Adele is unique in so many ways.
But there’s one particular way that she is very, very special.
While there is a We Love Adele camp, there’s no We Hate Adele one. In a digital age where everyone has a voice, Adele haters are strangely quiet.
The singer’s first album in four years is breaking records in its first week. According to Salon, her album 25 is due to crack 2.5 million in sales and maybe even smash three million. “For reference,” Salon reminds us, “Justin Bieber’s “Purpose” (the year’s previous biggest debut) sold 522,000 units in a week, while Adele pushed 900,000 copies of “25” in a day.”
This is the kicker: Adele has sold more copies of 25 in four days than Taylor Swift’s 1989 sold ALL YEAR.
Check out Adele’s second single, ‘When We Were Young’ from the album below. Post continues after video.
This love, infatuation, admiration, interest, respect, fascination with the perfect black swoosh of her eye make up – whatever you want to call it – that spans both generation and oceans – might not entirely be about music, marketing and emotion.
It might have more to do with science.
In a 2013 study, (beautifully entitled Sad Music Induces Pleasant Emotion) published in Frontiers of Psychology, researchers found that sad music doesn’t necessarily cause listeners to experience sadness – it may actually cause listeners to feel positive emotions.
Sad songs bring positivity? Science says yes.
Forty-four participants listened to musical excerpts (they did not listen to well-known songs as these may carry emotional baggage) and had to provide data on perceived and felt emotions. Researchers believed perceived emotions and felt emotions were very different and the research backed their hypothesis.
“The results revealed that the sad music was perceived to be more tragic,” researchers found. “Whereas the actual experiences of the participants listening to the sad music induced them to feel more romantic, more blithe, and less tragic emotions than they actually perceived with respect to the same music.”
So in short: the experience (or felt emotion) of listening to sad music evokes something smart researchers like to call vicarious emotion. And this emotion is “strikingly similar” to empathy, which is rooted in connection, being human and giving. All emotional positives.
Watch Adele’s first music video in four years, ‘Hello’ below. Post continues after video.
Hello from the outside and thank you very much science. That means Adele makes listeners feel empathy when she sings. And empathy makes listeners feel good about themselves.
Which means Adele makes listeners feel good about themselves.
So if you’re feeling a bit disconnected from humanity, the prescription is: Take a couple of Adele tracks and call us in the morning.