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About Everything Wiki » Music » Study: Favorite songs talk about your type of attachment

Study: Favorite songs talk about your type of attachment

29 May 2023, 13:59, parser
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In a new study published by Individuals’ favorite songs’ lyrics reflect their attachment style In the journal Personal Relationships, University of Toronto Ph.D. Ravin Alaei and psychology Faculty professors Jeff McDonald and Nicholas Rule found that people's individual attachment styles correspond to the lyrics of their favorite songs. In other words, we tend to return to melodies that explain what we're going through in a relationship.

The lyrics of your favorite songs about relationships can help confirm your thoughts and feelings, but it can also reveal something that you may not have realized about your relationship experience — something that you are constantly going through, that you are constantly facing.

Ravin Alaei
author of the study

In total , four types of attachment are usually distinguished in adulthood:

  • Reliable (optimistic position with all sincerity).
  • Anxious (such people worry about being rejected and are always looking for confidence in their relationship).
  • Avoidant (when people react to their negative expectations from a relationship by shutting themselves off from another person).
  • Anxious-avoidant (it is difficult to be loving and open, despite the desire for intimacy).

In the study, the researchers asked about 570 people to talk about their favorite songs, and then analyzed almost 7000 tracks for the style of affection expressed in the lyrics.

It turned out that people with avoidant attachment prefer music with avoidant lyrics. I expected to see a clear connection between the disturbing type and the songs, because they are the most emotional, but, surprisingly, it was the most insignificant coincidence.

Ravin Alaei

A strong avoidant relationship is reflected not only on the individual, but also on the social level. In the second study, researchers analyzed more than 800 hits from the Billboard Hot 100 from 1946 to 2015 and found that the lyrics became more avoidant and less safe over time.

Popular musical compositions are developing in parallel with the trends of social separation — people value independence above dependence on others and feel more isolated, noted Alaei.

As an example, the scientist cites Adele's discography, which, according to Alaei, often raises topics that cause anxiety, and is popular among people with this type of attachment.

As an anxious person, you have to admit that you are vulnerable to negative feedback, and your emotions snowball. Music can be a very strong trigger for this, because it can stimulate deep feelings and memories, ultimately heightening your worries.

Ravin Alaei

In conclusion, the researchers gave a number of examples of popular tracks for all types of attachment.


  • Sonny & Cher — I Got You Babe
  • Whitney Houston — I Will Always Love You
  • The Beatles — Love Me Do
  • Ed Sheeran — Thinking Out Loud
  • Plain White Ts — I Love You
  • John Legend — All of Me
  • Michael Bublé — Haven’t Met You Yet
  • Beach Boys — Wouldn’t It Be Nice
  • Bryan Adams — I Do It for You
  • Etta James — At Last
  • Justin Bieber — Holy


  • Adele — Someone Like You
  • The Police — Every Breath You Take
  • Miley Cyrus — Wrecking Ball
  • Adele — Hello
  • U2 — One
  • Seether — Broken
  • No Doubt — Don’t Speak
  • Bruno Mars — When I Was Your Man
  • Drake — Hotline Bling


  • Beyoncé — Irreplaceable
  • Chris Brown — Say Goodbye
  • N’Sync — Bye Bye Bye
  • Michael Jackson — Billie Jean
  • TLC — Scrubs
  • Rihanna — Take a Bow
  • The Weeknd — Heartless


  • Carrie Underwood — Before He Cheats
  • Gotye — Somebody that I Used to Know
  • Taylor Swift — Bad Blood
  • Sam Smith — I’m Not the Only One
  • Ne Yo — So Sick
  • Bonnie Raitt — I Can’t Make You Love Me
  • Adele — Rolling in the Deep
  • Rihanna ft. Drake — Work
  • Eminem ft. Rihanna — Love the Way You Lie

And what type of attachment do you have in a relationship? And did the specified music suit you?

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