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Best songs, books and movies to cry to, according to ASU students

Grab your computer, a blanket, some tissues and bring on the sob fest with these go-to books, movies and songs selected by students


"Movies and music can help college students relieve stress, providing a good outlet to let feelings out." Illustration published Wednesday, April 7, 2021. 

There is nothing better than a good cry — one involving tear-stained pillows and an abundance of tissues. 

When life gets to be too much and the stress of college takes its toll, some ASU students turn to various mediums, such as songs or movies, to get that sweet emotional release.

Whether it brings you closer to home or to the ones you love, nothing conjures up our memories quite like the songs, books and movies reminding us of the good things in life.

There are outlets which can help us shed a tear, and at times it is exactly what we need. Here are some of the go-to's for ASU students when they need to let their emotions reign supreme.

'Under the Bridge' by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Carlos Fisher, a freshman majoring in business communication, said whenever he has a tough week, he listens to "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, because it reminds him of his best friends who moved away for college.

"(The song is) about missing the people you love and wishing you could be with the people you love always," Fisher said.

"Under the Bridge" was written by the band's lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, when he was experiencing loneliness and separation from his band members and his girlfriend.

"Everyone at some point feels like they want to be at the place they love and don't want to be experiencing the tough things they are currently experiencing," Fisher said.

For Fisher, this song brings him back to good memories when he's feeling down. It reminds him of the time he traveled to Seattle, Washington, with his two best friends. The group listened to the song a lot on the trip, so it brings him to tears after hearing just the first note.

College may have separated the trio, but when they reunited again in Seattle and sang along to "Under the Bridge," they forgot about the stress in their lives, Fisher said.

"When we are together we sing the hell out of (the song) and it's just so much fun, and it makes so many nice memories," Fisher said.

'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak

Nicole Johnson, a freshman majoring in business law, said she reads "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak whenever she finds pent-up emotions are holding her back.

Even though Zusak warns readers of Liesel Meminger's death, Johnson cannot help but cry at the last scene of the book during each re-read. Johnson said it's an emotional roller coaster which helps her release emotions that may have been bottled up.

"I can get my feelings out and be more productive after," Johnson said.

Johnson said she found the lack of spring break and the inevitable burnout from school to be quite overwhelming, and "The Book Thief" helped her reflect on her own life, and how it is not as bad as the lives of the characters.

'The Lion King' 

Isabella Meadows, a freshman majoring in accounting, said she turns to "The Lion King" when she needs to shed some tears.

She said Simba's character arc reminds her of what it is like to grow up and watch life change so quickly, and at times, she feels like Simba.

"Life is constant progression and nothing stays the same," Meadows said.

Even now, when life seems to be moving slowly with limited in-person classes and limited human interaction, Meadows said life can still become stressful.

But movies like "The Lion King" bring back some good, nostalgic memories (attached with tears and at times) and that is all she needs.

'A Dog's Purpose'

Hamreen Sooch, a freshman majoring in nursing, said whenever she misses her furry best friend at home, she watches "A Dog's Purpose."

Sooch said she is the proud parent of a Chihuahua and she adores him endlessly. 

"All I can ever talk about is my dog," she said.

Moving away from home has made her miss her dog and the joy and support he brings her, she said.

The movie reminds Sooch of her separation from her dog, paralleling the plot of the film with the main character, Ethan, going away to college and having to leave his own dog, Bailey, at home. 

The film has moved Sooch to tears on many occasions because even though a dog can't verbalize that they miss their owner, there is still a deep connection between pet and an owner — something which resonates with Sooch and her own pup.

When Sooch gets in a funk and can't seem to focus on her homework, she thinks of her dog, and "A Dog's Purpose" is the perfect reminder of her best friend and the connection they share, something that cannot be defined by distance.

'A Silent Voice'

Amarah Bakare, a freshman majoring in elementary education, has found anime films to be the perfect outlet to cry to.

"A Silent Voice," written by Reiko Yoshida, brings Bakare to tears because she always gets emotional when the main characters in film face hardships.

Bakare said Shoya's and Shoko's relationship over the years reflects how important forgiveness and support can be.

Despite Shoko bullying Shoya at a young age because of her inability to hear, Shoko's loneliness and depression later in high school bring him to seek forgiveness and friendship in Shoya. She forgives him and they find similarities in one another which in turn, forms an impactful connection.

"There's always someone out there, you are never not going to find someone who's like you," Bakare said.

It is the support the characters find in one another and love that distracts Bakara from the stresses in her own life, bringing her to happy tears.

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