The Irrational Mind

Just Let Yourself Cry

Nobody likes to cry.

It ruins makeup and spray tans, clouds up your vision, and makes your face all red and puffy.

But the body has reasons for crying. Reasons like removing toxins that build up under stress (e.g., leucine-enkaphalin and prolactin, which are endorphins) and manganese. The latter is tricky because some people are deficient in manganese, and it is used to help treat conditions like anemia. This is fine! It is specific forms of manganese that can lead to nervous system disruption and increased anxiety, and tears help eliminate that. Pretty cool, huh?

Of course, the most obvious reason to cry is to let your emotions out. Sometimes you just need to cry, and that’s ok. Think of all the toxins you’re eliminating that you’d normally have to do a weeklong juice fast for! (Take that in the tongue-in-cheek way it was intended).

I discovered working with my last therapist that, at the time, I wasn’t making great mental health progress in a session unless I started crying. I don’t think she intended this to happen, but I always left feeling more of a release following a crying session.

Sometimes it feels good to cry just for the sake of crying. It’s most productive, however, to associate the reasons you are crying with the act, to give yourself a deeper, more meaningful cry. This, of course, is easiest to do when no one else is around, but even if you have to sneak off into a bathroom stall to give yourself a minute, it will probably be worth the effort.

Next time you find yourself holding back tears, don’t.


Acknowledge why you are crying.

Continue crying.

And for those of you that find yourself crying “for no reason,” that’s ok too. Just let it happen.

From Ali’s post on depression at Hyperbole and a Half (

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