Personal Growth

16 Things To Do When You’re Feeling Sad

How can I overcome persistent sadness? Everyone will experience sadness throughout their day, and to a certain extent, it’s a normal part of life.

These feelings can last several days or weeks, and although they’re normal and should be embraced to some extent, self compassion is essential too. Fortunately, there are several ways you can pick yourself up when you’re feeling down.

First, don’t feel bad about feeling sad

When something bad happens in your life, it may feel like the world is about to end. It’s fairly unlikely that this is true, and the first thing you’ll want to do is zoom out and look at the bigger picture.

The most common reasons for sadness – the break-up of a relationship, rejection from a college or job you really wanted, arguments with friends and family – all feel like a really big deal in the heat of the moment.

However, looking at the bigger picture usually shows us a new perspective. And though most of us try to suppress or dismiss these emotions, it can be a better idea to embrace them.

All emotion is important and can help us understand our lives. Negative emotions come as a result of stressors and circumstance, so make sure that you don’t feel bad about times where sadness feels overwhelming, as this can end up making you feel worse.

Can’t pinpoint why you’re sad? Try writing

When you have a difficult time getting over the emotions you feel, you’ll probably feel stifled by emotions. Many people find that they feel happier by expressing their emotions – not verbally, but by writing them down on paper instead.

Using pen and paper, a person can start to write down challenging emotions. Writing those negative thoughts down in a journal or diary can be the first step to helping you deal with them when you’re in a low mood. And it’s not just us saying this – this is a claim supported in academic journals and by expert psychologists.

Writing in a journal can feel as though you are sharing your thoughts and feelings with another, but it’s actually private for your own benefit. It will give you an accurate understanding of your thoughts and emotions, and ultimately learn more about yourself.

Try Deep Breathing

Take some time to gather your thoughts about the current situation that you’re in and breathe. If you’ve tried meditation, you’ll know that you can do this by practicing listening to the voice of yourself.

It may be helpful to try breathing exercises to reduce your sadness and make yourself feel better. When someone is struggling with sadness, it can feel hard to recognize what’s going on and touch base with your inner self – deep breathing is one thing that allows us to do just that.

Dance to Your Favorite Songs

Music is often referred to as the elixir of life, so it can be a good idea to put on one of your favorite songs to take your mind off of things.

This can be helpful when you’re trying to reduce depression and anxiety, as just a few minutes dancing may be all you need to release that negative energy – it can be a great way to get rid of that extra stress, too.

Treat Yourself With Kindness

Remembering to be kind to yourself and not judge yourself for feeling simple human emotions can be extremely helpful in the initial stages of sadness.

Studies suggest feelings are not “good” or bad in nature, but are natural behavioural reactions that are often used to convey something that one can learn – this includes feeling sadness. Sometimes feeling frustrated and wondering can exacerbate these symptoms, so remember to be kind to yourself first of all.

To release sad emotions, don’t overlook the value in a good cry

Regardless of your gender or age, there’s nothing wrong with crying when you’re feeling upset. Some men feel like they should never exhibit sensitivity, but the truth is that it’s okay for men to cry too.

Bottling up your emotions can do more harm than good in the long term. So if you’re feeling a little depressed, crying is a natural part of this process.

Set the bar ridiculously low

It is crucial to start taking action, and even the smallest signs of progress can be extremely important. You can start with simple things like brushing your teeth or washing the face, but then continue making small increments every day.

Over time, you’ll build your bricks of resilience up one by one until you’ve got your own personal castle of wellbeing.

Find what does make you happy

Everyone has their own ways to deal with issues, whether that’s done by picking up an inspiring book, playing some cheerful music, visiting the local park or watching some good movies, is all largely personal. Each of us has our own pleasures that bring joy into our life.

You can participate in a hobby you truly love – volunteering, solving a challenging puzzle or clipping the hedges in the garden. Do something that brings you joy.

Be Aware Of The Food You Consume

Eating nutritious foods helps to boost mood, and although eating a full tub of ice cream may feel like a terrible idea, in moderation it can actually help.

This is because lower glucose level may affect your mental state, so eating a small snack can help make you feel better. Eat sugary foods that boost energy for a short period spending time can be a temporary boost to your mental health.

Reach out to your people – especially if you’re feeling lonely

A supportive group of friends or colleagues is essential for most people, and talking things through think your nearest and dearest is a great idea if it’s possible.

If you can’t talk with friends or family, you may want to join a community. Even in online communities, you can give a lot of support and find support for yourself there too. You could start by searching Facebook and seeing which groups may be relevant for you.

Visit a New Cafe

if you’re like me, you’ll find that drinking your favorite cup of coffee can be just what you need when you’re in feeling sad. Most people find that going to their favorite cafe helps them relax, focus, and feel better overall.

However, if you’re looking to get outside your comfort zone, you can even think about going to a new cafe you’ve not visited before. This will take you out of your current surroundings, and allow you to forget about a loved one or friend that may be on your mind.

Reframe your thoughts to stop thinking about the past

Grief can be tough to deal with, and you could be in trouble if you let it become too overwhelming. One way that people deal with this is to try and stop thinking about things that have already happened, and focus on the future instead.

This can help you to think about hope and ambition, instead of dwelling in the past over events that you have no control over.

Spend time in nature

City dwellers can go weeks or months without getting out into the open, and fresh air may be all you need to take your mind off of things. This means getting out into nature as opposed to being cooped up in your bedroom.

Going for a walk in the countryside will give you a change of scenery, as well as ensuring you get some well needed exercise – another big indicator of daily happiness.

Set Goals

Baby steps are a great idea if you’re looking to make steady progress – as the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day“. Setting small goals and meeting them can give you a sense of accomplishment, and there’s a lower risk than setting goals that are too ambitious to meet.

An example could be ensuring that you get to sleep on time or ensuring you get 30 minutes of daily exercise. Taking care of your everyday health is important if you want to maintain a positive and healthy mindset.

Change Your Perspective

You are perfectly imperfect. We all have our flaws, but it’s important to look at ourselves in the present moment and remember how lucky we are to have this worldly experience. Whatever your path was when you were born, you are definitely meant for this world.

Everything happens because you have an objective purpose in life, although this may not be clear to everyone at first. As long as you exist, you can learn, grow and evolve like every other human.

Take a Break from Social Media

Looking at the highlight reel of other people’s lives is an easy way to end up feeling sad. Most people don’t go to Instagram to post when they’re at their lowest, and in turn, this will have a subconscious effect on your social psychology.

For this reason, it can be recommended to stop using social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat. Most of us are socially aware of this, but there are times that it can feel overwhelming.

Embrace your emotions

When one doesn’t feel sad, this can actually be more harmful to mental health in the long term. You cannot heal what you don’t allow your body to feel, so accept that feeling upset is something that everyone goes through from time-to-time.

When things are a little uncomfortable, it can actually make you feel better to deal with things head on. However, if you’re dealing with constant suicidal thoughts, domestic violence and other symptoms that are dangerous, it’s important that you seek mental health experts or online counseling to discuss your feelings.


Sad feelings are a part of life, and we all try to not let things bother us. Without being able to feel sadness, there would be no feeling of happiness either. So, no matter when you’re feeling sad, it’s important to remember that everyone will feel sad sometimes.

Some people choose to embrace negative feelings, whilst others prefer to do activities to take their mind off of things. The reality is we all have our own way of dealing with things when we’re feeling sad mood upset – hopefully the advice above helps you to deal with your emotions, and to ultimately stop feeling sad.

In some cases, you may want to seek online therapy and speak to a professional. A therapist can listen to your story and help you to work through your feelings, and get to the bottom of why you’re feeling sad.