Home LifestyleHealth Need a Good Cry? The Best Spots in Hoboken + Jersey City, Rated

Need a Good Cry? The Best Spots in Hoboken + Jersey City, Rated

by Heather Rafanello
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We know that the holiday season is over, but we’re taking a step back to talk about some of the emotions that come into play during these few months — which can also happen at any time of the year. Maybe it’s nostalgia for a different time, missing far away loved ones, or just feeling overwhelmed in general, the holidays and daily life can bring up a lot of different feelings for people. The Hoboken Girl asked local expert Heather Rafanello of Growing Mindset Therapy to share some ideas about how to work with the big emotions that come into play during the holiday season (bookmark this for later in the year) and all year round. Read on to learn Heather’s best suggestions for coping when you need a good cry.

It might feel like an article highlighting local places to cry is a silly topic, but it’s important to create a safe space and be able to process various emotions.

Here’s what we know about emotions: for many, they feel scary but the reality is, that while these emotions might feel scary, they are incapable of doing any harm. They’re a natural part of our human experience (like it or not). Emotions are not logical, rather they’re a reaction which is how the body teaches the brain that something is off, something feels dangerous, or something is affecting you.

Mental health professionals and advocates are working hard to help communities reframe emotional experiences from negative to natural. Consider this: crying is an act of true strength and courage — and self-care at its finest. Expressing vulnerable emotions, especially in a public setting, can be an incredible form of self-respect and self-love.

While it might feel uncomfortable, and we understand it might not always be the time or place, we’re here to share some safe spaces to feel the feels. Of course, therapy is a great place to cry — but when it comes to being alone and wanting to get all your emotions out in a relatively (Note: Depends on who’s walking by at the moment) judgment-free zone in public, there’s no shortages of spots to cry in Hudson County. We’re rating these by privacy level 1-10 (10 being fully private, no one will ever see you), and this isn’t an exhaustive list — in fact, it’s just the beginning.

Here are some places where you can cry in public in Hoboken and Jersey City, no tissues included:

Vepo Clean
JK Therapy

Sinatra Drive on the Waterfront | Sinatra Drive

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Sinatra Drive may be filled with bars and restaurants, but it’s also home to Pier A, the Sinatra monument, and lots of open space to walk and wail. Bonus — if you get hungry, Blue Eyes has some great Italian eats to order to-go and sit on a bench to finish out the moment.

Zap Fitness

Privacy Level: 3 — there are always going to be people here, but chances are, similar to New York City, it’s not going to be out of the ordinary to see someone crying on the waterfront, and is virtually a judgment-free zone.

Read More: Arriving at Burnout? Here’s How to Cope — From a Local Therapist

Jersey City Reservoir | 119-199 Reservoir Avenue

This spot is a totally isolated and calm environment filled with nature to really let your emotions release. Jersey City Reservoir is a decommissioned reservoir atop Bergen Hill in the Heights, about 13.8 acres and just south of Pershing Field.

Privacy Level: 9 — you may see other people here with their dogs for a walk or a park preservationist making their rounds, but chances are you’ll be in a good place to let your emotions loose in nature.

The Hoboken and Jersey City areas have some incredible walking trails, and parks that can serve as a quiet, scenic place to cry. Whether you’re walking down Sinatra Drive, sitting at a park bench in Hamilton Park, or on the hill at Riverview Park in JC, you’re in a present-focused moment.

Any PATH Station | Multiple Locations

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Letting some tears flow is a great way to release any negative or pent-up energy before your trip into the city. Whether heading into work for the day, hitting some of the sights and bites, or just going out on the town, negative emotions are not baggage you want to lug with you along the way.

Privacy Level: 2-10 depending on the time of day — While there may likely be a person or two nearby, at the right time this can be completely private. Even when people are around, everyone has their AirPods in and their heads in their phone, so we’re confident that you might let out a good cry totally unnoticed.

Lincoln Park | 1 County Road 605, Jersey City

Lincoln Park in Jersey City is a great place to get some fresh air and center yourself. Perhaps you’ll see a turtle or some birds. There is a dog park and a walking path along Edgewood Lake. The sights and sounds of this park are great for connecting with your mind, body, and soul.

Privacy Level: 7 — This is a pretty large park, so there are many places to sneak off and do some heavy emotional lifting. There are park benches, a walking path, and the sound of a waterfall really helps get those tears flowing.

Liberty State Park | 1 Audrey Zapp Drive, Jersey City

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Here you’ll find a two-mile promenade, picnic areas, playgrounds, and stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Manhattan skyline. It’s also home to the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. If you’re visiting with children, don’t miss visiting the Liberty Science Center.

Privacy Level: 9 — While Liberty State Park is a popular place to visit, we’re confident that you’ll find a quiet and private place to cry on its 1,122 acres of land.

NY Waterway Ferry | Multiple Locations

NY Waterway takes pride in being the fastest and easiest way to and from Manhattan.

Passengers can enjoy some fresh air, get out on the water, and the incredible city views are included with every ticket purchase! The NY Waterway has several routes, allowing convenient access to Midtown, Battery Park, and Pier 11/Wall Street. There are several NJ locations passengers can ferry from, including Edgewater Landing, 2 Weehawken locations, 14th Street and Downtown Hoboken, Paulus Hook, Port Liberte, and Liberty Harbor in Jersey City.

Privacy Level: 7 — The ferries have carried more than 200 million passengers over the years, and while this is a popular commute for many, there is plenty of seating both inside and outside where you can soak in the views, and let out the tears.

Any Sauna | Multiple Locations

Saunas continue to remain popular and has been used for thousands of years. The health benefits may include easing pain, reducing stress, and improving cardiovascular health (Medical News Today). In addition to these health benefits, wellness benefits can also include increasing present-focused awareness, releasing toxins in the body, and reducing stress hormones in the body.

Privacy Level: 8 — We’re giving this an 8 because while there may be people sharing the space with you, the sweat and humidity really hide those teary cheeks. A huff and puff, or a sniffle or two may go totally unnoticed in the heat of this moment.

Riverview-Fisk Park | 498 Palisade Avenue, Jersey City

Riverview-Fisk Park in Jersey City Heights has a beautiful view of the city skyline. In addition to hosting holiday markets, and farmers markets, in warmer weather you’ll see children’s birthday parties, and picnics galore.

Privacy Level: 6 — while the park can get busy around dusk, and during weekend markets, most are so awestruck by the city views that they won’t have time to notice your tears.

The Stevens Campus | 1 Castle Point Terrace, Hoboken

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The Stevens Campus is home to college students, but also home to some stunning views of the city, and beautiful historical architecture in our Hoboken community. The campus has seen its fair share of tears, whether from a homesick student, a heartbreak, or the stress of academia, this is a good place to feel the feels.

Privacy Level: 4-10 — During the academic year, the foot traffic on campus is busier than ever, giving this location a low privacy score. However, during breaks, or over the summer, when many students return home, you may be able to walk across campus without passing a soul. Regardless of the time of year, we’re confident that you will be able to find a spot on campus to enjoy some fresh air, see the city views, and let out a good cry.

100 Steps

If the title alone doesn’t make you want to cry, give the 100 Steps a visit and you’ll know why they’re listed here. The steps are located between the Heights and Downtown, and serve as a way to get from Hoboken to the Heights. Don’t worry, if the 100 steps are already making you cry, there’s also an elevator located at the 9th Street Light Rail stop.

Privacy Level: 7 — While there is usually another climber or two on the steps with you, there’s no time or energy available to focus on anyone but yourself.

Pier A or Pier C

There are quite a few Piers in Jersey City and Hoboken, each home to even more stunning views of the water and the city skyline. While this spot is only semi-private, it’s also a great place to curl up with a good book, enjoy a cup of coffee on a park bench, or take a stroll with your human or furry friend.

Privacy Level: 3 — similar to our rating for Sinatra Drive, will always be people here, but chances are, it’s not going to be out of the ordinary to see someone crying on the waterfront. We’re claiming this as a HG judgment-free zone.

See More: Neutralizing Negative Thoughts — Body Image Edition From a Local Therapist

Newport Mall | 30 Mall Drive West, Jersey City


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While you don’t want security following you around asking if everything is okay, a good walk + cry is a great combo in none other than the Newport Mall. Get it all out, and then top it off with some retail therapy — and a bonus there is that the AMC theater in the mall has all the latest movies for an additional distraction.

Privacy Level: 2 — you’ll be for sure passing by other humans, but chances are, they’ll be enjoying shopping and won’t give it a second glance.

Other Places to Cry

Workout classes are another great place to experience emotions as they arise, including frustration, sadness, and even pride. Movement is a great way to reconnect the mind and body and release pent-up emotions, through sweat and tears. Once you’ve gotten your cry out in the great outdoors, yoga is a great form of movement that often invites participants to slow down, release, and surrender.

You can find a list of yoga spots for Hoboken here and Jersey City here.

Research has shown that reading can improve overall wellness by increasing empathy, and understanding, creating space for healthy escapism, and increasing focus. Below are some cozy spots to curl up with a good book and shed some tears.

  • Bwe Kafe is a family-owned coffee shop, passionate about bringing the best out of coffee and people. What better to bring out of people than tears!
  • Lil Dove Cafe is a trendy yet cozy spot in JC Heights serving up delicious drinks and bites.
  • Snapdragon Cafe is a local JC gem with lots of comfy couches to snuggle up in with a good book, and a nice warm drink. No matter what your favorite coffee is, they have something that will be right for you.
  • Bean Vault Coffee and Uncle Milton’s Cafe are two local businesses to sign up for Hudson County’s Safe Place Program. While these locations have limited seating, they have pledged to provide a safe space for members of the community experiencing any type of hate crime.

We’d be remiss not to mention that there’s always the bathroom at your favorite roofttop bar, sports bar, or dive bar. Whether you’re crying over a break-up, some friend drama, or something else, we’ve all been at a bar and found a tearful soul in the restroom. These moments become special when people rally around one another to lift each other up.

No matter the setting, remember that releasing emotions is a part of the human experience. Emotions directly influence a person’s energy, and at times require some form of release, which can be crying, or other cathartic expressions such as creativity, exercise, talking, etc. You never know what another person is going through, perhaps they’re crying over a video on their phone, maybe they’re feeling burnt out, or they could have just gotten some terrible news. Always remember to be kind, feel your feelings, and keep growing.

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