This Website Wants To Help You Cry

After Michael Harwell’s wife died of brain cancer two years ago, he learned to embrace the grieving process by relishing 56 years worth of memories from his marriage and sharing them with his friends. These reflections almost always end in tears. Harwell, 80, never saw a man cry while growing up in the 1950s, so he viewed the act as a sign of weakness. Little did Harwell know that decades later he would run across a website that would help him realize just how wrong that thinking was and how right it feels to cry. The website — Cry Once a Week — was designed to help people do just that. A button in the center of the page that reads “click to feel something” directs you to a video clip. You may watch Simba mourn the loss of his father in The Lion King or watch Harry profess his love for Sally on New Year’s Eve in When Harry Met Sally. About 250,000 people from nearly every country have visited the website since its inception. Harwell is one of them. After watching a particularly emotional clip one day, he directly related his wife’s death and the grieving he had gone through. He finally knew that crying was a release of the emotions he had not allowed himself to feel. Mental health experts say that even though your life and the world at large may already give you enough reasons to cry, resources like this website can give you a rare opportunity to connect with pent-up emotions. It’s also okay if you can’t or don’t want to cry. Crying is most therapeutic when it’s personally meaningful or relevant.