Why do I cry when I'm unhappy or hurt myself?

Scientists don’t really know why we cry when we’re unhappy or hurt (or sometimes, even joyful). But tears help express deeply felt emotions and often release stress and tension from the body. From our earliest days, when we were babies and could not yet communicate through language, crying let the people around us know that we needed something. Frequently, even after we become older, crying still serves as a wordless signal that something—help or comfort—is needed. In places all over the world, no matter what language is spoken, crying expresses emotions that are easily understood by all.


This is a web preview of the "Handy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App