Why is “It’s Alright to Cry” So Healing?

It’s Alright to Feel Things
March 3, 2014
Small Group Somatic & Intuitive Coaching Series
March 4, 2014

Here is why I think this song is so wise.

The overall message of It’s Alright to Cry is that feelings are good things. The song encourages us to feel and express our feelings without fear or shame.

Each verse contains specific medicine for the fears and judgments that we may have internalized about our emotions:

Verse I.

It’s alright to cry/Crying gets the sad out of you

It’s all right to cry/It might make you feel better


Here in this verse is permission to feel, permission to express.

It says, you are not bad to feel, and your feelings are not bad.
It’s safe to feel. It is safe to express feelings.

And it can be helpful to express them! It can give us relief in the moment.
Expressing our feelings can make us feel better in the long run, too. As we *gradually* [the gradually part is important!] allow ourselves to feel and express more and more feeling, our feelings seem less scary.

Verse II.

Raindrops from your eyes/Washing all the mad out of you

Raindrops from your eyes/It’s gonna make you feel better


This verse reminds us that tears are as natural as the rain. As cleansing. Tears can restore flow, and move you out of feeling emotionally stuck or contracted.

Verse III.

It’s all right to feel things/Though the feelings may feel strange

Feelings are such real things/And they change and change and change


The message here is that feelings are okay—nothing to be afraid or ashamed of. 
Feeling your feelings is good, and it’s safe. It may not feel that way sometimes, but even that unease is okay. At times your emotions may feel weird, overwhelming or out of control. These are all normal ways to feel. You are not doing it “wrong.”

This verse also tells us that feelings are important;  they deserve our attention and appreciation. They are key to our aliveness.

At the same time, feelings come and go. Thank goodness! We don’t need to hold on to them or make an identity out of them. We can enjoy them the way we feel the wind against our skin, or watching the water in a river.

We don’t have to be afraid that our feelings will stay forever, or define us. If we relax, our feelings will keep moving, and moving on.

This verse is a good reminder for those of us who tend to habitually feel only one or two specific emotions. These emotional “go-tos” developed from emotion states being repeated over time until they became our automatic, familiar “grooves.”

These grooves can become identities: “I’m a sad person.” “I am an angry person.” This song reminds us that these emotional identities are not solid–we have the capacity to feel all of our emotions.

Verse IV.

Sad and grumpy/Down-in-the dumpy

Snuggly, huggly/Mean and ugly

Sloppy, splappy/Hoppy, happy!

Change and change and change


Here Rosey Grier lists many feelings, naming each one with affection, and expressing them with his shoulders, voice and eyes. He playfully shows us with his body how to feel our feelings fully, enjoying each one. And letting the next one come. His voice and body tell us: No feeling is bad. No feeling is the correct one. 

It is helpful to approach a feeling with–as Buddhists say– “neither attachment nor aversion.” There is no need to prefer, hold as superior, judge or reject any of our feelings. We can allow all feelings to arise and fall in their natural flow.

Verse V.

It’s all right to know/Feelings come and feelings go

It’s all right to cry/It might make you feel better


This verse tells us to let our feelings follow their nature of arising and dissolving. Like water flowing. Let yourself fully express and befriend this feeling and the next one. Be like water. Let water come out of your eyes and move you to resolution and contentment. For a time. Until the next feeling arises. 

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