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9 Examples of Melancholy

Melancholy is sadness that is oddly enjoyable or deeply meaningful. The following are illustrative examples.


As an emotion, melancholy traditionally represents a sentimental sadness that is viewed as a valuable part of the human experience. For example, the sadness one might feel at endings such as the end of a long journey.


Nostalgia is a gentle sadness for the past that is a type of melancholy. People commonly have vivid memories of things that are gone or that have changed. These memories can feel very real such that you can almost reach out and touch them but time moves in a one-way direction and the past is truly gone.


Melancholy is considered an element of romance whereby romance has both a happy and sad side that are inseparable.


Historically, the term melancholic was used to describe a personality type. This was considered one of the "four temperaments" and was associated with traits such as introspection, conscientiousness, cautiousness and introversion.


Melancholy is an aesthetic that can be used to describe visual and non-visual beauty. Things that are slightly sad are perceived as having more depth. For example, a gloomy song may feel more profound than an upbeat one.


There are entire subcultures that are based on a melancholy aesthetic. For example, the gothic music or film noir subcultures.

Mono no Aware

Mono no aware is a Japanese aesthetic that can be translated "empathy for things." This is a feeling of nostalgia or melancholy that people attach to things such as a landscape or a treasured possession.

This Too Shall Pass

This too shall pass is a complex two-sided truism that is designed to bring humility in victory and hope in defeat. It is also attached to the melancholic sense that all things in life are impermanent and transitory.


As a medical term, melancholy has a very different meaning from its lighthearted connotations in everyday language and literature. For example, melancholic depression is a serious type of major depressive disorder.
Overview: Melancholy
Definition (1)
Sadness that is oddly enjoyable or deeply meaningful.
Definition (2)
Deep reflective thought that is colored with sadness.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about emotion.
Curiosity Drive
Emotional Intelligence
Emotional States
Emotional Strengths
Epic Meaning
Human Nature
Mental State
Motivated Reasoning
Negative Emotions
Negative Happiness
Positive Emotions
More ...
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