Excuse Me While I Bawl My Eyes Out

A small pug wrapped in a blanket.

There are few things as cathartic for me as a good cry over a movie or book. Give me a doomed romance or devastating death in media form* and I’ll dissolve into a red-faced sloppy mess.  

And I love it. For so long, I would fight emotion like this, avoiding things I knew would make me feel, but now I embrace it. I can tell when my tear tank is getting too full and needs a release. When I need a good cry, I’ll snuggle into a blanket, have some sugary snack nearby, and lean into it. I’ve got my go-tos here for you to peruse, for those moments when you feel your tear tank getting a little too full. 


Me Before You: The book is fantastic, too, but watching the exquisite Emilia Clarke fall in an impossible love rends my heart every time. The stark contrast between the joy and the pain squeezes my tear ducts dry. You can’t help but root for Louisa’s limitless cheeriness in the face of something so painful. Pairs well with caramel corn. 

Jojo Rabbit: This movie is both hilarious and heartbreaking. It’s utterly irreverent (Jojo’s imaginary friend is Hitler), but the compassion and heart underneath it is truly astounding. Time for me to plug anything that Taika Waititi does, but there’s something extra special about this one. Pairs well with chocolate-covered pretzels. 

Bluey (series): If you’ve seen this one, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a different kind of crying, the kind where you feel so happy and wholesome that it just overflows. I don’t know if I would have had the same reaction before having a kiddo, but it’s a dang good show, regardless. I probably cry, like, every fourth episode, just from pure sweetness. Pairs well with Goldfish. 


The Only Plane in the Sky by Garrett M. Graff: I was 10 on September 11, 2001, and I have painful, vivid memories of that time: confusion, fear, and a new kind of grief that the young me was lucky enough to have avoided till then. This book is brief vignettes assembled to create an oral history, and these different perspectives, even 23 years later, still evoke those same feelings of pain. A lot has happened in our world since that day, but it stands out for me as another of those before-and-after kind of life events. Pairs well with hot chocolate. 

The Women by Kristin Hannah: I bawled three times before I got 100 pages in. This is the first book I’ve read about women in the Vietnam War, and I learned so much while also being compelled and devastated throughout the entire book. It’s not an easy book, but it’s beautiful and important and empowering. Pairs well with peanut M&M’s. 

A Heart that Works by Rob Delaney: I almost left this one off the list, because it's definitely a recommendation that comes with a disclaimer. It’s an incredibly gorgeous book, but the subject matter had me sitting in a puddle of my own tears with my husband telling me to stop reading it. This one’s a memoir about loss when Rob's son dies of cancer at the age of two. It’s filled with rage and love and brightness and crippling grief. A truly outstanding book, but don’t make the mistake I did of reading it while your own child is the same age. Pairs well with . . . actually, don’t even try. You won’t stop crying long enough to eat. 

Do you like watching movies or reading books you know will make you cry? Which ones make you a weepy mess? I love tried-and-true, but I’m always ready for something new! 

*No animals. I can’t even make it through the "Hachi" trailer. 


I am someone who loves love AND a sad ending so Me Before You was the perfect read and the movie made me cry too even after reading the book. A Heart that Works is sitting on my TBR shelf right now and I plan to read it soon. A few years ago I read The Unwinding of the Miracle also dealing with the subject of parents and cancer and it still has a grip on me today. I paired it with a box of tissue and a cup of hot tea. I love when I can connect with someone who also appreciates a good meaningful cry. Thank you Hannah!