The title of this post may seem weird to many, especially in this world where sadness is not exactly welcomed or valued, but that is exactly what Dr. Joseph P. Forgas, Scientia Professor of Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, is saying in an article for the Greater Good. Sadness, he says, may be good for you.
Benefits of sadness
Dr. Forgas bases his assertion on findings from his own research. He says sadness can be a beneficial emotion. For one, it can improve one’s memory. He mentions one study that found people tend to have a much better recollection of things on generally unpleasant days.
On top of helping improve one’s memory, sadness, according to Dr. Forgas, can also improve one’s judgment, increase one’s motivation and improve interactions in some cases.
Somehow, I agree with Dr. Forgas’ observations. I think sadness has been given a bad reputation by all those self-help books that say sadness is a negative emotion that we all must steer clear of. Worse, some even equate sadness with depression, which is the farthest thing from the truth. While being happy will always be more preferable than being sad—particularly when it concerns our children—I agree that a mild degree of sadness is something we need to feel from time to time, if only to remind us that we are still human.
Click here to read the article in full.