Why Does it Feel So Good to Cry in the Shower? Psychologists May Have the Answer, So Go Ahead and Let it Out
The shower is an interesting place — I get most of my creative thinking and problem solving done in there. I've also done a good bit of crying in there, and before you judge, research indicates I'm not alone, and psychologists have some ideas as to why it feels so good to cry in the shower, New York Mag reports. So don't feel bad about stepping into a steaming shower and crying your eyes out — no one will be able to see your tears, anyway!
First things first, I should make it known that there was not a study done specifically on people crying in the shower — that would be pretty weird. Not to mention, how would you even design an experiment to test that? Have some people in the shower and a control group in a bare room, show them both pictures of sad things and see who sheds the most tears? Yeah, something tells me that wouldn't exactly fly.
Despite the lack of a concrete link between crying and the shower, psychologists do have some theories as to why it seems like such a commonplace thing to do. First, people like to cry alone and in the comfort of their own homes. In 2008, psychologist Lauren Bylsma from the University of Pittsburgh looked at data from more than 3,000 adults who reported recent crying experiences. Among other things, she and her colleagues found that 62 percent of people who cried recently did so at home, and 35 percent of episodes occurred with no witnesses. So it stands to reason that since many people like to cry by themselves, and at home, the shower is a good place to do it since it's in your house, and odds are if you're showering there's nobody else in there with you.
Furthermore, there may be evidence that crying and taking a shower can both be comforting, to some extent. Psychology professor Ad Vingerhoets told NY Mag that he and his colleagues looked at what people do to console themselves when they're upset. Although the study hasn't been published yet, the study claims that some of the most common ways people comfort themselves are by listening to music, crying, and making themselves warmer, like by getting snuggly under a cozy blanket or — you guessed it — taking a shower.
But if you've never unleashed the water works under your showerhead (running out of creative ways to say "cried in the shower" over here), don't fret. You're not abnormal. Vingerhoets says that shower crying might only appeal to certain types of people, for instance, people who don't form connections with others easily might be more likely to tear up in the shower so others don't see them emotionally vulnerable. Whatever the case may be, if you always let your emotions run wild while you soap up, just know you're not alone. And if that idea sounds totally weird to you, that's okay, too.
Whatever your crying style, I think we can all agree that showering is awesome, and there's so much more to taking a shower than rubbing soap all over your body. I took to Reddit to find the weirdest things people like to do in there, so you don't feel weird about your habits. I'll go first: I visualize how I'd respond to the most out-there scenarios, like getting into a really heated argument with someone, just so I'll totally be prepared to kick some butt should the situation ever arise (it never does).
Ha! I'm totally going to try this next time.
Omg yes. I am not the only one.
Bonus points if you put on your shower radio and jam to whatever's playin! Man, who knew showering could be so fun?
Um, who doesn't draw smiley faces in the condensation on the door?
Okay, let's all stop pretending like we don't pee in the shower on a regular basis. If there are really people out there who, when they get the urge while in the shower, get out (and immediately freeze); sit on the toilet seat with a wet butt; do their business and then try to wipe up with sopping wet toilet paper that falls apart on contact, I would love to meet them because I don't believe they exist.
Images: Bustle Stock Photo; Giphy (2)