Have you ever felt sad for no reason? Last week I woke up and I knew it was going to be an off day.
I felt sad for no reason and I couldn’t help but wonder “what’s wrong with me?”.
The situation was confusing and I decided to write this guide to help you if you don’t know why you’re sad.
I hope it helps you get out of your funk.
Is There a Trigger?
There is more than likely a cause for your sadness.
It can sometimes be tricky to figure it out if you don’t know why you’re sad.
Look back over the last week and see if there were any changes or factors that lead up to feeling sad.
Did you have a stressful time at work?
Is something off in one of your relationships?
Was there anything different about the last few days that could be a factor?
If you can’t figure it out don’t stress about it.
You’re human and it’s normal to have a whole range of emotions.
Don’t judge yourself for feeling sad.
Try to figure out what’s wrong and if you still don’t know the cause move on.
Picking at it and judging yourself for feeling sad will only make it worse.
Are You Depressed?
Sometimes the symptoms of depression can seem like feeling sad for no reason.
While it’s fine to feel sad or not know what’s wrong if you feel low for no reason for multiple days in a row you should talk to your doctor.
Some symptoms of depression include:
- Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Not eating or eating too much
- Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Aches and pains
Do You Need To Make Changes?
Sometimes sadness is a cue that something is no longer working or serving you in your life.
How have you been feeling overall lately?
Do you feel pretty good most days or are you dragging yourself through your life?
If you can identify what is causing your sadness make a plan to start changing it.
Change usually takes time but making a plan always makes me feel better.
I feel most empowered when I have goals and a clear path to make my life better.
Do you need to change careers?
Move to a new apartment?
Make new friends?
Eat a better diet?
Start an exercise routine?
Get more sleep?
Only you will know the answers that will improve your life and if something needs to change.
It’s worth spending some time asking yourself if this sadness is just a passing emotion or if it is being caused by behavior or external factor in your life.
I am constantly in the process of cutting out things that don’t serve me and adding new habits that will make my life better.
At the time of writing this, I am working on cutting out alcohol and adding in daily walks with my dog.
What habits could you add to your routine that would improve your life and what could you cut out that’s holding you back?
Pick one thing to add and one thing to give up and see if that improves your overall mood.
Figure Out How This Is Serving You
I believe that sadness actually serves me and even though it’s not my favorite emotion I find that being thankful for it actually helps me move through it.
The low times make me more appreciative for the good times in my life. Sadness makes me appreciate joy more fully.
It actually allows me to enjoy my life more fully.
I believe we need the contrast of negative emotions to expand and help us grow.
Most of my pivotal moments in life happened when I was feeling really crappy.
Negative emotions and feelings are solely responsible for me finding a job I actually love, doing deep work with my therapist to heal old trauma and getting out of unhealthy relationships.
If I hadn’t felt sad or down during those times I wouldn’t have been motivated to make any changes in my life.
When you’re content it’s easy to stay right where you are and never evolve into the person you’re meant to be.
We’re not meant to be stagnant and I believe that bad days pop up to help me build a deeper layer of gratitude for the happiness I do have in life and to help me grow.
Ask yourself how is this sadness serving you?
What is the lesson here?
How can you see sadness differently?
Feeling down reminds me to take a moment to count my blessings.
Gratitude is one of my favorite emotions to call up and I always reach for it when I’m feeling sad.
It’s certainly OK to feel sad and just wallow a little bit when you’re sad but I generally like to focus on the positive even when I’m sad.
I like to challenge myself to write 100 things I’m thankful for as fast as I can.
The point of this is to think of small things you normally don’t think about like your eyelashes and socks.
Even when I’m feeling low I like to remind myself that I am actually really incredibly blessed.
This helps me from staying sad for too long or getting so low that I end up triggering a depressive episode.
What things in your immediate surrounding are you thankful for?
What is going good in your life right now?
If you don’t know what’s wrong practicing gratitude can help you move past your low feelings.
Evaluate Your Self Talk
I’ve had to work really hard on my self-talk. I’m not naturally a positive person.
My internal dialogue can turn to complete garbage very quickly if I’m not intentional with my thoughts.
Do an audit of your internal dialogue and notice is it mostly negative or positive?
What narratives and stories do you tell yourself about your life? If you walk around telling yourself that life is hard and unfair that is going to feel true for you.
Changing my narratives and self-talk has been so helpful for my overall happiness and wellbeing.
I have a whole podcast episode about it you can check out here.
Whenever I’m feeling sad or don’t know what’s wrong I make a commitment to be intentional about my thoughts and to cut out complaining.
I’ve found that complaining about things around me makes me feel low quicker than anything.
When I feel like my mood needs a boost I will usually do a no complain challenge to help me get my mindset back on track.
Coping with Stress
Having healthy coping strategies to dealing with stress has been a game changer for me.
I used to turn to alcohol and food when I had a bad day or was feeling overwhelmed with my life.
I had to break these habits and build healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with stress.
Our culture tends to glorify working all the time and never taking breaks.
This is actually really dangerous because stress can be really dangerous to your health.
What coping tools do you use when you’re feeling stressed out?
Do they make your life better overall?
Is there something in your life that is causing excessive amounts of stress?
If you’re not coping with stress properly it can manifest itself into sadness or other emotions.
If you’re feeling stressed out you might need to make a plan to get some commitments off your plate.
Tell your boss you need a break, ask your partner for more help at home or hire someone to help you do some of the tasks you need to get done.
Stress is so important to deal with because it can cause serious physical and mental health issues later on.
If you’ve been following me over on Instagram you know that I am obsessed with the Head Space app.
I do a three-minute meditation every morning and it honestly has made such a huge difference in my mental health.
For a long time, I was skeptical about meditation.
I didn’t think it would actually do anything for me and even though I heard people talk about how great it was I still skeptical.
I wish I had started doing it sooner!
It has really given me a higher level of peace and clarity.
Even though I do the short ones I still see a big difference when I do them in the morning.
If you haven’t meditated before the Head Space app has a free ten-day course that will teach you how to meditate.
I love doing the guided meditations on the app and I find that guided meditation is actually easy for me to do.
When I finished a guided meditation I feel refreshed and clear.
In this post, I want to give you a lot of tools to help you feel better when you don’t know why you’re sad.
However, I think it’s important to note that sometimes you have to surrender and just let yourself have a sad day.
There are plenty of days where I decide to lean into my bad mood.
It’s important as human beings that we allow ourselves to feel our feelings and not run or hide from them.
If you don’t know why you’re sad the best thing to do might be to surrender and just let yourself feel your feelings.
If you go this route the most important thing is to accept that you’re having a sad day and to decide not to judge yourself for it.
I can be really hard on myself and when I’m having a sad day I tend to beat myself up or feel really guilty about it.
This only makes me bad mood last longer and I find that it’s harder to shift back into feeling like myself.
Decide to let yourself be sad for a little bit and just leave yourself alone.
Look, there’s certainly a place for eating loads of ice cream and really leaning in.
However, if you’re feeling sad for no reason and you want to start feeling a little better junk food is probably not the way to go.
Feeling sad is a great reason to step up your self-care and that includes your physical health.
Challenge yourself to do a detox and drink a ton of water.
Eat food that gives you energy and makes you feel good.
It can be stressful to deal with sadness and the more energy you have and the better you feel overall the easier it will be.
If you don’t know why you’re sad focusing on your physical health might help you feel better.
If you’re feeling down I also suggest cutting out alcohol completely until you start feeling better.
Everyone reacts to alcohol differently but it can have a negative impact on your mental health and make you feel even worse.
Do Something Fun
Sometimes you just need a freaking distraction.
Go spend time with your funniest friend or do something to cheer you up.
While there is a place to lean into sadness there is also a time to stand up and shake it off.
If you’re tired of feeling crappy go do something to make yourself feel better! Have a dance party in your living room.
Watch stand up comedy. Spend time with friends or family.
Go explore something in your town.
Take a drive. If you don’t know what’s wrong it might be best to just take your mind off of it for a while.
Move Your Body
Exercising is my favorite way to get out of a funk. If you don’t know what’s wrong but you want to feel better I suggest that you get up and move your body.
I love these at home workouts but you can also just go for a walk.
When I’m sad and let myself sit around it can end up making me feel even worse.
Exercise will give your brain a hit of endorphins that can help you feel better if you’re feeling sad for no reason.
Getting outside really helps me when I’m feeling low so if I don’t want to do a hardcore workout I like to go for a walk with my dog or a bike ride.
Getting out of my house and outside usually helps me when I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Plus you’re taking care of your physical body too. It’s a win-win.
I hope this post gives you some ideas of things to do when you don’t know what’s wrong or why you feel sad.
I know when I don’t know what’s wrong with me I can get really frustrated trying to figure out what to do.
Ultimately you are the expert of your own life and you know what the best thing to do is.
Deciding to cheer yourself up or lean into it and spend the day feeling sad are both OK.
As long as you are doing what you believe is the best thing for you then you are on the right path.
I hope you feel better soon! I have lots of other posts about managing depression you can check out if you are looking for more resources.
Want to remember these tips? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
Radical Transformation Project is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
A collection of free mental health planner printables designed to help you upgrade your mental health, feel good and kick ass
Gratitude writing prompts