The impact of regret depends on whether one expresses it publicly or privately, claim researchers.
The new study carried out an analysis of more than 13,500 tweets about regret from December 2011.
Past research has shown that regret serves to help us learn and prepare for the future.
In the new study, Amy Summerville and Joshua Buchanan found that when we express our regrets publicly, we are seeking emotional support from others - highlighting some of the previously unexplored social benefits of regret.
The study has been published online in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.