Why sadness is actually a good thing

Why sadness is actually a good thing

by Pamela Ng 14 Feb 2020

If you have watched the movie “Inside Out”, you might recall how much of a perpetual downer Sadness was. But you might also remember that while Sadness wasn’t everyone’s favourite emotion, she still served a purpose nonetheless. The bottom-line is that even though sadness is perceived as a negative emotion, it actually helps us in many ways. 


1. Sadness helps us to remember better

Being sad may reduce the brain’s focus on unnecessary information and direct our attention to more important things, helping us to remember them better. This is one of the reasons why we tend to be sad over something for an extended period of time.


2. Sadness helps us to judge more accurately

Feeling blue removes any rose-tinted glasses that might be clouding our judgement. Studies have also found that the emotion decreases gullibility and increases the ability to view people and situations more accurately and subjectively, hence allowing us to make decisions based on evidence and facts. In a world where misinformation runs rampant, it is important that we do not fall prey to deception.


3. Sadness gives us drive

Studies have shown that people who experience sadness tend to be more persistent in solving multiple tasks and basically being more productive. When one is in a situation which they cannot control and feel sad over, a sense of accomplishment that comes with the satisfaction of getting things done could compensate for the negative feeling.


4. Sadness helps us to empathise and communicate

Having empathy helps one to communicate better. After all, how could one speak about the situation candidly without commiserating with the other party? Going through rough time ourselves helps us to better comprehend the troubles faced by other people, allowing us to use a more persuasive and empathetic language.


5. Sadness makes one fairer

With empathy, you realise quickly how the old saying of “do unto others” rings true. If you’ve been treated unfairly in the past, you certainly wouldn’t want to wish the same fate on someone else, and this will help you when it comes to giving others a fair chance in return.


Sadness doesn’t have to be the doomy gloomy feeling that everyone makes it out to be. Experiencing it in our lives serves many benefits; it helps us to learn, and drive us to help one another to progress as a collective community. We are made of flesh and blood but at the core of it all, sadness is one of those emotions that make us humans, human.