How to overcome sadness

How to Overcome Sadness: 6 Tips to Ruin a Perfectly Bad Day!

Do you ever wonder how to overcome sadness? If so, keep reading. But before diving into the tips, know that sadness is a normal and healthy part of life. Everyone experiences sorrow, displeasure, and feeling of emptiness at times. In fact, sadness is so common, reports show over 20,000 searches for the phrase “I’m sad,” “I am so sad,” and other variations of these phrases, each month. And that’s just on Google


If you are experience sadness, know you are not alone. Sadness is a great place to visit—especially when there is a loss. Everyone needs to grieve. Ecclesiastes 3, states that there is a time for everything. This includes, “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Sadness serves a purpose, in that it helps us to move past our pain.

The problem with sadness is when we get stuck there. Have you ever caught yourself wallow in misery? I have and it’s a miserable place to be. If this has ever described you, then pay close attention to these six tips. Here’s how to overcome sadness and ruin a perfectly miserable day!

Wondering how to overcome sadness? Here are 6 quick tips to ruin a perfectly bad day! Share on X

How to Overcome Sadness

1. Spend time with happy people.

Misery loves company. If you spend time with miserable people, your sadness is guaranteed to grow. On the other hand, it’s nearly impossible to stay sad in the presence of a happy company. Proverbs 17:22 says, ” A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”

2. Feed your happy thoughts and starve sadness.

There is an old Cherokee legend about two wolves that live and battle inside of each human being. One is named envy, jealousy, sadness, and pain. The other goes by joy, love, courage, and peace. One day, a young brave asked, “Which wolf wins?” The wise chief replied, “The one that you feed.”

Dwell on sadness and it will increase. Feed your happiness and it will grow! Share on X
overcoming sadness

3. Practice good self-care.

Sadness is a lot like the warning lights on the dashboard of a car. It lets us know that something needs to be attended to. After a big loss, grief is needed. It’s OK to give yourself permission to be sad. Self-care may mean setting aside time to grieve. Schedule a long walk. Talk about the loss with a close friend or knowledgeable counselor.

A process of grief is a healthy part of moving past our pain. Share on X

4. Smile and laugh–a lot!

Psychology teaches us that we are biopsychosocial beings. Our outward bodies are tied to our inward feelings. This means that physical actions will impact how we feel. Simple actions such as forcing a smile, telling a joke, watching a funny movie, and participating in a pleasurable activity will eventually increase our happiness. These happy actions may feel awkward at first. But eventually, they will cause sadness to dissipate. Over time, they will also begin to feel more natural, and the joy will return.

In short, if act happy, soon you will feel happier.

5. Look to God for strength.

This was a key strategy of the Biblical hero David. Many of the Psalms–which David wrote–begin in sorrow and end in rejoicing. Thank God for his goodness. Praise Him for His love for you. Rejoice that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Sadness cannot live in a person of gratitude, praise, and worship for long.

Praising God is an excellent way to ruin a miserable day. Share on X
Overcoming sadness

6. Seek professional help.

Sometimes sadness reaches the point professional intervention is needed. Chemical imbalances, negative thought patterns, and long practiced, sorrowful habits can be difficult to break on one’s own. If you find that you’re stuck, don’t stay there. There are plenty of well-trained therapists, pastors, and life-coaches, who would love to walk alongside you on your journey to healing and growth.

The bottom line is that happiness is a choice.  Sad people feed their sadness. Psychology shows that our genetic makeup does have a part to play. Each of us has a biologically set, happiness point to which we naturally return. Thus, happiness comes easier for some than others. Yet, happiness is also like a muscle, it develops with practice. The good news is that even those with a biologically low-set happiness point can raise the bar through intentional action.

Overcoming sadness 4

Resources for Overcoming Sadness

P.S. Wondering how to overcome sadness and looking for even more resources to help you grow? For more quick wins, check out my free eBook, Be Happier Now! I’ll send it directly to your inbox when you subscribe to my weekly newsletter. Simply enter your name and e-mail, and you’re in!

Diving Deeper

Dive deeper with these questions for reflection and discussion.

  • Have you tried any of these strategies, and if so, how have they worked for you?
  • Were there any new strategies on this list that you plan to try?
  • If a friend asked how to overcome sadness, what advice would you share?
  • Are there other ideas for overcoming sadness that you would add to the list? 

Finally, we’d love to hear from you. Add your thoughts and keep the conversation going in the comments below!

Jed Jurchenko

Jed Jurchenko is the husband to an incredible wife, daddy to four amazing girls, and a foster dad to one more. He's served as a children's pastor, marriage and family therapist, psychology professor, award-winning writing coach, and life coach. Jed is the author of 23 books on relationships, parenting, writing, and doing life well. In his free time, you'll find Jed reading, preparing for an upcoming marathon, barbecuing, paddle boarding, and enjoying life with his incredible family. Find out more about Jed's books, coaching, and courses at

17 thoughts on “How to Overcome Sadness: 6 Tips to Ruin a Perfectly Bad Day!”

  1. I like that you addressed the fact that grief is a natural and healthy way of dealing with sorrow, yet we can’t allow sadness to control our life, we need to allow sorrow its room, but not feed sadness. Nice and simple, very applicable.

    1. Hey Joshua,
      Thanks for dropping and for taking the time to leave a comment. Sure appreciate the words of encouragement too! Can I ask how you came across this site? I love making new connections and am always looking to build on things that are working well 🙂

  2. Our thinking seems to be aligned yet again here, Jed. It’s hard for people to break out of a funk and laugh; but even if it is forced, it creates a change inside that can lead to feeling better for real. Same with exercise. When you’re down, you don’t feel like going out or being active. But if you can make yourself do it anyway (even if you have to complain the whole way to get through it), it sets off a reaction that gets our system back in sync.

  3. Jed powerful post here. The one thing that kept coming to my mind during reading this is Christ heals us through our wounds. #5 has been the most beneficial to me during my life. it has been a source of hope and optimism which flows into the other areas to ruin a bad day.

    1. Thanks Kirby, & very well put. Christ does indeed heal us through our wounds. I’ve been comming to understand & appreciate what this means more & more over the past few years 🙂

  4. Hey, Jed!

    The mirror neurons in our brain are quick to pick up on other people’s moods and behaviors and mirror them. That ties right in to #1 on your list.

    On feeding happy thoughts…I learned from my manager this week that I’m being transferred to a different department and new manager. This change stirred up sadness in me, as well as my current manager. He’s been my manager for about 8 years. Knowing that gratitude helps in times of sadness, we acknowledged our sadness but turned our discussion to the things we are greatful for, like the good times we had working together and that we still have our jobs after many years.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Hi, Jon. You and your current manager may have a change in relative roles, but you can certainly hang onto the positive aspects of your relationship. Just be intentional about it. Pop in and say hi. Send an encouraging email. Maybe you can each even have new role in one another’s life now.

      1. Erik,

        Thanks for your encouraging words. My soon to be former manager made a similar point. While we’d become friends over the years, the growth of our friendship was limited by our roles. This change, as with most changes, brings with it new opportunities.

    2. Thanks Jon,

      A transition after eight years with the same manager is a big loss 🙁 I’m going on eight years with my company and made three, major moves during this time. They have each been a good thing, but it was tough moving away from coworkers I knew for 2-3 years. I can only imagine how challenging it would be to make this transition after eight years. I love how you were able to talk about the loss and then transition the conversation to gratefulness over the good times shared. What a great application!

      Do you have any recommendations for books or articles on mirror neurons by any chance? I remember reading about them last year, and found the topic fascinating. It’s an area I’m hoping to study more in the future 🙂

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