7 Scientific Facts About Crying

Facts About Crying

On the other hand, some think that people who cry are reliable, empathetic and sincere. The study also found Indirect support for the idea that crying is an attachment behaviour designed to elicit empathy and support in others.

When we see someone crying, the same neuronal areas of the brain are activated when we cry ourselves. According to scientists human beings have evolved to the point where crying automatically triggers empathy and compassion in other people.

But, the place of crying also plays an important role:

An individual crying in the workplace is perceived as negative, but not when the person is crying in a personal or private setting. 

6. Crying changes mood 

A “good” cry can make you feel better, while “bad” cry can you make you feel worse. 

Some people cry to release their pent-up emotions, pain or tensions. Do crying really make you feel better? That depends on the situation, with whom you are crying and when you are crying. 

Based on “good” and “bad” crying patterns emerged from an international study including 5000 men and women, psychologists revealed that – 

If you get support and comfort, when you are crying, then you are highly likely to feel better. People feel better after crying if they came to a happy realization, or gained a new perspective or understanding about a situation that caused tension or if they came to a resolution regarding the thing that made them cry. 

According to psychologists, crying occurs in 15-30% of all psychotherapy sessions. Because crying for a long time releases oxytocin and other feel-good chemicals that gives you a sense of calm and ease your physical and emotional pain. Around 50% of people feel better after crying, while 10% of people actually feel worse after crying.

Related: Victim Tears and Authentic Tears: How Crying Makes you Feel Better

What about “bad” cry?

Those who suppress their crying for the fear of being judged as less emotionally stable or because they felt shame, were highly likely to feel worse after they cried than they felt.

This mostly happens to people who are poor at expressing their emotions or having depressive symptoms. Such people give a bad cry and fail to trigger compassion and empathy in other people. So, they get no pleasure from crying.

crying is not negative
7 Scientific Facts About Crying

7. Why does nose run when you cry?

Whether you are crying while chopping onions or going through a breakup, your tears drain near the nose. And when you shed tears exceeding the capacity of the drainage system, then the tears start rolling down your cheeks.  According to Ad Vingerhoets – a clinical psychologist, who researched human crying for more than 20 years – your nose runs even before you cry, and can certainly keep it up while you’re sobbing because your tears are simply draining. 

“Most of our tears just go back into the body”, added  Ad Vingerhoets, PhD.

Tears secreted from the lacrimal glands—the onion tears and the emotional ones—drain near the nose. “When the capacity of the drainage system is insufficient, then tears start flowing over your cheeks, and that’s what we call crying,” Vingerhoets says. In other words, your nose runs even before you cry, and can certainly keep it up while you’re sobbing, because your tears are simply draining. “Most of our tears just go back into the body,” he says.

I hope these scientific facts about crying have resolved some of your queries. 

Did you find the scientific facts about crying fascinating? or were you shocked or surprised? 

Let us know in comments below. 


  1. Laan, A.J., Van Assen, M.A. and Vingerhoets, A.J., 2012. Individual differences in adult crying: The role of attachment styles. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 40(3), pp.453-471.
  2. Becht, M.C. and Vingerhoets, A.J., 2002. Crying and mood change: A cross-cultural study. Cognition & Emotion, 16(1), pp.87-101.
  3. Gračanin, A., Bylsma, L.M. and Vingerhoets, A.J., 2014. Is crying a self-soothing behavior?. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, p.502.
  4. Bylsma, L.M., Croon, M.A., Vingerhoets, A.J. and Rottenberg, J., 2011. When and for whom does crying improve mood? A daily diary study of 1004 crying episodes. Journal of Research in Personality, 45(4), pp.385-392.

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7 Scientific Facts About Crying
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Louisa Davis

Hi there! I'm just a normal person enjoying the process of life. Practicing Buddhism, I believe in the law of cause and effect. Reading and writing is always a pleasure. I enjoy researching on a range of subjects – science, psychology, and technology. Nothing can satiate my soul than good music, horror movies, psycho-thriller, and crime stuff. I enjoy photography, music and watching comedy videos. Talking to people, learning new experiences, sharing my knowledge through blogs, motivating others are things that I always look forward to.View Author posts