn’t matter how long you dated or if the split was your idea. Breakups suck. And while there are a few tried-and-true methods to get over heartache (you know, like a wine-fueled night out with your girlfriends followed by a rom-com marathon), science also has a few tricks up its sleeve that could help ease the pain.

One of the weirdest? The theory that listening to weepy ballads could make you feel better. (Cue playing the A Star Is Born soundtrack on repeat.) 

Researchers at Durham University in the U.K. and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland have discovered that sad music can be a form of therapy when you’re feeling blue. The musicologists (who knew that was a thing?) examined the emotional responses of 2,436 people to sad music. 

The researchers discovered that study subjects enjoyed listening to melancholy tunes, which led to a measurable improvement in mood. Specifically, listening to sad music led to feelings of pleasure or feelings of comfort. (Although it’s worth noting that a portion of subjects also reported painful experiences associated with listening to sad music, so it’s not for everyone.) The study authors noted that the findings could be particularly helpful when applied to music therapy. 

“The results help us to pinpoint the ways people regulate their mood with the help of music, as well as how music rehabilitation and music therapy might tap into these processes of comfort, relief, and enjoyment,” added lead researcher Professor Tuomas Eerola, professor of music cognition in the department of music.

So, there you have it. Permission to blast “Shallow” on repeat. (But for the sake of your neighbors, keep your headphones plugged in, OK?)

8 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Over a Breakup

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...