The album was released on 28 September 2004 as a CD on Panic Button Records/Lookout! Records and as an LP on Dionysus Records. In April 2010, Dionsysus Records in conjunction with the band re-released the album on vinyl. 500 copies of the album were pressed on blue and white opaque vinyl with a download coupon which included the complete album plus three previously unreleased B sides from the album sessions.
Rick Anderson on Allmusic gave the album a positive review, awarding it four out of five stars. Anderson stated: "The Dollyrots are certainly nothing new -- no genre-transgressing experiments, no incongruous fusions, no mind-expanding instrumental solos or side-long suites. Just 13 tight, compact, sweet, and crunchy bursts of punky power pop". Anderson also praised singer Kelly Ogden, saying that "her voice is clear and sharp, and her delivery is by turns sweet and snotty." Hunter Felt on PopMatters wrote "What Eat My Heart Out does have are elements missing in most paint-by-numbers pop-punk: a sense of true fun, not the forced and contrived "fun" of the Blink-182 wannabes, and an infectious energy", adding that the band "actually seem to be able to translate their well-regarded live shows onto a disc without sacrificing the spontaneity their music requires".