The "Star-Spangled Banner" stirs pride. Ed Sheeran's "The Shape of You" sparks joy. And "ooh là là!" best sums up the seductive power of George Michael's "Careless Whispers." UC Berkeley researchers have surveyed more than 2,500 people in the United States and China about their emotional responses to these and thousands of other songs from genres including rock, folk, jazz, classical, marching band, experimental, and heavy metal.
Rumi, the 13th-century Sufi poet, famously compared emotions-"a joy, a depression, a meanness"-to "unexpected visitors." His advice was to let them in laughing, but that's not what we do. Instead, we pretend not to notice, or even hide. We want to bury resentment and anger, or trade loneliness in for the more fashionable gratitude.
This article was featured in One Great Story , New York 's reading recommendation newsletter. Sign up here to get it nightly. Sometime last year, I came across the word hangxiety, a neologism for hangover-induced anxiety. I cringed when I read it; it felt so phony.