Does Crying Burn Calories?

does crying burn calories

Most of us are familiar with the expression “cry it out” which signifies an emotional release that can lift our spirits and leave us slightly tired. But have you ever paused to think that those tears could be fuel burning? Is a good cry hidden, and does crying burn calories?

Crying burns some calories, albeit not nearly enough to substitute for your workout. However, before we delve into the figures, let us know the wonderful science of tears. Now we are moving forward to answer the question: does crying burn calories:

Why is crying good?

Yes, here are some facts why crying is good:

  • Crying is often a very potent catharsis, enabling us to cast away bottled-up sadness, anger, frustration or grief. Containment of these emotions is detrimental to our mental health, whereas crying could relieve us of feelings and aid emotional catharsis.
  • Crying triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, associated with our “rest and digest” reflex. It counteracts the effects of stress hormones such as cortisol, thus creating a sense of peace and calmness.
  • Emotional tears contain stress hormones and other poisons that our body gets rid of as we cry. This natural process of detoxification could improve our overall physical health.
  • Crying releases endorphins, which not only improve the mood but also have analgesic qualities. This can help with both physical and mental aches.
  • Sometimes, crying can produce a good night’s sleep. Crying can release emotions and relax the body, meaning peace and tranquility when one goes to bed or sleeps.

Does Crying Burn Calories For an Hour?

The precise amount of calories consumed during an hour of weeping depends on many variables, such as the vigor and length of crying and a person’s resting metabolic rate. However, it is also necessary to remember that crying is primarily an emotional reaction, and basing it on using calories might not be the most appropriate way.

Instead of treating crying as a burning exercise for calories, we need to recognize its emotional value. Bottling up emotions may not be good for mental and physical health, therefore, allowing yourself to cry can make it a healthy release.

If you are concerned about the balance between calorie intake and expenditure, working on making your diet diverse and steady, along with regular physical activity, is usually advisable. By consulting a registered dietitian or any healthcare professional, you can also make a personalized plan, considering your specific needs and goals.

Does Crying Burn Calories?

While crying does not burn calories in large amounts, both the physical and emotional reactions to it can indirectly lead to some calorie burning. Here is a breakdown:

  • Crying causes the secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin that slightly increase your heart rate and metabolic rate. This increased activity may cause a small calorie burn.
  • Muscle movements such as squinting your eyes shut and tightening your jaw in crying can burn one small amount of calories. However, the effect is negligible.
  • Crying can represent a way of emotional release assisting in reducing stress and tension. This, in turn, can help lower cortisol levels, resulting in better sleep. Both promote overall well-being and may eventually be responsible for weight management.

Weight-Loss From Crying?

While crying consumes a few calories, this effect is so small that it would barely have any impact on your weight.

Here is what we know:

  • Crying also makes your heart beat faster, burning slightly more calories than when you are relaxed. It is about 1.3 calories per minute, quite similar to laughing. This, in effect, would also mean that you would have to cry for hours or even days at the end to burn the same amount of calories a brisk walk does.
  • On the other hand, chronic stress may actually cause weight gain because of elevated cortisol levels that encourage fat deposition. A “good cry” can help vent emotions and could be a stress reducer, but it would not work as a strategy in weight loss.
  • Weight loss is associated mainly with reduced appetite and eating patterns in cases of grief or depression, not directly due to crying.


Do you lose weight when you cry?

Crying seems to expend about 1.3 calories a minute as doing laughs does.

Does Crying Burn Calories when angry?

Intense feelings such as anger or stress can indeed raise your heart rate and potentially contribute to a short-term increase in the amount of calories burned, but it is not a healthy nor sustainable way to get rid of those extra calories. Chronic stress and negative emotions can be detrimental to overall health.

Do feelings burn calories?

As the AHA notes clearly, emotional stress is not a burner of muscles per se. It only “burns” the heart.

Is it right to cry when you fail?

Grief is an unavoidable part of life that affects you at one point or another. Grief is a heavy feeling and makes it hard to fulfil your daily tasks. Many cry to communicate their sadness, which can be a normal part of mourning.

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