Whether you’re pregnant or a new mom, just about anything can set off the ticking time bomb that turns you into a blubbering mess. But that cascade of tears is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, crying is good for you.
In a paper titled “Is Crying Beneficial?” Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D., a clinical psychology professor at the University of South Florida wrote that when subjects were surveyed about their past episodes of crying, 60-70% reported that crying brought them psychological benefits. However, those benefits depend on certain factors, like the social environment that the crier is in. For example, if a person crying is in a setting that makes them feel embarrassed by their tears, then it won’t have a positive effect.
Stephen Sideroff, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at UCLA and director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics echoed the same idea in an interview with WebMD. “Letting down one’s guard and one’s defenses and [crying] is a very positive, healthy thing. The same thing happens when you watch a movie and it touches you and you cry… That process of opening into yourself… it’s like a lock and key.”
In other words, after a long day press play on that DVR’d queue of This Is Us episodes and just let it go.
Does crying make you feel better? Share your thoughts in the comments.