Why Music Can Make You Cry

You have certainly experienced it. You turn on the radio and suddenly, a memorable song was played. Then you found yourself wiping the tears from your eyes. Sounds dramatic, as it seems, but it really does happen. Music has that power to make us cry and be nostalgic. It has the potential to bring us back in time.

Guitarist feeling the emotions in musicBut why is that so?

Stirring Up Emotions

One of the main goals of music is to arouse or stir up emotions. That is why it gives you various kinds of feelings whenever you hear the music. It can calm you or make you feel happy or excite you. Music can also motivate you or put you in a worshipping mode. This why lessons for the guitar in New York City have been very popular. Guitar music can be both used to convey emotions. Crying, on the other hand, is a complex human behavior that is often associated with various intense experiences. Humans cry when they experience physical pain or when they are hurt emotionally. Likewise, humans also cry when they are too happy, and they can’t contain it.

Music to Emotions

A new study was conducted to explain this. And according to the findings, whatever emotion you feel when you hear music or whether it can make you cry or not. It has something to do with your basic personality. Katherine Cotter and Paul Silvia, the researchers from the University of North Carolina, along with Kirill Fayn of the University of Sydney. They were in charge of the research to find out the various emotions that people feel when music prompts them to cry.

To support the study, a survey was conducted among 892 adults. To find out how many of them experience that is crying “feels” while listening or when they hear a certain kind of music. The initial result showed that it is not unusual to be moved to tears when you hear a tune. Approximately 89.9% of the people in the study said they had experienced that feeling. They want to cry whenever they hear the music. They were also asked to rank their feelings to accompany the response following 16 emotions which include happiness, anxiety, euphoria, awe, depression, sadness, pain, etc. In the end, the researchers divided the people into two groups – those who cry because of sadness (63%) and those who felt in awe (36.7%).

Psychology of Personalities

The brain reacting to musicThe participants were then given a psychological test to be able to classify them according to the five personality characteristics:

  • extraversion
  • openness to experience
  • neuroticism
  • agreeableness
  • conscientiousness

After the test was done, the researchers found out that those who have high neuroticism ranking scale. They feel sad when they had been moved to tears by music. Likewise, those people who ranked high in the openness to “experience” feel like crying because they are in so much awe.

This basically explains why music can give you that feeling like you want to cry when you hear it. It actually depends on the person or what that person is experiencing that moment he or she understands that music.