Feeling Sad


Sadness is a very important emotion because it can help motivate you to do something about a distressing situation. You may feel sad for many reasons, like:

  • you have been disappointed
  •  you have been rejected
  • you have been ignored
  • you have been misunderstood
  • you haven’t achieved your goals
  • you lose something important to you like a loved one or your self-confidence

You can help yourself cope with sadness by learning about what makes you feel sad, becoming aware of how you deal with your sadness and expressing your sadness.

If you are sad you may just feel a little blue or you may feel so low that you find it hard to get out of bed or talk to other people. It’s normal and healthy to feel sad from time to time but if you are feeling sad most of the time you may have depression.

If you think you might have depression please talk to a trusted adult. Depression does not go away on its own and only a doctor can diagnose it. For more information about depression please call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

What makes you feel sad? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What makes you sad?
  • How does your body feel when you are sad?
  • What do you think of when you imagine yourself or others expressing sadness?

Try some of the following ideas to identify things that make you feel sad:

  • Write a list of the things and situations that make you sad.
  • Write a list of the physical cues your body gives you to let you know when you are getting sad.
  • Write a list of the thoughts, images and feelings that come to mind when you imagine being sad or when you imagine other people being sad.

Have you read our article on dealing with depression?

How do you deal with your sadness?

Think about how you deal with your sad feelings. Do you:

  • Withdraw into yourself and avoid people?
  • Express your sadness but then feel badly about it?
  • Try to forget your sadness and hope it will go away?
  • Keep your sadness inside because you feel there’s something wrong with it?
  • Keep your feelings inside because you feel it’s not safe to express your sadness?
  • Keep your feelings inside because you are afraid that if you do express your sadness it will never go away?
  • Get support by talking to others and reaching out for comfort?

Expressing your sadness

Sad feelings can be painful and overwhelming. Sometimes it can feel like the sadness will take over if you let yourself feel it. But avoiding the pain can prolong your suffering or make your sad feelings worse. If you can express your sadness you are more likely to find healing and relief.

Here are a few ways to express your sadness:

  • Vocalize sad feelings – cry, yell, wail, sob, moan
  • Draw yourself in a sad situation that you remember
  • Find music that reflects your sadness – express your sadness through dance if you feel like it
  • Write about your sadness – keep a sadness diary
  • Think about who you wish you could share your sadness with and picture yourself talking to this person
  • Share your sad feelings with someone

Sometimes sadness can feel overwhelming if you try to deal with it alone. It’s a good idea to get support if you are feeling sad. Talk to someone you can trust, and remember that you can always call a Kids Help Phone counsellor at 1-800-668-6868.