What does heartwrenching mean? Is it a good thing?

Question:"she closed the competition with a heart wrenching performance" i want to say that it was really good and full of emotion that you almost felt that she was singing about herself.

First of all, there is no such thing as "heartwrenching". The correct word is "heartrending", and "heartwrenching" (albeit commonly used) is a product of confusion between "heartrending" and "gut-wrenching". I agree with you that "heartrending" can be a good thing if used to describe an artistic performance, because it means the performance produced an intense emotional response.
I normally would not consider heartwrenching to be a good thing. but with the way it was used here as in a emotional and touching performance then yes that would be a good thing
Heartwrenching is not what i would consider a good feeling,it's like the oppisite of heartwarming.
it means it touched people
it grabbed their hearts
it was outstanding

it could be bad though
Heartwrenching would mean full of emotion. So in your sentence it would mean that her performance was so good and believable that it elicited very strong emotions. In this sense the use of heartwrenching is a good thing.

But if it is used in this way "The accident was so terrible, it is heartwrenching to know that she is now an orphan", then it means it is so very sad. So in this way its not a good thing.
The emotion is too much too bear, you don't know whether to laugh or cry. You are affected too much with what is happening that it feels like someone is squeezing your heart. But in your example it may mean "she gave a very passionate performance" that the audience had this feeling of too much joy or sadness
means really touched the heart. brenda

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