We could all use a good cry every once in a while — yes, even if you identify as a Cameron Diaz in The Holiday-level non-crier. When life gets busy, it’s hard to find a good moment to let the tears flow, so that’s why we love watching sad movies that give us an excuse to get it all out. A good cry sesh is a key part of watching any sad movie (or happy movie with some very sad moments). Plus, did you know that a good cry can release endorphins and oxytocin? AKA the same chemicals released by physical exercise, which is way less fun? The next time someone asks why you’re watching The Notebook for the 17th time, tell them that.
Now, we assume that most of you have a list of go-to sad movies at home (no?). But just in case you don’t, we’ve gathered up our favorites here for when you just want to curl up on the couch and work your way through a box of tissues. Honestly, some of Hollywood’s finest films can only be described as tearjerkers — so you’re not just getting an emotional release, you’re watching very important cinema. It’s basically like going to a museum from the comfort of your couch.
From heart-wrenching love stories to seemingly-innocent children’s movies, these are the movies that keep tissue companies in business. We recommend you space them out with something soothing, like an episode of Friends — but up to you!
A version of this article was originally published in July 2015.