Japan Has a Tears Sommelier

And that probably doesn't mean what you think it means

  • Share
  • Read Later

Ever felt energized after a good cry? There’s a class for that!

In Japan, Takashi Suga calls himself a “tears sommelier” and runs cathartic seminars twice a month to help people combat the taboo of exhibiting such emotion publicly. At this particular session filmed by CNN, Whitney Houston music is playing, and participants are listening to someone tell a really sad story.

“Selecting wine that matches food is similar to my job,” he told CNN. “I introduce books, movies, and video that touch people’s emotions.”

Some psychologists do agree that crying is calming because it slows your breathing, while TIME reported on a 2011 study of Dutch women that suggests “those who felt better after a waterworks session may not have benefited from the actual tears so much as the social support and showings of affection they elicited.” So perhaps it is the camaraderie that forms between participants in these Japanese seminars that makes them feel better, more so than the act of crying.

23 comments