In A Late Afternoon Malaise? Here’s Why Feeling Sad Can Actually Be Good For You

You don't actually have to cheer up - feeling sad can actually be a good thing (no, really)


by Stevie Martin |
Published on

If you're feeling blue, whether because of the suddenly gross weather, a massive lunch or for no apparent reason at all, then you need to check out this new video from TED-Ed. The series is comprised of mini lessons, one of the latest ones being 'A Brief History Of Melancholy' by Courtney Stevens and illustrated by Sharon Colman Graham.

Aiming to look at how sadness can actually be a good thing, it's a must-watch for anyone who has ever felt sad. Which is all of us, unless you're technically a rainbow.

In case you can't be bothered watching, I'll summarise the key points (you're so lazy): firstly, the video explores how people naturally think of sadness as being connected to an event - when someone says 'I'm sad', the usual response is 'Oh no! What happened?' as if something tangible has to have caused the sadness. This is a relatively new idea - people in the past believed that sadness was caused by dark fluid in the body, just like experts now believe that depression is caused by imbalanced chemicals in the brain. For someone to be sad, there doesn't necessarily have to be a reason or something bad to have specifically happened. Sometimes we can just feel down.

READ MORE: How To Tell When Post Holiday Blues Are Something A Bit More Serious

Also, the lesson looks at the evolutionary benefits of sadness. Like, for example, the way a sad caveperson would invite other cavepeople to make he or she feel better and create a bit of a bond. This bond, some experts believe, may have been crucial in our survival as a species; we are stronger in numbers than we are apart.

So it could be an essential part of life, rather than a gloomily inevitable thing that usually starts around 6pm on a Sunday and doesn't let up until 6pm on a Friday.

I won't ruin it all but, for just over five minutes, you don't have any excuse not to give it a watch. And let's all embrace our blues, guys. It's making us wiser people.

Like this? You might also be interested in...

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Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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