How To Look & Feel Better After A Good Cry

I wholeheartedly believe in the power of a good cry. But even more so, in my own near-magical ability to waltz out of the bathroom like nothing ever happened. This talent comes from years of practice, as I may or may not be the type who tears up at the drop of a hat.

Are you the same way? Then you understand what it's like to sob when you're mad, tear up when you're happy, and let it all out when you're sad. You've probably also spent countless hours smearing your makeup with tissues, or giving yourself a headache whilst sobbing away in the car.

If so, good for you. Because there's absolutely nothing wrong with crying. In fact, it's just about as cathartic as it gets. As licensed psychologist Stephanie O'Leary tells Bustle, "Crying ... is a great way to release stress hormones and other toxins that accumulate when you're experiencing a negative mood state, such as sadness, anger, or frustration."

It also releases a helluva lot of endorphins, or "feel good" hormones, which O'Leary says may explain the post-cry mood shift. (You know, that feeling of being a whole new person after a good bawl.) So, if you need to have a good cry, go ahead and let it flow. Then, follow some of the tips below to freshen up, cure that headache, and get back to your day.

1. Wash Your Smeary Face

Before you do anything else, go ahead and wash that face of yours. It'll get rid of runny mascara and smeared foundation. But more importantly, a quick splash of water "will also bring the redness down," Murat Evin, creative director at The London School of Make-Up, tells Bustle. This includes the redness around your eyes, but also any swelling on your nose or cheeks. Just be sure to use cold water to truly de-puff.

2. Pop In Some Eye Drops

Once you're all cleaned up, "... put a drop or two of redness-reducing eye drops in each eye to help calm and constrict the blood vessels," said beauty writer Carly Cardellino on Cosmopolitan. Then cruise on out into public like nothing ever happened.

3. Let It All Out With Exercise

If you still have some tension floating around in your system, get it out with a walk/jog/run. As Los Angeles-based psychologist Yvonne Thomas tells me, exercise will burn off any extra feelings and help you to further calm down.

4. Go Get Your Drink On

Depending on why you cried, a real drink may be in order. But what you really need is water. Lots and lots of water. This is especially true if you have a post-cry headache, which can be caused by dehydration, according to health writer Leigh Good on So drink up.

5. Get Rid Of That Headache

Headaches have all sorts of causes — including dehydration. But they can also be caused by the muscle tension following a rather intense cry. So if you're really feelin' it, try a natural headache remedy like a gentle scalp massage, warm bath, or cup of chamomile tea. (All excellent ways to pass the time, btw. Headache or not.)

6. Pat On Some Aloe Vera Gel

If you're still in need of a little refresher, give aloe vera gel a try. "Aloe vera gel is ideal for helping to reduce the inflammation, which can occur around your eyes," Evin says. For the best (most amazingly soothing) results, put the gel in the fridge for a few minutes first.

7. Jot Down Your Thoughts

Sometimes you just gotta cry. And that's perfectly OK. But other times, an outpouring of emotion is something worth evaluating. If you think that may be the case, start journaling your post-cry thoughts. As Thomas says, doing so will help you "know what you need to further work on by yourself or with a psychologist."

8. Put On Bright Lipstick

There's nothing more uplifting than some bright lippie. It has a way of making you feel put together, which is always a good thing after a messy cry. But it's also good at shifting the focus to your lips, according to Cardellino, and away from your puffy eyes.

9. Draw On Navy Eyeliner

While you're touching up your mascara, go ahead brighten your eyes with a touch of navy eyeliner. As Cardellino said, "... when put against something white, [it] makes it appear even whiter." And that'll clearly come in handy when trying to combat redness.

10. Get Out The Lemons

If you're feeling a bit bedraggled, perk yourself up with a citrusy scent. (Tea? Candle? Room spray? You get the idea.) As deputy healthy living editor Lindsay Holmes said on, "... [even] simply sniffing the fruit can help boost energy and alertness." All good things when you've just had it out with a box of Kleenex.

11. Take A Nap

Since crying causes such an emotional release, you'll probably feel a pretty intense desire to take a nap once you're done. So if that's what your body needs — and you have the time — go ahead and do it. You'll feel so much better when you wake up.

But hey, you'll probably feel better anyway. Because, when it comes to letting you emotions out, nothing beats a good cry.

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