It's Okay to Not Be Okay: The Best Places to Cry in Metro Phoenix

Fuck it. Just cry like a baby.
Fuck it. Just cry like a baby. FOTO:FORTEPAN / Kölcsey Ferenc Dunakeszi Városi Könyvtár / Petanovics fényképek / Wikimedia Commons
Welcome to It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, a bimonthly column focusing on dating (kind of) in the Valley, but ultimately, being responsible for yourself. Check out our last entry here and enjoy this week's column.

I cried every day for three months after getting broken up with last year. What a mess.

My eyes start to well up when I’m overwhelmed. Big baby alert!

I cried after getting a B in high school. Nerd.

I cried for a month after moving from Tucson to Tempe to attend ASU, even though all I wanted in high school was to leave my hometown (and I didn’t even go far!).

Okay, we get it! I cry…a lot! As someone who finds herself crying often, I’ve had to change my perception of the act. Yes, sometimes it’s inopportune to find yourself crying in the club, and yes, having a sniffly nose sucks. But it shouldn’t be so embarrassing. It can actually be quite the relief.

So: Today is the day we reclaim crying. We all need our safe spaces to let out a good cry, and here are some of my faves (that aren’t my bed or the work bathroom). Keep an extra tissue on hand. Who knows? Maybe we’ll run into each other.

Gracie’s Tax Bar

Best for: Softly crying at the bartop

It’s dark, loud, and (most importantly) the drinks and tots are cheap. If you sit by the water station, you have the most privacy in the bar. Why? People are too busy swarming the water to notice your tear-stained face. It’s also by the jukebox, which is too loud and is somehow always playing Neutral Milk Hotel.

Sprout’s on Seventh Avenue and Osborn Street

Best for: Kim Kardashian ugly-crying in your car

The best spot to cry here is in the part of the parking lot that’s in between the adjacent new apartments. No one parks there, you’re facing a brick wall, and you can treat yourself to your favorite grocery-store snack after you’ve let it all out. The one issue you may run into is an unsuspecting old man coming back to load up his groceries in the car parked next to yours.

Taco Bell Cantina (Downtown)

Best for: Crying after a night out with friends

This restaurant is one of the saddest places in Phoenix, so it’s fitting to squeeze in a sob session here while you sip on a Baja Blast and munch on a vegan Crunchwrap Supreme (no beef, sour cream, or cheese, add beans and potatoes). I haven't scoped out the Mill Avenue location in Tempe, but I’ll report back once I have.

click to enlarge Ugly cry inside the Rose Room at Valley Bar. - COURTESY OF VALLEY BAR
Ugly cry inside the Rose Room at Valley Bar.
Courtesy of Valley Bar

Valley Bar

Best for: Crying in a dimly lit space

First, grab a Rose Mofford (or Seven Dollar Super Special, who’s to say) and head toward the back of the Music Hall or, if you’re lucky, snag a booth in the Rose Room. Both spots are equally dim and secluded, so you shouldn’t have any issues with intruders. Your cry session will feel almost cinematic in these spots. Pro tip: Wipe your hands on your jeans before playing Skee-Ball. You don’t want that loose grip causing someone else to fall into tears after getting slammed in the face by the ball.
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Bri Arreguin-Malloy is Phoenix New Times' social media editor. As a Tucson native, she's been exiled from the city after attending Arizona State University. She enjoys going to grocery stores, scrounging the depths of Instagram for memes, and talking about her cat.