Remembering painful incidents has important adaptive value but may also contribute to clinical symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic pain states. Because glucocorticoids are known to impair memory retrieval processes, we investigated whether cortisol affects recall of previously experienced pain in healthy young men. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study, 20 male participants were presented pictures, half of them combined with a heat-pain stimulus. The next day, the same pictures were shown in the absence of pain. Cortisol (20 mg) administered 1h before retention testing reduced recall of explicit contextual pain memory, whereas it did not affect pain threshold or pain tolerance.