Asked by: Lizzie Rees, Edinburgh
Many people would say yes. Crying is said to be cathartic, relieve stress and even remove toxins from the body, and most therapists claim it’s beneficial. There is evidence that blood pressure and heart rate fall after crying, while some allergic reactions are reduced after watching weepy films, and sufferers from rheumatoid arthritis who cry have less pain than those who don’t.
Yet the experimental evidence is mixed. Benefits are more likely when the reason for crying is a resolvable problem and the person crying is comfortable expressing their emotions and not otherwise depressed. One function of crying may be to show our distress, which can help build relationships, and this may be why crying helps.
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