JUL 01, 2018 7:23 PM PDT

Need a good cry?

 

If you’re like me, sometimes a good cry really can fix everything. And this time science actually agrees with me!

There are several different types of tears. Tears of sadness, for example, contain hormones such as prolactin and leucine enkephalin, which are natural painkillers. Meanwhile, basal tears, the tears that are always in your eyes and help you cry and blink out that mosquito that got stuck in your eyeball, are full of antibacterial agents such as lactoferrin and lysozyme that act to cleanse. Reflex tears (cutting onions, anyone?) serve a similar purpose to basal tears in that they work to cleanse toxins from the eyes while also lubricating the eyeballs and swishing out any unwanted visitors.

Research shows that baby girls and boys both cry as frequently and for equal amounts of time as each other – in fact, that pattern lasts right up until puberty, when boys show a marked decrease in crying. Want to learn why? Watch the video above or check out another video here!

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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