When you find yourself in a maudlin mood, sometimes the best way to snap out of it is to let the tears fall. An emotional drama or a sappy story is the perfect way to get the waterworks flowing, and there are a bunch of tearjerker Netflix shows that totally fit the bill.
It should be noted that you're not an oddball if you enjoy a good cry every now and then. Crying has some pretty amazing benefits, according to Healthline. An extended bawling session can release oxytocin and endorphins, which can actually make you feel better (as anyone who's seen Legally Blonde would know). You'll just want to make sure you're not using crying over sad shows as a way to focus on someone else's pain instead of dealing with your own, according to Psychology Today.
Depending on what exactly you're feeling, Netflix has got a good selection of shows that can make you cry happy tears, sad tears, angry tears, or all of the above, to let off whatever it is you've got bottled up. If you're in need of a little emotional catharsis, any of these 10 shows available to stream now will give you all the feels.
1. Call The Midwife
If you're a parent, there's a good chance Call The Midwife will emotionally destroy you. The British drama follows the lives of several midwives in 1950s London, and just about every episode involves a mother or baby in mortal peril. I love this show, but I literally had to stop watching it once I became a mom myself — it just became way too real for me.
You might fall in love with the Braverman clan as you watch Parenthood, but they'll also rip your heart out. The show deals with everything from special needs parenting to marital drama to aging and sickness. The ensemble cast includes Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Peter Krause, and Erika Christensen as the Braverman siblings, with their parents played by Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia.
3. Grey's Anatomy
All 15 seasons of Grey's Anatomy that have aired so far are available on Netflix, which means there are plenty of gut-wrenching episodes of the medical drama to choose from when you need to cry it out. These Seattle doctors deal with matters of life and death on a daily basis, plus their own personal travails and tragedies. Without getting too much into spoilers, I'll just say that you really shouldn't get too attached to any one character — or couple. If you're wondering where to get started from the hundreds of episodes to choose from, Bustle's got a list of the biggest Grey's tearjerkers through the seasons.
4. The Fosters
A lesbian couples manages the joy and pain of raising a blended brood of biological, adopted, and foster children. The Advocate hailed The Fosters as "consistently groundreaking," thanks to the way it tackled issues like LGBTQ discrimination, racism, gun violence, and so much more. Keep an eye out for Noah Centineo, who joins the show in its third season, according to Seventeen.
5. Jane The Virgin
This telenovela will make you laugh, cry, and laugh until you cry, sometimes all in the same episode. It stars Gina Rodriguez as the titular Jane the Virgin, who finds herself pregnant even though she's never had sex. In true telenovela fashion, this show has seriously got it all — mystery villains, mistaken identities, murders, marriage... I could go on and on. But don't worry — despite all the love, loss, and heartbreak, there are plenty of happy tears, too.
6. BoJack Horseman
Who would have guessed that a cartoon about an anthropomorphic horse could get the tears flowing? Forbes noted that BoJack Horseman manages to somehow be "both depressing and uplifting," which is a pretty impressive feat for an animated show. Bojack's a washed-up actor trying to reclaim his former glory, voiced by Will Arnett.
Broadchurch centers around two cops trying to solve the murder of a young boy in a small town, but it isn't simply a detective story, according to BBC America. The show features multiple moving and emotional subplots to draw you in, not to mention the stellar acting talents of David Tennant and Olivia Coleman. Netflix has all three seasons of the British drama.
8. American Crime
Each season of American Crime delves deeply into the aftermath of a crime, according to The New York Times, from the suspects to the victims to the law enforcement personnel trying to sort it out. The paper likened it to Shakespearean tragedy and called it "heart-wrenching," so yeah, keep the box of tissues on stand-by. All three seasons are on Netflix.
Nothing gets me weepy like an emotional ballad, and Glee has got plenty of those. The show centers on the glee club at an Ohio high school, with all the ensuing drama you'd expect from teenagers. If you really want to hit yourself right in the feels, skip to the episode that addresses the death of beloved quarterback Finn Hudson — necessitated by the real life death of actor Corey Monteith, who died of a drug overdose in 2013, according to People.
10. Orange Is The New Black
OITNB packs a lot of laughs at times, but the lives of the women of Litchfield Correctional — and the tragic circumstances that led them there, in many cases — can absolutely rip your heart out. The show has tackled heavy topics including sexual assault, mental illness, abuse, and much more. The show recently wrapped up its seventh and final season, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and I'm willing to bet the finale gets the waterworks flowing.