The Upside of Sadness


Being morose provides benefits, according to research suggesting that detail-oriented, analytical thinking styles can accompany periods of sadness.  Science News reports that people experiencing sad moods have an advantage remembering details, focus better, and are more fair to others than peers in neutral or happy moods. Says one researcher, “It’s shallow and untrue to assume that positive feelings can only have positive consequences and negative feelings can only have negative consequences.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].