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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Are You Ever Just Plain Sad?

Do you ever wake up and just feel sad?  I don’t mean the sadness that comes with loss or illness, when you get rejected for the perfect job or book deal, or the days after a violent hurricane when you assess the damage to your home. Sadness in those situations seems . . . earned.

I mean the days you wake up with every reason to be happy, but sadness jabs like a stone in the pit of your stomach.

The way sad-for-no-apparent-reason days seem to sneak up when my guard is down can make them trickier for me to deal with than the expected, “earned” kind.

Here are a few of my tips for working through sadness and coming out the other side.   

·         Journal – years ago someone told me it is really hard to hold onto a feeling when you write about it. It is like the simple act of writing the feelings down on paper draws it out of my head


·         Take a walk—Even if it is only for 10 or 15 minutes, walking has a way of chasing the isolation of sadness by connecting me to the outside world



·         Smile – Some mornings, I probably look foolish forcing a grin from ear to ear as I drive alone in my car. I am not going to get all technical, but apparently smiling sets off a physical/chemical reaction in our brains—sort of tricking the brain into thinking it’s happy. It sounds simplistic, but for me it works.

How about you? Do you have sad-for-no-apparent-reason days? And if you do, what works for you when you want to beat the blues?


  1. Hoping all is well at the Cape <3

    1. Yes, all is well, so well, today at 60 something degrees may just be a beach day :)

  2. I cuddle with my puppy and then everything is okay.

    Julie V

  3. Puppies, exercise, writing, calling a funny or understanding friend, watching a sitcom. Sometimes if I just accept that I'm sad, it seems to pass more quickly. Oh, a nap never hurts either :)

  4. I know what you mean, Carol, but I don't think I called it "sadness". I sometimes feel that way when I look at my life and it seems like nothing really matters. We're just going through the motions. Wake up, go to work, come home, eat, sleep, do it again and again. All the above comments work for me -- puppies, cat cuddling, and reading. listening to Car Talk is really therapeutic for me too. Andrew Weill advises to go on a complete news sabbatical for a few days. I often do that on vacation. That can really make you feel happier.

  5. Mary Frances FoxNovember 10, 2012

    I call the feeling: "My soul is tired of dragging my body around." For me, the antidote is music. Either I give in to it (Barry Manilow, "Read 'Em & Weep", Journey "Separate Ways", Eric Carmen "Never Gonna Fall In Love Again") or I give it the finger (Supremes "Can't Hurry Love," Smokey Robinson "It's a Good, Good Feeling", Frankie Vallie "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You"). Cranking up the car radio and singing at the top of my lungs usually does the trick! If that fails, an "I Love Lucy" marathon is in order!

  6. I get lost in a book. I change my environment by reading the beautiful words of an artist who takes me outside my life, outside my world, outside my head. :) When I come back, everything has changed... most specifically, my outlook.

  7. Thanks all for sharing so many great ways to chase the blues.
    and when all else fails, lets's not forget chocolate

  8. I go the book route too. I turn off the computer, and the TV and read until I feel better. It usually works. But not always.