Heart-wrenching Asian and Western movies and shows to watch for a good cry

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If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed recently, whether it be because of work or relationships, a good cry could be what you need. According to a Harvard Blog, crying releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that ease physical and emotional pain. It acts as a way to release stress, which we are never lacking in.

Crying is a natural way we deal with our emotions. However, when our emotions are simmering on the surface and haven’t yet reached their breaking point, we might just need a little push to get the tears flowing.

For those of you who feel this way and are looking for a place to start, we have put together a list of shows that have left us sobbing into our pillows. We didn’t rank them in any order, but all of them will hurt (in a good way), we can assure you.

Miracle in Cell No. 7 (Korean Version)

A story about a woman trying to clear her disabled father’s name years after his death, this movie is all about finding joy in the darkest of places. Based on a true story, Yong-gu is accused of the murder of a small girl who slipped and fell. His inmates smuggle his daughter, Ye-sung, into the prison, and it progresses to her visiting Yong-gu every day after school.

However, despite the feel-good vibes of the show, it takes a dark turn as Yong-gu’s trial approaches.

When Yong-gu is found guilty, he is finally executed for a crime he didn’t commit.

This show is heart-wrenching, and while it is labelled as a comedy-drama, in the end, you won’t be able to summon a laugh.

You can watch the show on Apple TV or Google Play.

More Than Blue (2018 Taiwanese Film)

If you remember the year 2018 when people were saying not to watch More Than Blue because it will make you cry uncontrollably, they were right. More Than Blue has a cliché love story: girl and boy love each other, but boy finds out he has a terminal illness and tries to set the girl up with another person.

The one thing that sets More Than Blue apart from its other competitors is that it does this storyline justice.

We follow the main characters Yuan Yuan and Che Kai and their love story. Che Kai, upon realising that he is sick, tries to set Yuan Yuan up with another man, seeing it through until she has walked down the aisle and is married. But with a twist at the end that we did not see coming, the show becomes an even more desolate tale.

You can watch it on Apple TV and Google Play.

A Silent Voice (Anime Film)

Trigger warning: This show contains mentions of suicide and depression

Animes may be animated shows, but that does not mean that they are unsuitable for adults.

A Silent Voice is a story about repentance and making up for your past mistakes, even if you are not sure you deserve forgiveness. Following a high school student Shoya Ishida who wants to commit suicide, we watch as he goes in search for a girl he bullied in elementary school for being deaf until she changed schools. In this way, he tries to tie up loose ends in his life.

In a slow journey to redeeming himself and finding his place in the world, Ishida meets the girl he bullied, the friends he thought no longer cared about him, and learns to look others in the eye.

This movie will make you cry, but it will also leave you feeling hopeful while you sniffle into your pillow.

You can watch it on Apple TV and Google Play.

Train To Busan

Train To Busan is an action horror film surrounding a zombie apocalypse, so it may come as a surprise that it’s on this list. But for those that have watched it already, you would probably know why.

This film showcases the love a seemingly cold-hearted man can have for his daughter, and how he puts her above anything else as they try to escape from becoming a zombie. With twists and turns throughout, it can seem like they will never be safe as the undead breathe down their neck at every turn.

The scenes near the end, though, are what make this show a tear-jerker for us and make it more than any old zombie flick.

You can watch it on Apple TV or Google Play.

A Star Is Born

Trigger warning: The film mentioned shows the act of preparing to commit suicide

Lady Gaga’s first starring role came in A Star Is Born. Inspired by real-life events, though not based on anyone, the show follows Jackson (played by Bradley Cooper) and Ally (played by Lady Gaga).

The story is centred around their relationship, from when Jackson first hears Ally sing. At one of his shows, he invites her up to sing, and they continue the rest of the tour together with their success.

While Jackson slowly becomes a shell of himself, Ally’s career starts to take off, causing him to feel left out and lonely as he is separated from his partner.

Despite being in rehab, when he makes an embarrassing scene while drunk, he decides to take his own life, and Ally is left to mourn him.

You can watch it on Netflix.

If Anything Happens I Love You

This is less of a show and more of a clip, but it will make you cry all the same.

This 12 minutes clip tells the story of parents who have lost their child in a school shooting. The universal theme of grief and loss makes this clip hard-hitting even to those who have never lost a child.

We see them suffer from guilt, witness their wish to turn back time, and how two people can drift apart when a loss is too great.

Heart-breaking but ultimately hopeful, this short clip will have you weeping in minutes.

You can watch it on Netflix.

Squid Game

The popular Netflix K-Drama has taken the world by storm for its shock factor and its undeniably captivating storyline. However, one thing fans know is that the show can be heart-breaking.

Throughout the series, we follow the players as they play their childhood games to the death, with characters dying at almost every instance. Filled with betrayal and sacrifice, the characters’ desperation and despair shake viewers to their core.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.