Does a “Let it Out” Cry Actually Help?

(Time HealthLand) Why do adults cry so easily in cartoons? Toy Story 3 hit headlines not just because it made more than a billion dollars worldwide (a record for an animated movie), but because of all the reports that it made grown people cry. Click here to read more.

(Time HealthLand) Study: Crying Won’t Make You Feel Better

There’s something cathartic about having a good cry and “letting it all out,” even if you don’t have anything in particular that’s bringing you down.

Or maybe not. Data published in the Journal of Research in Personality found that shedding tears had no effect on mood for nearly two-thirds of a group of women who kept daily emotion journals.

“Crying is not nearly as beneficial as people think it is,” Jonathan Rottenberg, lead author of the study and an associate professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, told MSNBC’s blog the Body Odd. “Only a minority of crying episodes were associated with mood improvement — against conventional wisdom.”

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Also see Is Crying a Turn Off?, Does Oxytocin Make You Nice to Everyone?, How Does Kneeling Down Help You Remember? and Are Boys Really Better at Math?

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