Science Says Crying is Good for You, But Terrible for Romance

You can rent luxury rooms made for crying. Just keep the tears out of the bedroom.

Back in May, the Mitsui Garden Hotel Yotsuya in Tokyo began offering a new type of service just for women: crying rooms. For 10,000 Japanese yen per person, guests can schedule a deluxe weepy vacation in a room designed for emotional release. Amenities include tearjerker movies, emotional manga, and luxury tissues to sop up every tear in high style. Mitsui Garden even provides warm eye masks to reduce puffiness after particularly enthusiastic sob-fests.

Though a sabbatical devoted to tears may sound a little silly, the science behind crying’s health benefits is quite serious—and it turns out Mitsui Garden might want to start welcoming men, too. In the Journal of Research in Personality, Dr. Lauren Bylsma revealed that men only cry 1.3 times per month, compared to 5.3 times for women. Yet nearly as many men (73 percent) feel happier and calmer after a good cry as women (85 percent).

So why does weeping feel so darn good? Dr. William H. Frey II, one of the world’s foremost tear researchers, has spent 15 years trying to answer that question. In his book Crying: The Mystery of Tears, Frey demonstrated that manganese—a mineral element that is both nutritionally necessary and potentially toxic in high doses—has a lot to do with it. Too much of this mood-altering mineral leads to behavioral changes and other strange nervous system effects, including slowed hand movements and a disorder called manganisma, but a good crying spell expels excess levels of it from the body.

In addition to providing emotional detox, crying can lead to increased levels of compassion and even strengthened friendships (which might help to alleviate any loneliness that led to those tears in the first place). A study from biologist Oren Hasson published in Evolutionary Psychology examined the effects of tears in different social situations; in the presence of close friends, crying elicits an evolutionary response of support, likely because such a private moment shared among confidants bolsters relationship bonds. So if you’re due for a little crying time, it might be best to forget about hiding out in a Tokyo hotel, and start weeping in front of your BFF instead. In another of Bylsma’s studies, subjects who cried in social circumstances felt better than those who did so alone.

Still, a crying jag isn’t a perfect emotional elixir. When it comes to romance, crying is a total mood-killer— especially for men. Two studies, one published in Science in 2011 and another more recently published in Public Library of Science, found that the smell of women's tears had a sharp and negative impact on men. The study participants not only reported lower testosterone levels, but also a decreased appetite. Which might be enough to induce tears in anyone.

Illustration by Brian Hurst

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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