Here’s the thing about crying: I hate it.
But unfortunately, it’s a perfectly normal and healthy reaction to grief, and one of the only things that really helps me get through whatever I’m feeling.
I cry when I’m sad. I cry when I’m mad or frustrated. I cry when I’m happy.
I hate it every time.
I hate the way it makes my eyes red and puffy, my nose runny, my head feel clogged immediately after.
But once I’m done crying and everything in my mind sort of “settles” again and my nose gets “unstuffed” (sometimes helped along with a nasal strip) I almost always find that I feel better after a good cry.
I know I’m not alone in this.
And studies show this is normal, so that’s good. It is said that crying “releases oxytocin and endorphins to relieve pain” as well as “releases toxins and relieves stress.” (Source: Medical News Today)
This makes sense to me, especially because anytime I try to block myself from crying or stop before it’s all out of my system, it just results in bottling up the emotions to explode at a later date.
So as much as I hate it, I’ve learned to just let myself cry (unless it’s 2:00am and I just want to go to bed and I’m probably just emotional because I’m tired.)
If I feel the emotions coming on and think I need a push, I’ll have a little wine and/or listen to my “Jimmy Shuffle” playlist dedicated to songs that my Dad loved/that remind me of him.
These 10 songs are the most effective for me:
- “I Refuse” by Five Finger Death Punch
- “Coming Back Down” by Hollywood Undead
- “Remember Everything” by Five Finger Death Punch
- “Gone Away” by The Offspring (also the cover by Five Finger Death Punch)
- “A Little Bit Off” by Five Finger Death Punch
- “Sham Pain” by Five Finger Death Punch
- “Brighter Side of Grey” by Five Finger Death Punch
- “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit (Dad’s favorite)
- “Headstrong” by Trapt (one I’ve always associated with him)
- “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit (when I realize that there’s nothing I can do to change my situation)
Yeah, I know it’s weird that hard rock music makes me cry. But that’s what I grew up listening to and my family still listens to, so there is a strong emotional attachment to it.
It’s my playlist, and I’ll cry if I need to.
Resources on the benefits of crying:
- “Eight benefits of crying: Why it’s good to shed a few tears” by Medical News Today
- “9 Ways Crying May Benefit Your Health” by Healthline
- “Why You Should Cry – 5 Reasons to Let It All Out” by Penn Medicine
- “Go ahead, have a good cry. It’s good for you, psychiatrists say” by CNN Health
- “Let It Out: 14 Ways a Good Cry Affects Your Body and Mind” by The Healthy