Are There Actual Mental Health Benefits To Venting? Here's A Psychotherapist's Take

We all need to vent sometimes. Whether talking about a stressful day at work or expressing how someone's actions upset you, it helps to let it out — or at least it feels like it does. Do you ever notice how good it feels to vent about a problem in your life? It can feel as though a weight has lifted off of your chest, and while this might sound cliché, it can feel like a very real relief. Even if you don't yet find a solution to the issue, it can feel good to let out your emotions in the first place. But are there real mental health benefits that come with venting? Research published in the journal Psychological Science seems to think so, explaining that putting our feelings into words helps calm us down.


Now, to understand venting better, Glam spoke exclusively to Tiffany Green, the Chicago-based principal psychotherapist at Charism Counseling Center specializing in supporting women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ professionals in managing anxiety and depression, who shared some of the many mental health benefits associated with venting.

Venting provides validation

As humans, we all wish to be understood and accepted by the people around us (via Dr. Marjorie Schuman). A main component of the venting process is that we feel seen and heard by someone we trust, especially in a time of distress. When someone allows you to open up to them, they're offering a safe place to hear you out and validate your emotions. They're there to listen with an open mind without judgment, shame, or dismissal of your experiences.


Before we share feelings with other people, we often question ourselves and whether or not our emotions are "right" or "wrong," but getting that outside perspective and acknowledgment from a loved one can truly benefit your mental health. As Tiffany Green exclusively tells us, "Being validated by another person allows us to feel supported and affirmed, which is a major benefit to improving our mental health." Validation makes us feel less alone.

Emotional release and resiliency

It's never good for us to bottle up our emotions, as that bottle will likely burst at some point. We might lash out, say things we don't mean, or build resentment toward others. This can even have physical consequences, with high stress levels having the potential to take a toll on your heart (via The New York Times). Venting allows us to release these negative emotions that we may otherwise hide and suppress — a way to blow off steam in a healthy way that's good for us mentally and physically.


Tiffany Green explains it perfectly, exclusively telling Glam, "When we are unable to feel our emotions, they can become repressed, which increases the likelihood of an emotional outburst when these feelings actually do surface. Venting provides a way to protect us from becoming overwhelmed and increasing our emotional resilience to life's daily stressors." When we let this out and work through problems, we learn to adapt and cope with the ups and downs rather than letting them eat us alive. 

Somatic regulation

We don't just feel emotions in our heads; our bodies also hold on to a lot of stress and trauma throughout our lives (via the American Psychological Association). This connection between our minds and bodies has become an increasingly accepted and acknowledged part of mental health, which can be seen particularly seen through the benefits of somatic therapy. Venting is a way to promote somatic regulation, according to Complex Trauma Resources, which is another way to describe the control we have over our bodies and our responses to negative emotions. In other words, verbalizing our emotions allows the mind to be calmer, which, in turn, calms the body.


"Venting provides a somatic release by allowing us to feel physically and mentally grounded after communicating to others about our anger, worries, and fears," Tiffany Green exclusively tells Glam. You might even notice the tension in your body start to release as you vent to someone. "When we are relaxed, our nervous systems are more regulated, helping to decrease levels of physical activation in our bodies, which contributes to us experiencing a reduction in psychological stress and tension," Green adds. 

A sense of clarity

When we're upset or troubled by something, it's often difficult to think clearly about the steps to take to feel better or solve a problem. Venting can provide a sense of clarity during moments of uncertainty. "Through venting, individuals who feel more comfortable processing their emotions internally through personal reflection can receive feedback and see how their views might be interpreted by others," Tiffany Green explained in our exclusive chat. "Individuals who are external processers and gain a greater understanding by speaking about their emotions can better identify how they feel. Both experiences can positively inform any needed decision making."


Thus, venting can be seen as one of the first steps to solving a specific problem in your life. After identifying the things that are bothering you and expressing how they make you feel, you may feel a bit lighter, as if you cleared away some of the clutter. Then, you can make a clear and sound decision about what to do next. 

Compassion and vulnerability

Feeling acceptance and compassion from another person is one of the most important mental health benefits of venting, according to Tiffany Green. In a world constantly moving and changing, it's common for people to feel lost, lonely, or isolated. In fact, "one in three adults aged 50 [to] 80 reported feeling isolated from others ... in the past year," per the University of Michigan's National Poll on Healthy Aging. "Ultimately, when we vent, we are looking to feel connection and compassion from another person, which contributes to us feeling less alone in the face of our problems," Green exclusively tells us. 


In tandem with compassion, venting allows us to be vulnerable with each other and deepens our relationships. We feel a sense of closeness and trust to confide in each other when we're able to vent, and this further improves our mental well-being. Ultimately, feeling safe and open with someone is one of the great signs that you're in a healthy relationship