Blubber it all out: The 7 Benefits of Crying after Heartbreak

cryingTrue Story…

My boss glanced at the space on my shirt where I had failed to replace a fallen button. Appearance was just another casualty of my broken heart. I tried to redirect his attention with questions about the upcoming sales meeting, but then it happened. Without forewarning, the waterworks began. That’s right – I was at work, in my boss’ office when I started bawling like a little girl.

I extended my left arm awkwardly for some tissue and happened to knock over a pile of documents tagged with a post-it that literally read: “Important Docs”. The tears fell harder. I finally ended up on one knee trying to scrape the papers off the ground along with what little was left of my dignity.

I looked up thru the tears and squeaked, “I’m so sorry. I’ll pull it together.”

Not breaking his look of awe through the entire scene, I truly expected he would fire me. Instead, my boss offered one of the most critical lessons I have learned on the road to recovery. He said, “Do me a favor, Amelie – don’t pull it together. In fact, go ahead and blubber it all out.

So, I say to all of you – Blubber it all out!

Do not apologize for your tears and do not be afraid of your tears as they are protecting you and releasing your pain.  Unfortunately, there is a social stigma associated with crying that makes it difficult to tear up without fearing up. Internal conflict about the actual act of crying hinders the release process. So, forget why you think you shouldn’t cry and just let it flow freely. I don’t really recommend the office breakdown, but when you are at home or in the comfort of friends and family, just cry. Or if you do happen to be in public, find a private space and let it out. Feel the pain. Feel better.

Still need some convincing?

Here are 7 benefits of Crying after a Heartbreak:

1)    Sad tears are totally different than Stuff-stuck-in-your-eye tears: As far back as 1957, it was revealed that tears caused by emotion are chemically different than tears caused an eye irritant. In fact, the components of tears are far more complex than we would imagine. One psychological study had some volunteers watch a sad movie and later cut onions while collecting their tears during both activities. They found that the chemical make-up of the two sets of tears were vastly different. Sad tears include stress hormones and various toxins!

2)    Release the toxins: Research indicates that there is a significant increase in the type and number of stress hormones produced in our bodies prior to crying. If you don’t actually cry, these toxins remain in you body. Biomedical studies explain that stress hormones negatively affect almost every system in the body including the cardiovascular, gi, musculoskeletal, and immune systems. It’s pretty evident that crying the primary method for the body to eliminate these harmful stress hormones and protect you adverse effects. So do it!

3)    Mood Benefits: After analyzing over 3,000 reports of crying episodes, Jonathan Rotttenberg, USF Assistant professor of psychology, reports in a paper in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology that “the majority of participants reported mood benefits after crying.”  Most of us know this to be true: you feel better after a good cry!

4)    Calming effects: Crying has calming effects such as the slowing of breath. It has been shown that during the cry, you may experience increased heart rate and sweating; however, the calming effects usually last longer than any unpleasant arousal. You’ll feel this calm after you cry which accounts for why people usually remember the pleasant side of crying.

5)    Other good stuff: Emotional tears open up the lungs, exercise the eyes, and soften the temper. The release you feel is one of the mind, body, and soul.

6)    Because Shakespeare said it helps: “To weep is to make less the depth of grief.”

7)    You’ll look better! Alan Wolfelt, University of Colorado Medical School professor, works primarily with people who are mourning the passing of a loved one. Dr. Wolfelt states, “In my clinical experience with 1000s of mourners, I observe changes in physical appearance after the expression of tears. Not only do people feel better after crying, but they also look better.”

Check out our follow up article on The Secret of Crying. Let us know what you think by commenting below. Peace & Love, Amelie & Al.

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33 Responses to “Blubber it all out: The 7 Benefits of Crying after Heartbreak”

  1. Winnie April 16, 2010 at 2:09 am #

    Its uneblievable how many people are broken hearted out there! I’m not a lone and I find comfort in that!
    Thanks all for sharing out your experiences and wish you stable and longterm healing.

  2. Debra March 24, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    hi bonnie & mary not heard from you both in a while, I hope that you are both doing ok!
    I received an e-mail from my ex at the weekend, he told me that he would always love me, I was really not expecting that one! So, stupid me, I responded very openly, told him that I missed him and that I had an emptiness within me haha and guess what … he has gone cold again! I should have realised his game, I think he had felt that I was finally withdrawing from him and I think he felt he was losing control of me so, he played his best trick ever, just to see how I would respond and now I feel like I am right back at the beginning with all the hurt and the pain, the tears, I feel such an emotional mess and I wonder if I will ever recover from this man.

  3. Jacqueline Lloyd March 23, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Hi everybody
    I just wanted to share with you that I am 37y old lady and I have never been in love
    Why? Well i wasn’t sure so I took time out to look inside myself and found out that the reason why? was because I’ve never trusted love, I’m talking about relationships with my parent, siblings, boyfriend friends, work mates, community,
    So I have been saying I TRUST LOVE in my mind and now or I see around me is love
    love for family love for siblings love for a boyfriend love for friends and especially love for me I now take time for myself by reading a book, writting, or going for a walk or just laying down and listening to beautiful music. or sometimes I just watch a bird or butterfly and watch them be in the moment focus on what they are doing they are in the now the moment
    Anyway I just wanted to share this with you you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to you have a choice its your choice
    I just wanted to share with you why? I haven’t falling in love
    When I was young I was very shy and I didn’t trust love but now I have found out why?
    Its because I never trusted love when I was young,teenager,and in my 20s now I am 37y and I am trusting love my world is opening doors I never thought it could happen with just saying these 3 little words I TRUST LOVE I’m still not in a relationship because I promised my heart I will take a break but I have found love for myself and now my life with my family and friends are
    at peace and love is all around me everywhere I go and i don’t worry because I say I trust love every day i say these 3 little words I TRUST LOVE its ok if you forget but try and remember it will change your life for the better and the universe will do the rest
    So if you start saying these 3 little words I TRUST LOVE you will trust love and you will
    see love, hear love, touch love, feel love and be love, then you will start doing nice and gentle things for yourself too, It will just happen thats what happened to me
    If you TRUST LOVE everyone around you will trust love too because your energys will change just try it you have nothing to loose but more to gain you can say it out lound or in your mind I don’t care how you say it just say it no swearing please Thankyou
    just say I TRUST LOVE and you will see love all around you
    If you have any Question talk to me
    Thankyou for taking the time to listening
    Here is my e-mail: poetryinmotion@y7mail.com
    Its fun just don’t think of anything else just say I TRUST LOVE
    say it as many times as you want too all day if you want to or all night its up to you how many times you want to say it then it will grow on you and all problems will turn into LOVE because you TRUST LOVE and everything that comes to you will be fill with love just for you because you trust love that is your gift from the universe
    So go on lets try it now say I TRUST LOVE very very good you are on the way to a loving you
    Your world will change keep it up then you will see love hear love touch love speak love feel love and its or because of these 3 little words I TRUST LOVE try it it does work believe me its a beautiful feeling you will feel loved when you say these 3 little words I TRUST LOVE
    Cheers
    Jacqueline
    God Bless You

  4. Wanda March 16, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I feel the same as everyone here. I was in a long relationship with my now ex husband. I met him when I was 18 and he was 19. I’m 38 now, so I’ve been with him for almost 20 years. We have separated a few times, but we always got back together. He has had his share of drug problems and outburst of anger, but I loved him so much and I wanted to keep us together, so I always tired to make it work. But this year, he decided to send me a text message saying that he still cares about me, but he met someone else and that I should do the same. I was in so much shock and pain that I dropped my phone and I could not stop the tears. I cried and cried, and could not go to work the next day, my eyes were way too puffy anyway. I miss him so much, but now I know its over. I want to let go and move on, but so many unanswered questions. All I can do now is pray and hope that I will get through this.

    • matthew potter April 7, 2014 at 2:53 am #

      Wanda- I feel your pain and I know what you are dealing with. Asking God to for the strength to get through this IS the right thing to do. The hard part is accepting god’s help because sometimes its tough to swallow. Cry it all out I recently went through a break up and cried everyday for 6 months straight. Its hell but god is trying to teach us a lesson. We may not see that lesson now or maybe never but its up to us to figure it out. The answers are there and they will come in time. Everyday you wake up you just gotta kick life square in the teeth and tell that bastard that youre in charge. You WILL get through this. Just remember whenever you feel down you are a human being. .and this all normal..it sucks..but its normal..
      YOU GOT THIS!

  5. Debra January 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    I feel so tearful today. Its been 6 months now since I split with my ex. I feel that I should be moving on but, I miss him so much, I have never experienced hurt like this before and I do not know how to cope any longer with my emotions. I feel I have nothing to look forward to, I have no reason to dress nice, I feel that my whole world has collapsed. I always felt that we were so compatabile, that we had such good times together and now I am not so sure, I really do not know what he was thinking throughout out our relationship, I keep feeling that he used me and my trust in men has gone. No one can reach me when I get my moments of overwhelming sadness, I feel that I am falling apart and all I want is to wake up and feel happiness.

  6. Kay January 8, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    I have been crying more than ever lately too. My boyfriend of a year dumped me on New Year’s Day, after informing me that he just doesn’t want to be in a relationship. He said he doesn’t want to have to worry about someone else when he makes life decisions. And that he’d be happier being alone with his motorcycle and guitar without worrying about a girlfriend. I’m absolutely devastated, and he hasn’t spoken or texted a word to me since we broke up a week ago. I feel like he has died and I’m grieving, just as badly as I did right after my dad died 6 months ago. So now I have 2 things to grieve for, and I feel like I can’t handle it. I just can’t believe that one day we were kissing and saying I love you, and the next day he didn’t want anything to do with me anymore. I feel so sad and angry. I don’t know how to get past this and learn to trust anyone again. My ex husband also left me 3 years ago for another woman, so I feel like there’s something wrong with me. Even though logically I know I’m a great catch…I just don’t know what’s wrong with men!!

  7. Debra December 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    Christmas is nearly here and the closer it gets the more I fall apart, my closest friend who has been so very patient with me for the past 5 months (since I split with my ex) finally got tired of me today and told me that she has ran out of patience with me and we exchanged some harsh words between us. And the ex has gone skiing for christmas!! I just want to know when will the pain and the tears stop, I feel so empty, so lonely, I still feel as devastated as the day it finished. I managed to do 10 days (longest ever) without texting him, I did ask him to no longer text me so, he began to e-mail me! If he no longer wants me why does he do this. I wish my heart would stop beating so that I no longer have to feel this pain.

  8. dmruiz October 12, 2009 at 5:25 am #

    ==> rahaina…. i’m in the same step.. i got engaged with another guy when i am truly deeply inlove with a guy. things between this guy and i didn’t work out due same reason, he couldn’t part from his family & friends. at this current moment, we are broken up. i am really sad. this guy meant the world to me, still does. i would go thru anything for him. But he sees it as betrayal how could i have gotten engaged with another man. :”(

  9. rahaina October 11, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    i loved a guy but i got engaged with another guy and me n my fiancee dont like eachother but i love the other guy,,,he can’t marry me because he cannot leave his parents and his lifestyle is different from mine,,,i fought with him but cannot forget him,,dunno what to do,,,:-( really sad,,,help me out! please!:-( :”-(

  10. sychka October 8, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    Tears come and go and just when I think I am doing fine, it hits me in the head like a sledgehammer! I can’t listen to certain songs anymore, or I’ll start to detox. I can’t drive down certain streets or I’ll start to detox. I can’t stand to see certain cars on the road, or I’ll start to detox. What a vicious circle I’ve weaved! How long, oh how long does it take to forget him? How long!

    Crying = Detox

  11. Alone August 17, 2009 at 8:04 am #

    Well what happened dosent come to me as a suprise…we’ve been together for 5 years…with ups and downs but always ending up together… and today when i tought things couldnt get better (im pregnant with our 2nd baby) he turns around and tells me he want to live his life… to leave him alone…im shattered to pieces…and crying is all i do…. and yes i do feel better after it happens but then what…. what is there to come…. more crying …. what will I do….

  12. sammy July 26, 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    i have been dating my boyfriend for five years i thought it was my true love or so i thought. we have two beautiful kids together and after all i have done for him i found out yesterday that he has been cheating on me with several girls over our relantionship and texting sexual messages. i am so lost i know i deserve better. i just cant seem to walk out that door. he keeps begging me to stay but every time i look at him i see his lies and remember he did this. i need help getting to the point to where i can leave. all i think about our my youngdaughtedrs who admire he is a great father but a horrible boy friend. i dont think i can cry anymore and somehow they keep coming. i cant eat i cant sleep i am so sad how do i keep this hidden so my small children dont feel my strain lost and searching for answers

  13. nik July 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    Tears have lots of toxins? Wow, i’m totally polluting the air with all my toxins cuz been crying non-stop the last few days. Had to drink water to rehydrate b/c was running out of tears. I dumped someone and now feeling so crappy:( I still love him so much but my gut instinct says he’s seeing someone else on the side (although he denies it)..but my instinct on men is never wrong. So painful to let the person you love go. But even more painful to stay.

  14. Penny July 21, 2009 at 8:18 am #

    To Denise 7/3/09: Let it go it hurts too much for you to hold on to it. He is showing you that it is over… LET IT GO !!!!. It may have been good once in the past however it is not good now. LET IT GO !!!!. It is not good for you or your daughter. You can not hold on to someone who does not want to be held by you. You can not keep someone that does not want to be kept by you. LET IT GO !!!!. Most importantly you can not want someone that does not want you. Love does not hurt you. What hurt is the deceptions and the games he has played with your life. He can not play with you if you do not participate in the game. Pause and ask your self “why I am I trying to love someone that does not love me.” Let It Go!!!!

  15. Cyanne Harloe July 7, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    i met this really nice guy when i was 16…but he was 18 and next month he was going to be 19. On our first date we watched a movie in his bed and got very close. We cuddled from 9:00 and it felt like hours. He held me so tight and made me so comfortable, and then i fell asleep in his arms, and he did the same. It was the most romantic thing i have experienced. After a few weeks we’ve been dating, i told him that im in love with him and i loved the way he held me. A few months after i told him that, he said that he was in love with me but he acted very wierd when saying it. A little over a year since we’ve been dating, he said that if i loved him, i would sleep with him. I didn’t feel like i was ready, but he influenced me to do it. A few months later, i found out that i was pregnant…buts that not all….he had gotten 4 teenage girls pregnant…two of those girls had twins. Now he is responsible for 8 children and is now on drugs and alcohol. He kept showing up at my doorstep begging for money, drugs and sex…all three is what i dont want to waste on him. I am now 19 and he is 22 and i refuse to let him in my baby boys life. A few years later, one of his baby’s mother came to me and said he has passed away from a drug overdose and wrote a letter stating that he loved me and made me promised to avoid my son from ending up like his father

  16. Melanie July 7, 2009 at 5:09 am #

    I knew it was coming, my instinct is strong. It was two years of up’s and down, deep love and absolute happiness. Things happended, outside of our control, and we lost our happiness, and in turn she retreated inside herself and switched off from me. I wanted it all, I wanted to live happiy ever after with her, I was besotted and adored her. As she moves her belongings out of our shared house, and as she takes her dog from ‘our’ dog, my pain overwhelms me at what I have lost. Tears do not stop. Mt eyes are puffy, my smile is a grimice, I am struggling to unknot my gut and breathe without the constriction I feel. I do not feel alone in my grief, but I just wish for the day I do not feel this pain…

  17. Cole July 6, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    I hooked up with a new friend one night and we’ve been casually dating/sleeping together for the past 7 months. He would hold my hand in public and never treated me like the other guys I’ve dated. This was a real, healthy relationship, or so I thought. He tells me tonight that he just wants to be friends. It hurts. What did I do wrong?
    I cry and cry and cry. I’ve had to take out my contacts because of those toxins. I feel better but then I cry again. I want to be friends, but I HATE for people to see me cry, I hate appearing weak. And that little tidbit about improving your appearance, I would have ruined the curve there. Nothing like puffy eyes, rudolph nose and red face. It takes a while to go away, and I’m usually crying again before its gone. I feel so…. empty and alone.

  18. PinkNailPolish July 5, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    My boyfriend of 2 years just told me tonight that he’s not sure that i’m the one for him. For the past 2 years his ex has been calling him secretly and I always find out about this and he told me she was telling him to break up with me and go back to her. Now I’m afraid it might be happening. I love him so much and all I wanted to do was marry him and i’m so scared he’s leaving me. right now we’re just taking time so he can decide i guess. please help i dont know what to do and im so upset

  19. Denise July 3, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    My boyfriend of 11 yrs suddenly wont take my calls without any explanation. He finally texed to say that he does not have anything to say to me and that i know my deeds!..he is refusing to say if it is over or not and he is pretending to be a saint in all of this….i cried for me and i cried for our daughter….i dont know what to do…he wont talk to me and though i too have done wrong…i want to hold on to what we have/had!…I need some advice and guidance…the pain is too great..is it really over between us…should i try to salvage or just let him go?…I am hurting deeply.

  20. Lily July 2, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    I cried a lot, not so much of pain, but with anger why this pathetic guy had fooled me for almost three years! I cried for feeling stupid!

  21. Richard July 1, 2009 at 2:36 am #

    I cry in private but it dosent seem to help just cant stop the tears &pain

  22. julie June 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

    i cant cry ………………………………..but i so want to

  23. Anne June 30, 2009 at 12:36 am #

    As per #2, my body should be rid of ALOT of toxins by now…:)

  24. Chocolate June 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    my ex-boyfriend of two years (off and on, we officially broke up about a year ago, but remained in contact up until two or so weeks ago) has recently found a new person. I have been having the worst time with dealing with this pain. I cry, I stop, I cry, I emial, and text, and emial and text, I keep telling myself that he’s going to come back, all in an attempt to deal with the finality of our relationship. Just today though he hammered the last nail in the coffin. We will never happen, he’s found someone new and that’s that, I need to understand that for my own good, to respect his wishes, and to respect this new person. I feel a big lump in my throat but can’t seem to let the tears roll. I wish i could, but I cannot.

  25. Sherif June 28, 2009 at 12:46 am #

    What if you want to cry knowing that it’s good for you but you can’t cry it out?

  26. jazzy5641 June 26, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    thanks for this. i’ve been played by this boy that i went out with for a while and i love him. he says he loves me but i’m just tired of him breaking my heart because the pain anger and sorrow i feel right now- it’s indescribable. it’s nice to know that i’m not the only person who has these bad times and it’s nice to know that i can come back from it. if i want to snuggle with my old teddy bear and just start bawling my eyes out, i will and won’t feel bad about it at all. thank you very much for this.

  27. Blue June 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm #

    i may be young, but ive been through a serious heartbreak. i went out with a guy for 5 years. the whole time he cheated on me, lied to me, and was constantly on drugs. ive been having sudden breakouts of really bad crying, but this article makes me feel a whole lot better :] thank you

  28. Jim June 25, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

    thank you for this post. i’ve cried more in the last month than in my entire life combined. thank you.

  29. Yezbell June 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    :D wow this makes me feel sooooooo much better. i’m a really sensitive girl, but i guess im in that age…. im having crying attacks, but hey, it’s hard to break up with a boy u’ve liked all year, and he’s just barley noticed u, but we had to break up because im moving to canada and he’s gonna stay, and he really cares about me so….we broke up after only 4 days together. this makes me feel better because now i know that i don’t have to be ashamed to cry in front of him, thx a lot =*

  30. Adeana June 23, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    I cant stop the tears or the pain, but after reading this i feel alot better.

  31. Mitchell June 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    I stopped drinking alcohol because I couldn’t control my tears. I stopped cigarettes because I started chain smoking when I stopped drinking. I can stop these habits of forty years but I can’t stop the tears. Thanks for giving me permission but I still don’t think I can cry in public. Isolation is better for me.

  32. FLee June 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    I carry a pair of sunglasses around with me right now because I have outbursts of crying that I can’t control. Somehow it happens more in the car than anywhere else, but I’ve felt like I should hide my tears. Thank you for this article – it makes me feel better.

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