The Role of Sadness in “Inside Out”

photo by Jan Fidler (creative commons)

Unsurprisingly very nice piece by Dachel Keltner and Paul Ekman in the New York Times on the portrayal of emotions in the recent Pixar movie “Inside Out.”

… studies find that sadness is associated with elevated physiological arousal, activating the body to respond to loss. And in the film, Sadness is frumpy and off-putting. More often in real life, one person’s sadness pulls other people in to comfort and help.

First, emotions organize — rather than disrupt — rational thinking. Traditionally, in the history of Western thought, the prevailing view has been that emotions are enemies of rationality and disruptive of cooperative social relations.

Also posted at Pasadena Therapist


“There is no point treating a depressed person as though she were just feeling sad, saying, ‘There now, hang on, you’ll get over it.’ Sadness is more or less like a head cold- with patience, it passes. Depression is like cancer.” ― Barbara Kingsolver, The Bean Trees