This Is Why We Cry And It’s Not Just Because We’re Sad

by : Tom Percival on : 07 Oct 2016 15:36


Crying is a normal thing that everyone does from time to time but did you know that there are different types of tears? 


Having a bawl actually serves several functions all of which are surprisingly important and according to The Mirror may even be life saving.

In fact there are three types of tears, the first are ’emotional tears’ (the type you cry when an animal dies in a film) and are caused by the brain’s lymbic system and hypothalamus processing intense emotion.


Like paracetamol, these ’emotional tears’ act as a pain killer, because they contain the stress hormone ACTH, which explains why having a good old cry can actually feel good.


Luckily for us emotional tears also serve as a distress signal to other humans that we’re in pain and need help, which is pretty handy.


Important as emotional tears are the second type, ‘basal tears’ which play a super important role in keeping our eyes healthy. These tears are made by the lacrimal gland which both produces and drains our tears while helping keep the cornea lubricated.

Now for the final type, ‘reflex tears’ which are caused when we get smoke or another irritants in our eyes, causing the brain to try and ‘lubricate’ the eye by making it water.

Great now, I’m off for a good cry…

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

Topics: News


The Mirror
  1. The Mirror

    This is why we cry - and there's a lot more to it than just feeling sad or happy