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If you feel like you need to cry, that’s perfectly okay – expressing your emotions through crying can be very soothing and feels much better than hiding them away or pretending you’re okay when you’re not. There is nothing wrong with crying; it’s a natural human response to a wide range of emotions, including happiness and sadness.

For some people, there is still a lot of stigma around crying, so if you or someone you know starts crying then it’s important to remember that it is never a sign of weakness. In fact, it might be a sign that you or they try to cope with a lot of stuff, and that some extra support might be needed. Boys and men in particular are often affected by this stigma and feel extra pressure to be seen as tough rather than as emotional.

                                      Close up of young man crying

What young people have told us:

'It helped to see that other men cry too, sometimes when you least expect it.  That actually made me smile.'

'There's nothing wrong with crying it doesn't mean you are weak it just shows you are human. If you cry you will feel physically better and it really does help.'

'It helped as it cleared my mind out, as keeping all feelings in can be exhausting.'

'It is so healthy to cry, don't be afraid to cry. If you don't cry then you are not dealing effectively with your emotions.'

'Because trying to hold in tears physically hurts and when you cry it feels like a pressure has been released.'

'If you don't comfortable cry in front of people just be alone and cry. Watch a movie or listen to a sad song.'

'I find myself listening to sad songs a lot, just wanting to cry. This has helped me to realise that it is ok to cry and let your feelings flow like a river.'

'I think it helps me because I am showing my emotions and not hiding them.'

There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.

If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.