Study Finds That Pop Music Has Become Sadder Over The Past 30 Years

If you find yourself listening to sad tunes more often, apparently you're not alone. A recent study revealed that pop music has become increasingly sadder.

In a report published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, researchers at the University of California at Irvine examined hundreds of thousands of songs and categorized them by their mood. 

"'Happiness' is going down, 'brightness' is going down, 'sadness' is going up, and at the same time, the songs are becoming more 'danceable' and more 'party-like,'" co-author Natalia L. Komarova told The Associated Press.

Think about some of the biggest hits from even the past 10 years...the lyrics are SO sad. Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" was an upbeat heartbreak bop that just about everyone knows. 

 

More recently, Camila Cabello's "I Have Questions" was a deep cut into what it's like to be broken up with, and with no explanation. 

 

No matter the genre, heartbreak and sadness sounds the same! 

 
 
 
 

However researches made clear that the decrease in the "happiness" index doesn't mean all popular tracks in 1985 were happy and all popular tracks in 2015 were sad. It just means that there is a clear increase in how many sad songs are becoming chart toppers! 

Here is more information that the study found: 

Researchers were studying the average trends surrounding music's "acoustic properties" and the "moods describing the sounds."

The study found songs in 2014 like "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith, "Whispers" by Passenger" and "Unmissable" by Gorgon City to have a "low happiness" index.

Tracks from 1985 like "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen, "Would I Lie Yo You?" by Eurythmics and "Freedom" by Wham! had a high "happiness" index.

"The public seems to prefer happier songs, even though more and more unhappy songs are being released each year," the researchers wrote.

I will definitely start paying more attention to this trend! I think the main reason why sad music is so popular is because we can all related to some sort of heartbreak or sadness.

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