Music can powerfully influence mood, and for older people, the negative depictions of aging in most popular music can be a downer, researchers say.
They analyzed images of aging conveyed in 76 songs whose lyrics invoke the topic. Most images were negative, they found.
"We’re aware that the number of people over age 60 will probably double by 2050, and we’re very keen that that aging experience is a positive one," said lead author Jacinta Kelly of Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, U.K.
In music, aging is often associated with dependency and frailty and physical decline rather than with attractiveness, Kelly said.
"What we’re trying to get across is that this kind of bitterness or hostility is promoted or conveyed," she said. "You can absorb negativity and it can have consequences for your health."
Harboring hostile attitudes toward aging can have negative effects on cardiac health, while a positive outlook can improve longevity by five to seven years, she said.
The researchers searched lyrics databases for English language songs relating to age or aging, settling on 76 relevant songs.
They found three major categories of depictions of aging："contented and celebrated," "pitiful and petulant" or "frail and flagging." Only 21 songs took a positive view of aging, while 55 took a negative view.
downer：名詞，令人沮喪的人或物。例句：The news of his friend’s death was a real downer.（他朋友的死訊確實是令人沮喪的消息。）
get across：片語，解釋清楚、使人瞭解。例句：She gets across well.（她能清楚表達自己的意思。）
settle on：片語，選擇、決定。例句：Have you settled on a place where we meet?（你決定我們碰面的地點了嗎？）