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Don’t Hold Back the Tears: Here Are Reasons Why It’s Healthy to Cry

The next time you find yourself crying into a half-gallon of ice cream, don’t be ashamed: it’s healthy to cry! Grab that spoon and dig in to some refreshing reasons why crying is fantastic.

One woman crying while being comforted by her friend. There are many reasons why crying can be healthy.

Crying gets a bad rap because it usually only happens when something terrible is happening. I mean, come on, no one congratulates you for crying. But maybe they should: there’s surprising evidence that suggests crying is actually healthy for both your body and mind. Learn the benefits of crying so you can more readily give yourself permission to harness this amazing power of the human body.

Related: Cultivate Some Happiness

You’ll feel better afterwards

There’s actually hard science to back up why you feel better after crying. When you cry for emotional reasons, those tears contain stress hormones that help relieve the body of stress-induced chemicals. You’re quite literally shedding stress.

You’ll be calmer

There’s an almost zen-like state that happens after crying, and it’s because your breathing stabilizes and your heart rate decreases. Crying is cathartic and physically calming.

It’s a form of communication

When you were a baby, crying literally saved your life because it indicated that you needed to be fed or cared for. Now that you’re an adult, crying indicates to others that you need to be emotionally fed and cared for. Sometimes your body knows what you need even before you do, so let your tears indicate to others when you need extra love.

Related: 4 Healthy Reasons to Hug More

Your eyes will be healthier

Tears help keep your eyes lubricated and free from debris so your vision is clearer.

You’ll be protected from bacteria

Tears aren’t just water; they contain something called lysozyme, which can kill 90-95% of all bacteria in five to ten minutes.

And there are other benefits, too; sometimes crying is a good indication that there’s something seriously wrong. It’s physical validation for psychological pain. As a culture, we tend to view crying as weakness, but crying is purposeful and healthy. The sooner we accept that tears are our bodies’ way of protecting, soothing, and healing, the sooner we’ll be able to be more authentic and accepting of how we process the world around us.  

While you're here, be sure to check out other healthy living articles. 


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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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Jennifer Diffley
Jennifer Diffley is a SLC resident. She is a senior copywriter and has her MFA in creative writing from NYU. Jennifer is committed to health, but has an unhealthy fascination with outrageous shoes.