Everyone feels better after a good old cry (puffy red eyes withstanding), and now science has proven that watching tearjerker films will make you feel better about life.
Researchers from the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands brought together a group of 60 willing subjects to watch some sad films and then asked them to explain how they felt 20 minutes and then 90 minutes after the film had ended. The 32 people that didn't cry during the film felt the same before and afterwards. No change (maybe because their hearts are cold, unfeeling stones). The 28 people who shed a tear said they felt lousy after the film had ended, but 90 minutes later reported they felt in a better mood than before watching the film.
Scientists still aren't quite sure why crying has a positive effect. Some studies have found that it reduces stress as toxins are eliminated through our tears. It has also suggested that having a good old weep causes a rush of endorphins that makes us feel better. Good to know either way the two hours we lost balling at Stepmom weren't completely wasted.Here are the best films we know for when you want to feel like you've had your heart ripped out...
1. Me Before You
We spent approximately the entire last hour of this film balling our eyes out. A unique situation yes, but that feeling that you loving someone just isn't enough? It makes our heart hurt just thinking about it.
2. Blue Valentine
Watch as Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams's love slowly and painfully disintegrates into hate. It's depressing.
3. P.S. I Love You
We were dehydrated after watching P.S I Love You. We ugly cried all the way through following young widow (Hilary Swank) follow a trail of letters left by her late husband (Gerard Butler).
4. The Notebook
There's a time and a place for Ryan Gosling and let us tell you, The Notebook is most definitely it. Gosling plays one half of loved-up duo Noah and Allie (played by Rachel McAdams) who are torn apart at the start of World War II. When Noah returns from fighting, it's clear their passionate love is far from over.We don't need to warn you about the boxes of tissues you'll be needing.
5. Marley & Me
Yes, we'd kind of forgotten Jen-An was in this tearjurker, but in hindsight we think this was the best film she's ever done. The worlds of Jen-An and O-Wilson collide as they learn some of life's most important lessons from their naughty dog. Ok, we know, stick with us. The dog becomes the back-bone of the family, then *spoiler alert* the dog dies. Sorry, but we feel honesty really is the best policy when talking about matters of the heart.
6. Kramer V.S. Kramer
This isn't just a film that will make you cry. This is a film that will make you sob, for hours, until you've no tears left to give. Divorce is often punctuated by pain - and the Kramers' is no different. Watching the marriage between ad exec Ted (Dustin Hoffman) and Joanna (Meryl Streep) disintegrate, while they battle over custody for their six-year-old son, will smash your heart into smithereens. But there's something wonderfully hopeful about it, too, as two humans struggle to do the right thing in an impossible situation. Watch it and weep.
7. Forrest Gump
It's an oldie, but a goodie. Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) doesn't think he's different to any other kid his age. Thanks to his supportive mother (Sally Field) he leads anything but a disadvantaged life and is an inspiration to everyone he meets, that is everyone except his childhood friend Jenny. It's supposed to be a comedy, but in the real world if you can get through this 2 hours and 25 minutes without crying like a baby you deserve a medal.
8. My Girl
Friendship and happiness are two of the hardest things in life when you're 11, and that's before you get onto death. But death isn't something that scares Vada Sultenfuss (Anna Chlumsky). Her mother died in childbirth and her dad owns a funeral parlour. All the other girls think she's strange but not her best friend Thomas (Macaulay Culkin). Just watching the trailer brings it all back. Yes, there were happy parts, but that's not the point.
9. It's a Wonderful Life
Why are things so much more emotional at Christmas? It's A Wonderful Life is just one example of why come Boxing Day evening we're all sobbing quietly into our final box of mince pies. We've all had days when we wish the world would open up and swallow us whole, for frustrated businessman George Bailey (James Stewart) that day is Christmas Eve. But just as he wishes away his life an angel (Henry Travers) points out just what life would've been like in Bedford Falls without him.