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Rage Crying: What Is It?

by Emma Foster

Young woman sitting on chair crying
Photo by Darina Belonogova

Crying is a completely normal human function. There might be multiple reasons for crying: feeling betrayed or rejected, experiencing an injury, or even experiencing incredible happiness. But sometimes we cry because we’re incredibly angry. The “rage crying” discussion on the social media platform Tik Tok People has recently delved deeper into what rage crying is, where it comes from, and how you can divert the negative feelings associated with this emotion. Here’s what rage crying is and what it means to cry while angry.

Rage crying is crying when angry or frustrated, whether you mean to or otherwise. Healthline explained, “The most immediate reason for angry tears is probably that you feel hurt, embarrassed, betrayed, or unjustly treated. When people experience injustice, rejection, or humiliation, the natural response includes both anger and sadness — often simultaneously.” This type of crying may stem from consistent mistreatment or injustice in younger years, allowing anger to persist into adulthood, a sudden loss as we experience the five stages of grief, or any other mistreatment. Anyone can experience this anger regardless of where they come from, what they believe in or identify with, or what they look like, and the crying itself serves as a comforting relief that the body naturally produces. There is no shame in crying and letting these emotions out. But what happens to your brain when you "rage cry"?

Many situations can cause feelings of anger. When you’re angry, you might feel flushed and warm. This is caused by a sudden influx of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline from multiple places in the brain, including the pituitary gland. Your body is trying to bring all that stress and hormone activity down, and crying serves to calm you. Crying is also cathartic, so crying when you’re angry works to help get your frustrations out in a healthy manner. When you rage cry, you let out your anger before experiencing all those calming agents.

Lately, the trend of discussing rage crying has taken over the social media platform Tik Tok. Therapists have also taken to the platform to offer explanations and further discuss rage crying. The discussion, however, is more than a trend. With all the daily stresses and recent major events going on in our world today, we all experience anger, but we can also engage our emotions in positive ways.

"It is wise to direct your anger towards problems, not people; to focus your energies on answers, not excuses." - William Arthur Ward

Here are also some things you can do when rage and crying take over:

  1. Practice some calming techniques, such as counting to ten to fend off sudden anger, breathing deeply and slowly, or meditating.

  2. Talk it out. This could be with a friend or family member or with a therapist, especially if you find yourself battling anger constantly.

  3. Keep a positive mindset.

  4. Keep a journal to talk out your problems and feelings.

  5. Identify what causes you to rage-cry. If you find yourself repeatedly angry, take a step back and determine what might be causing your rage and figure out how to avoid that trigger.

  6. Find a place where you can be alone and breathe.

  7. Go for a walk and process your emotions. Ask yourself why and how you’re feeling this way to better understand your anger.

Crying might be a normal human response, but there are times when anger seems to take over our emotions in a way that only makes experiences more frustrating. However, not one is alone when it comes to experiencing angry crying. There are manageable ways to redirect your anger and sadness and turn your emotions into something positive. The Tik Tok conversation on rage crying has opened up an insight into how we process emotion. By better understanding these emotions, we can continue to foster more meaningful connections with people by opening up and discussing how we’re feeling, paving the way for future empathy and compassion.


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