Merriam-Webster defines sad as, “affected with or expressive of grief and unhappiness.”

Happy and Sad are a core pair of opposite emotions felt by every human being. Just like everyone has felt what it means to be happy, everyone has felt sad at some point in their lives.

The Pixar movie, Inside Out, showed the character emotion of Sadness was as important to Riley as the emotion of Joy. Sadness assists Riley in telling her parents that she needs help, that she is missing her old life in Minnesota. Sadness helps Riley come to terms with her new life in San Francisco

So what makes human beings sad and why is it a basic emotion?

Sadness has to do with loss – loss of light, loss of a loved one, loss of an expected future, etc.

Sadness helps us remember that our reality at this moment is different from our past expectations. We don’t repeat the same errors because Sadness helps us learn about ourselves and understand how we make decisions.

For Caricatures, the artist depicted Sadness as a bluish – gray cloud with a downcast face and rounded shoulders. The cloud is all-encompassing, in a full downpour, no ray of light to brighten up any part of it. The downcast face is averted without eye contact, and the lips are turned down in a picture of suffering. The body language expresses unhappiness, resignation and defeat.

The emotion Sad from the Caricature series of Sketches

The emotion Sad in the Caricature series of Sketches

The artist for Watercolors prepared an image with a universal symbol of sadness, a human eye with a tear rolling down. Why is this unmistakably a sign of sadness? When we are sad we kick off a series of chemical processes in our brain and that part of our nervous system that we do not consciously control, the autonomic nervous system, which leads to our eyes producing tears. We can relate to this image, since each of us has experienced this truth – when we are sad, we cry and produce tears from our eyes.

The emotion Sad from the Watercolors series of Sketches

The emotion Sad in the Watercolor series of Sketches