Direct link between sadness and lasting achievements in art.

How Are You, My Dearest Mozart?
Well-being and Creativity of Three Famous Composers Based on their Letters Karol Jan Borowiecki Department of Business and Economics, University of Southern Denmark

What he found appears to bear out popular ideas about creativity and melancholy: a link between periods of negative emotions, especially sadness, and artistic brilliance.

Borowiecki’s analysis suggests that negative emotions are not just correlated with creativity but that they actually have a causal effect on it.

Karol Jan Borowiecki, examined the emotional state of three of the West’s most influential composers through the full course of their lives. Using linguistic analysis software that scanned the text for positive and negative emotions, such as joy, love, grief and hurt, he analyzed 1,400 letters written by Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Franz Liszt to their friends, colleagues and loved ones. He then compared that data with the compositions they produced in a given time period, looking in particular at their most influential and transformative works.

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