So much for having a “good cry” and “letting it all out” to feel better. Your sob session could make you feel even worse. That’s according to a groundbreaking new study.
Researchers at the University of South Florida asked 100 adults to keep a “crying diary” for 3 months. Every night, they’d recorded their mood, if they felt like crying during the day, and if they shed any tears. And if they did cry, they recorded how long it lasted, how intense it was, and if anyone was around.
The result? Lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Rottenberg says that only a fraction of people felt better after crying. In fact, the majority, 61 percent, felt no better after a “good cry.” And 1 in 10 actually felt worse.
Researchers say that the only people who felt better after a cry were the ones who cried in front of someone else. Which shows that the act of crying won’t boost your mood. But having a friend there to talk things through does make you feel better.
So, the next time you’re about to burst into tears, don’t reach for a box of tissues. Reach for the phone, and call a friend.