We all feel sad sometimes, whether we’re going through a break-up, receiving bad news, or simply watching a really heartbreaking movie. Sadness isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing — it can make us more empathetic and resilient, and sad feelings can be reduced or managed.
Sadness is different from the medical condition depression, which you can learn about here.
Too often our response to challenging emotions is to just push through them, and sadness is one of those feelings that’s often seen as something to avoid. Instead, try leaning into those feelings instead of ignoring or outrunning them.
Name Your Feelings
Part of reflecting on difficult feelings is naming them. There’s actually science that proves it.
Write About Them
Journaling is a powerful way to lean into sadness. Spend a few minutes each day writing about how you’re feeling.
Acknowledge that it’s okay to feel sad. Remind yourself that these feelings will lessen over time.
It’s important to understand the difference between sadness — which is often in response to a difficult experience and subsides naturally over time — and the signs of clinical depression.
How to be sad
Learn more about what happens when we deny or push away our feelings in this video from The School of Life.
A brief history of melancholy
Take a journey through a “brief history of melancholy” with Courtney Stephen’s animated Ted-Ed video.
The best strategies for dealing with sadness can differ from person to person. Try different approaches to see what works best for you.
Dig Deeper with Deepak
Deepak Chopra shares his advice for coping with temporary or long-term sadness
Being grateful is a powerful way to cope with sadness or other difficult feelings. Check out this gratitude experiment from SoulPancake.
Need help now?
If sad feelings interfere with your quality of life and last for several weeks, reach out to a mental health professional for support.