Does working out make you weep?

“I would give everything I own give up my life my heart my home….just to have you back again..”

This was the song (by Bread) playing during my 45 minute Yacht Rock Ride with Peloton’s Jenn Sherman, when I could feel the well in my chest. That moment when endorphins from the ride mix with cheesy 70s “yacht rock” and encourage a spontaneous release of emotions.

It’s a familiar sensation, while spinning, sometimes, while running, whether because of music or not.

It’s more common for me to feel that well in my chest when not exercising lately. What’s going on? I am not a weeper. I’m the one who doesn’t always cry at funerals. Not because I’m not feeling it, but it is more likely to hit me in private. When I’m walking somewhere – or exercising. But not so much lately. Seeing as PMS seems to be a 3 week/month event these days, tears are more common than usual.

Frustration can make me feel weepy. So can happiness. Telling the group of women I exercise with, that this might be the most fun of my day, as I head off to to work from home, can make me feel weepy as I walk away. My husband was cleaning out an old drawer and found a journal where I was apparently trying to summon up a soulmate. Seeing that journal and the reminder of how alone I felt at one time, how juvenile my words look in retrospect, made me feel weepy. Weepy can mean happy, not always sad or nostalgic or fearful or anxious.

Crying, whether because of sadness or because of happiness, can be beneficial, as it helps regulate emotions. Don’t believe me? This article says that: Crying is an important safety valve, largely because keeping difficult feelings inside — what psychologists call repressive coping — can be bad for our health. Studies have linked repressive coping with a less resilient immune system, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, as well as with mental health conditions, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Crying has also been shown to increase attachment behavior, encouraging closeness, empathy, and support from friends and family.

I can use help with regulating emotions these days. As my hormones seem to be making me feel more inadequate lately. Less useful or competent. As they make me feel more angry sometimes. Or more resigned. Or more tired and unmotivated. More unsure if I can be honest about how I’m feeling, and whether it will be held against me (in the workplace). I’m grateful for exercise and movement more than ever. Even if the endorphins seem to wane more quickly post workout. Exercise seems more necessary for my survival, than ever. I’m grateful for every emotion that is heightened through movement. Including tears.

How about you? Can exercise bring out your tears?

Side note – certain songs make me weepy, regardless of what I’m doing:

Coming Around Again – Carly Simon
Tell Yourself – Natalie Merchant
Somewhere Only We Know – Lily Allen cover

Which songs do this to you?

Nicole P. lives in Toronto with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys moving in the form of running, group park conditioning and strength workouts, spinning on her stationary bike, walking around her East End neighbourhood and the occasional bit of yoga.

4 thoughts on “Does working out make you weep?

  1. Crying while running always feels healing! I’m with you on emotions near the surface these days–as if some universal emotional energy has been stirred up.

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