Explain the attraction of sad stories.

…because I just don’t get it. In what way is willingly choosing to experience sadness through a story a good thing? If i’m sad, i’m not enjoying myself.

I’m not saying that sad stories are bad stories; on the contrary, a story that can move me to any emotion is well-written in my opinion. It’s clearly successful in getting across a message, or getting me to empathise with it’s characters. On a purely enjoyment level, though, I don’t like sad stories. And I don’t understand why someone would watch a sad film or read a sad book for fun.

It’s called catharsis and the Greeks knew all about it. Some people need it, some don’t. I personally love a really good sad story sometimes, my SO can’t see the point.

Just what I was going to say. Some folks need to purge every now and again. Sad stories make that possible.

Different strokes, etc…

I generally hate scary stories and don’t see the point in them. But I loves me a sad story. Mmmm… catharsis… mmmmmmm.

My husband doesn’t understand why I’m drawn to stories that make me cry. I was just watching Stepmom the other day. That movie makes me cry every time.

Because everybody feels sad at times, but a good story can express sadness better than most people.

I don’t like depressing stories, but I sometimes read stories in which the heroine (and perhaps the hero) experience things which are sad/uncomfortable for me to read, and then things get better. Often these stories are romances, where the couple would not find each other (and happiness) if not for the sad things which happen early on. I don’t like it if the sad stuff happens too late in the story. I agree with there being something cathartic about being able to cry over the sad stuff in someone else’s ficticious life. Though I have felt kind of silly weeping over the events in a character’s life when I know darn well how the thing turns out because I’ve read the book before, perhaps more than once.

Isn’t this largely a gender thing ? I’ve always gotten the impression that women liked sad stories/movies much more than men. They also suffer depression more often than men, and I recall a study showing that sad thoughts created much more brain activity in women than men, unlike other emotions.

I love sad movies and sad music. I guess with movies/stories, the attraction is that they’re more real or tend to be more true to life and one can relate more closely for that reason. Thats how it is for me anyway. I think also that some folks just naturally have a melancholy kind of view of the world and find that view reflected back in sad stories. Again, YMMV.

Yes, catharsis. Also, feeling emotions, across the spectrum makes us feel alive. Even sadness, and dammit if it isn’t wonderful to tear up at a movie once and a while and really feel how alive we are?

:eek: :mad: :frowning: :smiley: