Category Archives: Pop Psych

Research: Crying Not So Helpful

“Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.”

Cry babyI’d venture a guess that quite a few people have heard that little gem. I know that my father told me that many times. Suffice it to say crying is a fact of life growing up. It is a natural response to many of life’s difficulties, from losing your binky to falling off the swing. Regardless of the reasons for the crying, it’s assumed that crying will make you feel better. At least that’s what we’ve always thought.


New research out of the University of South Florida seems to suggest that my father was right all along. Researchers had a group of women log any crying episodes they had for three months. Upon compiling the results, they found that a majority of the women, around 70%, experienced no improvement in mood after crying or actually felt worse. It appears that crying really isn’t as beneficial as once believed.


That said, some of the comments in this article seem opposed to the results of this study. Many of the commenters suggest that this study’s conclusion flies in the face of our own personal human experiences, some even becoming slightly hostile. To a degree, these dissenters are correct, as their opinions are based on their observations. Obviously, after you cry you aren’t crying any more, hence you feel better. However, one problem with this is that people are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to comparing their own emotions between two different events. That’s not something that we, as human beings do well.


That and self-reflection is not usually a scientifically sound method of¬†empirical research. Then again, this is an article being featured in Time magazine, so I don’t expect it to contain all of the actual data. It would be interesting to see more of the data and actually read more about their findings.


In the meantime, you can check out the article HERE.