When was the last time you cried? In the middle of a fight with your best friend? In front of the class when you started to mess up during your oral report? How did you feel afterward? Embarrassed? Surprised? Relieved? Well, although they often flow uninvited, and just as often betray how you're really feeling to the immediate world, those tears are an important part of your life. And probably the healthiest way you have of expressing and releasing emotion. At the end of your favorite television program? What's so healthy about crying? Crying burns off pent-up energy and helps you relax. Why do people cry? Those tears aid in ridding the body of toxins by releasing chemicals up when we're stressed. Some of those chemicals, called beta-endorphins, are natural pain relievers produced by the body. that build Why do people cry less than I do? How much you cry depends on the same factors that make you : your temperament, your family, and the ethnic and cultural environment you were raised in. So why do people cry less than you do? It might also be because you're more in touch with how you're feeling than those around you. you What if I never cry? Not to worry, it doesn't mean you're hardhearted or insensitive. But you might want to think about any negative feelings you have about crying. Chances are you've been conditioned not to release your emotions too freely. Why do people cry , but boys don't? Little boys cry as much as little girls until society's "be a man" thing kicks in. Ever hear of peer pressure? That whole stiff-upper-lip thing boys are taught at an early age causes them to disconnect from their sad feelings. Once puberty begins, most girls cry about five times a month, most boys only once. Why do people cry? Statistics show that sadness accounts for 49% of tears Why do people cry around their periods? Studies show that girls cry five times more often right before and during their period. Yep, as you suspected, it's those hormones. So why do people cry around their periods? Girls have more of a tear-producing hormone called prolactin. And it tends to go wild during menstruation. So know you're not crazy. Or weak. Forgive yourself and rest easy knowing how much better you'll feel once those stress-related chemicals are washed away. Or too sensitive. The happy truth is that crying is good for you, physically and psychologically. And as an extra bonus, one researcher swears that people not only feel better afterward, they look better, too! Learn why people cry and about teen depression at BeingGirl.com.