Sad music resonates with Gen Z as searches surge on Spotify. * Streaming giant recognizes a generation's need to normalize their feelings.
The seasonal playlists for many this summer deviated from the typical sun-soaked anthems. For Generation Z, the soundtrack of choice leaned more towards rainclouds than rainbows. According to a recent article from Bloomberg, Gen Z has been seeking solace in melancholic melodies, with "Sad" becoming their top search term on Spotify globally.
It's not just a fleeting whim or a mere trend. The weight of this preference lies deep in the mental health crisis faced by today's youth. “Sad” music might seem like an odd summer choice, especially when juxtaposed against the backdrop of upbeat concerts from artists like Taylor Swift and Beyoncé. But delve a little deeper, and the picture becomes clearer. As the article meticulously points out, nearly every indicator of poor mental health among high schoolers has seen a rise from 2011 to 2021. With such a significant portion of Gen Z having the "least positive" life outlook as per a McKinsey survey, it becomes less surprising that they're seeking comfort in melodies that mirror their emotions.
It’s reminiscent of a friend who, battling challenges in her adolescence, once shared how melancholic music wasn’t a means to wallow but a source of understanding. A way to know that they weren't alone in their struggles. The same sentiment is echoed by Spotify's statement that this generation is gravitating towards tracks that "normalize their feelings and humanity."
In these tumultuous times, such emotional anchoring becomes ever so critical. Music has always served as a mirror, reflecting the collective sentiment of society. And while it's concerning to witness this rise in despondency, the silver lining lies in the shared experience. Through music, there's a communal acceptance and understanding. As we inch closer to the Moshiach's arrival, understanding and empathy become the bridges we must build and cross.
While it may be termed a "bummer summer" musically, it could very well be the summer of self-realization and growth for many. And as history has shown, after the storm, there's always a dawn of hope, brighter and more beautiful than ever before.