Here's Why You Can't Stop Listening To Adele After A Breakup

by Leigh Weingus
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So, you just got dumped. Or maybe you did the dumping.

In any case, you're sad. Your freezer is fully stocked with ice cream and you're pretty sure you're in danger of maxing out your credit card thanks to all those late-night Seamless orders.

Oh, and you can't stop listening to "Hello"... or any Adele song, for that matter.

First of all, you're not alone in your love of this brilliant singer-songwriter. Adele's album 25, which was released on November 20, has already sold more than five million copies.

But why, when you're already so sad, are you torturing yourself with more sadness? No matter how you spin it, you wouldn't exactly call most of Adele's music uplifting.

Here's what's going on.

Sad music actually makes you feel better.

It may seem counterintuitive, but one study published in the journal PLOS ONE found listening to sad music isn't just aiding us in the wallowing process, it might actually make you feel happier.

According to the study, we may experience different types of rewards while listening to sad music -- like empathy, imagination and emotional regulation -- while having the benefit of no "real-life implications."

We get pleasure from a sad song because we can connect, spark our imaginations and get some help venting our emotions. But at the same time, whatever the singer is upset about isn't happening to us, so it's not actually causing pain.

People love sadness.

Sad music may not make us sadder, but people seem to find a bit more power in sadness than they do in happiness, which could have something to do with the negativity bias.

The negativity bias states although two events can be equally powerful in positivity and negativity -- falling in love and breaking up, for example -- negative events have more of an impact on us psychologically.

Is it any wonder the lyrics "I must have called a thousand times" give you the chills every single time?

So. Much. Emotion.

You can hear the regret, the passion, the jealousy and sometimes the joy in every word Adele sings. And it's not just in her lyrics, it's in her emotion-filled, badass singing voice.

You can't listen to Adele without feeling super emotional. You just can't. And when you're going through a breakup, sometimes that's exactly what you need.

Music peaks our dopamine levels.

You know that moment when you're listening to a song and a certain lyric -- or maybe it's a chord -- hits really close to home, and you suddenly have the chills or tear up a bit?

According to a 2010 study, this is because music leads to a release of  dopamine -- the "pleasure chemical" -- in our brains. So the response we get from listening to music can be similar to the one associated with sex, drinking alcohol or eating junk food.

So, in the same way eating one Oreo makes you want to eat the entire bag, if a song elicits a strong response in your body once, you'll probably crave the feeling again. Cue the repeat button.

Hey, you're only human.

Although your friends may think your obsession with "Hello" is a little destructive at this point in your life (or maybe they're just sick of hearing it), trust us: You're actually giving yourself a little happiness boost.

Not to mention boosting Adele's album sales. Happy listening!