There's A Simple Explanation For Why Adele’s Songs Make Us Cry

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Adele

Do you ever find yourself crying when you listen to Adele's songs?

You might have experienced that when listening to her brand new single "Easy On Me" which was released October 15th and is featured on her new album "30" set to release November 19th.

Every Adele song has a way of starting the waterworks and makes us very emotional when listening to her songs. 

The specific feeling you might get from the Grammy winner is a bodily feeling that makes your hair's on your body stand up, experiencing shivers down your spine, a lump coming into your throat, and eventually tears running down your eyes.

Why do Adele's songs make us cry? 

One of the reasons Adele's music makes us cry so often is because she makes ample use of appoggiaturas — a musical ornament. 

Appoggiatura is an Italian word that translates to, "to lean." Similar to a grace note, an appoggiatura is a sort of ornamental note about half the length of the main note that displaces and then resolves into the main note. 

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An appoggiatura is essential to the harmony or the melody of a song that is supposed to create tension and feeling. Music psychologists have said that returning to the melody from appoggiaturas relieves tension and emotion causing the listener to feel emotional.

These types of words can be heard in Adele songs like the word "you" in the chorus of "Someone Like You," and "side" and "times" in "Hello." You can spot out the appoggiaturas in the little vocal dips your head on words in her songs.

That sound of the appoggiatura triggers an emotional response in a listener and then your brain is wired to pick up that.

While listening to a song, our brains are constantly trying to guess what comes next. So when you hear an appoggiatura it's strange and unexpected and we feel a physical emotional response to it.

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But Adele's subject matter also likely contributes to how we feel about her music. 

Adele has said it before but a lot of her songs are about actual things that have happened to her, and her new album is going to be all about her divorce from her ex-husband Simon Konecki.

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Why does Adele use appoggiaturas in her songs?

The reason why Adele uses appoggiaturas in her songs may be that they help the listener go through the thoughts of the song and its emotions. 

The reason that we often feel emotional when listening to Adele songs is that emotionally intense music releases dopamine in the pleasure and reward centers of our brains which feels similar to the same effects that food, sex, and drugs have.

The music literally makes us feel good or sad and motivates us to want to keep listening. 

Adele writes her songs from her actual experiences and real and raw emotion so when we listen, we feel that and respond. 

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers news & entertainment, love & relationships, and internet culture. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.