They are rather involuntary experiments to relieve oneself of some woeful burden, medicine for the soul.
late 14c., "alleviate (pain, etc.), mitigate; afford comfort; allow respite; diminish the pressure of," also "give alms to, provide for;" also figuratively, "take heart, cheer up;" from Old French relever "to raise, relieve" (11c.) and directly from Latin relevare "to raise, alleviate, lift up, free from a burden," from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + levare "to lift up, lighten," from levis "not heavy" (see lever).
The notion is "to raise (someone) out of trouble." From c.1400 as "advance to the rescue in battle;" also "return from battle; recall (troops)." Meaning "release from duty" is from early 15c. Related: relieved; relieving.
relieve re·lieve (rĭ-lēv')
v. re·lieved, re·liev·ing, re·lieves
To cause a lessening or alleviation of something, such as pain, tension, or a symptom.
To free an individual from pain, anxiety, or distress.