Dawn White says, “Musical emotions aren’t understood the same way as regular emotions. They don’t require complex facial expressions or a ‘tone of voice,’ which are particularly difficult for children with autism to recognize. Musical emotions are easier for children with autism spectrum disorder to grasp because they are less socially complex.” Dawn unpacks music’s superpower in developing emotion recognition, management, and expression in those on the spectrum.
The phrase, “It hurts so good” perfectly describes that experience of music perpetuating our negative emotions while somehow making us feel better at the same time. We untangle some of the different factors and threads that are at play in this paradox.