Knowledge of the neural underpinnings of processing sad information and how it differs in people with depression could elucidate the neural mechanisms perpetuating sad mood in depression. Here, we conduct a 7 T fMRI study to delineate the neural correlates involved only in processing sad information, including pons, amygdala, and corticolimbic regions. We then conduct a 3 T fMRI study to examine the resting-state connectivity in another sample of people with and without depression. Only clinically depressed people demonstrate hyperactive amygdala–pons connectivity. Furthermore, this connectivity is related to depression symptom severity and is a significant indicator of depression. We speculate that visual sad information reinforces depressed mood and stimulates the pons, strengthening the amygdala–pons connectivity. The relationship between this connectivity and depressive symptom severity suggests that guiding one’s visual attention and processing of sad information may benefit mood regulation. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s).