Romantic turmoil is something that most people experience in their life. When faced with an upsetting event, such as a breakup or fight with a partner, a person may turn to music to achieve a more desirable state of mind. The current study extended past research on music and coping by focusing specifically on a person’s use of music when they have emotional distress due to a romantic event. Ten interviews revealed the major theme “Music as a Tool,” regarding how people use music as social support. The first subtheme, Alliance with Mood, describes how participants used music as a tool to relate/identify and experience their current emotions. The second subtheme, Changing Mood, reveals how participants used music as tool to reframe their emotions and distract themselves. Because of the practical nature of this subject, media studies should continue to advance the literature on music and social support.


Mood Management, Functions of Music, Adverse Romantic Events, Music Preferences, Individual Semi-Structured Interviews

Author Bio(s)

Rhiannon B. Kallis is an instructor in the department of communication, design, & culture at California University of Pennsylvania. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kallis_r@calu.edu.

Anna V. Ortiz Juarez-Paz is assistant professor in the department of communications media at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: anna.ortiz@iup.edu.

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