Sad music as a means for acceptance-based coping

Van den Tol, Annemieke J. M., Edwards, Jane and Heflick, Nathan A. 2016, Sad music as a means for acceptance-based coping, Musicae scientiae, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 68-83, doi: 10.1177/1029864915627844.

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Title Sad music as a means for acceptance-based coping
Author(s) Van den Tol, Annemieke J. M.
Edwards, JaneORCID iD for Edwards, Jane
Heflick, Nathan A.
Journal name Musicae scientiae
Volume number 20
Issue number 1
Start page 68
End page 83
Total pages 16
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1029-8649
Keyword(s) acceptance
aversive situations
sad music
Summary Self-identified sad music (SISM) is often listened to when experiencing sad life situations. Research indicatesthat the most common reason people give for listening to SISM is “to be in touch with or express feelings ofsadness”. But why might this be the case? We suggest that one reason people choose to listen to sad musicwhen feeling sad is to accept aversive situations. We tested if SISM is associated with acceptance copingand consolation. We hypothesized that SISM relates to acceptance-based coping via the recognitionand identification of emotional states, and that people will report more acceptance from SISM than selfidentifiedhappy music when seeking consolation. In Study 1, participants recalled how happy or sadthe music sounds that they normally listen to for consolation, and if they listen to this music to gainacceptance of negative moods and situations. In Study 2, participants reported their goals when listeningto sad music during a recalled time in which they experienced an adverse life situation and whether thislead to acceptance. Study 1: People reported that they were more likely to listen to sad music than happymusic when seeking consolation, though they preferred happy music in general. Listening to SISM (butnot self-identified happy music) when seeking consolation was associated with acceptance of both anegative situation and the associated negative emotions. Additionally, seeking to deal with emotions wasassociated with both SISM listening (for consolation) and acceptance. Study 2: Listening to SISM to get intouch with and express affect was the most important self-regulatory strategy (of six examined) throughwhich acceptance was recalled to be achieved. Experiencing adverse situations or seeking consolation,people report that listening to SISM is associated with acceptance coping (through the re-experiencing ofaffect). Implications for music therapy and theories of emotional coping are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1029864915627844
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
1601 Anthropology
1701 Psychology
1904 Performing Arts And Creative Writing
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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