My dog had to be put down last weekend. Our sweet, beautiful dog which we’ve had for fifteen years, had to be put down. It was absolutely the most miserable thing that could possibly have happened. Sure, she’s in a better place, and I’m thankful she’s not in pain anymore, but, gosh, I adored that creature. And sometimes, when things just suck and the world feels just awful, the only good thing you can do is let yourself have a good cry. This evening, I turned on Finding Dory and just let myself cry it out.

Similarly, the weekend before, I had a panic attack. I felt like the room was closing in around me and I had to leave. However, I didn’t want to drive. So, I took myself off to a quiet place on campus and just let myself cry it out. That night, I just listened to Dear Evan Hansen and just let myself cry it out.

It was, honestly, the easiest panic attack I’ve ever gotten through. Crying is cathartic and helpful. It really is. I just cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. And then I was done. I got myself up, walked back to my room, washed my face, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.

So, without further ado, here is my list of top ten things to listen to or watch when you just need to let yourself cry:

To Listen To:

  1. Dear Evan Hansen: This new, original Broadway musical centers on a socially anxious teen and his fake friendship with a suicidal outsider at his school. Never in my life have I sobbed as heartily to a song as I did to “Words Fail”, Evan’s eleven o’clock number. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
  2. Sunday in the Park with George: This musical based on the creation of George Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jette” and the artist’s struggles surrounding its creation, then with the similar struggles of Seurat’s great-grandson, also an artist. If you are an artist or just a generally creative person, this Sondheim musical will hit some home truths that will make you sob.
  3. Merrily We Roll Along: Another Sondheim musical, this shows a friendship dissolving backwards in time, from end to beginning. Since you know the bitterness with which it ends, it makes the friendship all the harder, and more tear-worthy, to get through.
  4. Ragtime: OH MY GOODNESS. This show is an American epic. It’s struggles with race, change, pride, and politics will make your heart soar and your tears pour. I can’t even make it through the opening number. If you’re ever next to me at a stop light and I’m sobbing, I’m most likely listening to this show.
  5. Hamilton: This is a spot previously held by Les Miserables, but here’s the deal: this show is really moving for a number of reasons. Namely, Hamilton died young, so did his son. This is the first time he’s really gotten the recognition he deserves, but also, Hamilton, brilliant and brazen, often gets in his own way. No matter how much you cheer him on, it’s heartbreaking to listen to someone you care about fail because of their own actions. Also, the finale is just incredibly emotional. Prep those sniffles.

Honorable Mentions: Parade, Seussical, Into the Woods, Titanic, and Les Miserables

To Watch:

  1. Finding Dory: People. I have never cried at a movie as much as I cry at this movie. Like, embarrassing amounts of tears in a public place. This movie is stunning, nostalgic, and truly moving with its themes of family, identity, and friendship. “Just Keep Swimming”, indeed.
  2. Spotlight: In 2016, as #OscarsSoWhite as the Academy Awards were, there were some truly great films. This one- thank God it won- is a true masterpiece. Stunning performances, maddening story, and some plain, honest-to-goodness anger and sadness.
  3. The Help: If you ever want to be infuriated, moved, stunned, and blown away, you need to watch this 2011 film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s equally stunning novel. People, I sob from like ten minutes in to the end, so I just suggest you get ready for some serious waterworks.
  4. Little Women: My grandma introduced to this film. I may be biased because I actually have sisters, but this film blew my mind when I was little and continues to today. As we face the challenges of modern feminism, Jo March’s struggles as a writer and woman don’t seem too far-fetched, plus her trials with her sisters easily tug at your heartstrings.
  5. The Theory of Everything: This is a weird one for me, only because about halfway through the film, you will remember that Eddie Redmayne is only an actor and, if you’re anything like me, the fact that such an incredible performance can come from one person will make you cry because it’s so awe-inspiring. This movie also tells the absolutely beautiful story of Stephen Hawking and his first wife, Jane, as well as his battles with his rare form of early-onset ALS. This story will blow your mind and make you sob.

Honorable Mentions: The King's Speech, Dumbo, Tarzan, The Light Between Oceans, Miracle on 34th Street, The King and I, The Sound of Music, and Sense and Sensibility

“I guess when you have to cry, you have to cry.”- Peanut Otter, PB&J Otter.