What Music Makes You Cry?

by Dr. Punita Rice Life

Entre Acero y Cristal - Aitor Renteria - What music makes you cry?

What music makes you cry? NPR shared a story a few years ago about why some songs make us cry. In the story, a professor of music psychology shares that music can, in fact, trigger strong emotional reactions (the full story delves into why and how, if you’d like to learn more). I can relate to this! There are definitely songs that make me have an emotional and physical reaction. If you can relate, maybe they’ll elicit a similar response from you? Here are a handful of songs that move me close to tears…

You Don’t Know What Love Is by Nina Simone (this song makes my heart hurt. The intro is so, so beautiful. And when Nina finishes saying “you don’t know/what love is” the first time, makes an inflection like it’s almost a question, and it sounds so lovely).

My Love by Sia (I love anything Sia, and the piano intro is also so great).

Destiny by Zero 7 (with vocals by Sia). A great line: And when I’m down, you breathe life over me

Twice by Little Dragon (Yukimi Nagano’s voice that sounds like an unexpectedly appealing combination of liquid and silk and sandpaper)

The Dumbing Down of Love by Frou Frou, which has this relevant lyric: Music is worthless unless it can/Make a complete stranger break down and cry

My Heart Still Beats For You by Anna Ternheim (and it feels like there’s a slow “heartbeat” that runs through the background of the song.)

Gole Hayahoo, an Iranian song with lovely lyrics (if you click-through that link, it includes the song as well as a translation.)

Beautiful by Karsh Kale (this song makes me think of college, perfect weather).

What music makes you cry?


P.S. – Scientific American also discussed why music makes us cry here. Also, what music do you listen to when you’re concentrating?

(Painting is “Entre Acero y Cristal” by Aitor Renteria, from here).

About the Author

Dr. Punita Rice

Facebook Twitter

Dr. Punita Rice is a wife and mama, an education researcher, a writer, the founder and director of ISAASE, and an advisor with Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Doctor of Education program. Her work centers around multicultural education and equity, and South Asian American experiences in school. You can read more about Punita and her work here. Punita also writes about life, culture, education, and motherhood here on her blog. She works from home in Maryland, and drinks a great deal of coffee.