Listening To Music In Groups Could Spark Depression For Some

Music In Groups

Music, whether it’s happy or sad, has tremendous power to affect the listener, and there has always been the debate as to whether music can make someone suffering from depression feel better and help them cope with their feelings, or if it can make them feel worse.

Now, a new study has examined how music affects someone’s moods and how people emotionally react to it in groups.

As reported in Science Daily, nearly 700 people answered questions in an online survey about their listening habits, including whether they listened to music in groups or not. These participants had to answer questions about their mental states as well. Did they dwell on their depression when they were unhappy, and how much did music affect their well-being? (Participants were also asked to pick a song they would listen to when they felt sad.)

The study noted that groups which listened to sad music and talked about sad subjects made people feel more depressed, and as Science Daily reports, “This kind of group rumination was more common in younger people, and likely reflects relative importance of both music and social relationships.”

As Dr. Sandra Garrido told Science Daily, “Behaviors relating to music use fall into distinct patterns, reflecting either healthy or unhealthy thought processes. These results reveal important information about how people with depression use music. While young people with tendencies to depression who are a part of social groups may be perceived as receiving valuable social support, our results here suggest that the positive impacts of such group interactions depend on the types of processes that are taking place in the group.”

Garrido adds, “Susceptible individuals with a predilection for rumination may be most likely to suffer negative outcomes from group rumination…however, group interactions that provide social support or opportunities for processing of emotions in a constructive way have a much higher likelihood of being positive.”

It’s not surprising that sad music can have this kind of group power, because as Frontiers states, “In much the same way that expressions of emotion strengthen social bonds, music also bolsters social relationships throughout the lifespan…it creates and strengthens interpersonal relations between peers among adolescents and young adults because of the signals that one’s taste in music gives about shared values. Music is thus used as an ‘identity badge’ in the formation of friendships.”

Looking for more information about depression? Check out the following articles below.

Study Reveals How Teens Communicate Depression

Study Links Childhood Chronic Illness With Depression

Director James Gunn Discusses Struggle With Depression