If you’ve never listened to Chopin, I highly suggest it. His music is moody, dramatic, and that sort of stunningly beautiful that Romanticism brings out in all of us. Part of what makes Chopin as influential as he is is how in love he was with using the piano in his pieces. Unlike most classical music whose melody become entangled and (in my opinion) frequently too complex, his work clings to a sense of singular focus. Although he worked in an orchestral setting, my personal favorite pieces are the nocturnes with the solo piano. I doubt I’m alone in this preference, considering his Nocturne in E# Major is one of his most popular pieces.

My reason for bringing all of this up is that nocturnes, in a musical setting, mean “a short composition of a romantic or dreamy character suggestive of night, typically for piano”, as Dictionary.com helpfully puts it. Of the same thread is Clair De Lune by Debussy and of course, Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. The night is a muse for so many musicians, and so many piano pieces in particular because. Well, it just seems to fit. Part of what makes nocturnes so lovely is that they are sad. Contrary to popular media, we don’t always have to be happy. Happiness is a fleeting emotion, and that is deeper, further down, is contentment. However, we can’t even be content all the time. It is almost certain we won’t be. Depression is a problem because of the extended period of time it takes up, how it drags into the rest of our life. Sadness, on the other hand, is necessary. It’s needed, even when we hate it. We have to let ourselves be sad sometimes. We have to be moody, dramatic, and “emotional” by realizing that we have other emotions than happiness and contentment.

If we hold ourselves to an unachievable standard of happiness, we will most certainly become miserable. Part of life is the parts where we feel like trash. That doesn’t mean that we are useless or defective or wrong. It means we’re human. Sometimes we need the time to listen to sad music, curl up, and be alone until we feel okay. If it happens every day, or often enough that you feel like you can’t live your life, seek help. But for most people, for the one-off days that hit us, it’s okay to be sad. We are allowed to have our emotions.

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