There are many articles about boosting our mood and feeling better. About finding the beauty, even when there’s so much ugliness. Because the ugliness doesn’t undo or erase the beauty. I write these kinds of articles, and I find reading similar articles to be really helpful. I love learning the tips and knowing what helps.
But on some days, we just need to be sad. Recently, I was having one of those days. A day when the sadness sweeps in and rests inside your veins. I started witnessing how I was feeling and wondering where it was all coming from. I was furiously trying to figure out The Reason. The reason for my sinking mood. The reason I felt so bad.
Margarita Tartakovsky is an associate editor at PsychCentral.com, an award-winning mental health website, and the voice behind Weightless, a blog that helps women deal with body image issues and disordered eating. She also writes a monthly feature for Beliefnet.com, covering topics such as patience and procrastination.
Editor: Nadeem Noor
And then suddenly I simply said to myself, “Today, I feel sad. I just need to feel sad.”
Yes, we have the power to change our moods, and I think exercising that power is important. (Feeling sad is not the same as struggling with depression. When you’re struggling with an illness like depression, it’s vital to seek professional help. It isn’t something you can snap out of.)
But on some days it’s also powerful to listen to soothing music and cry it out. To be alone, to journal, to watch a movie, to read a sentimental story, to have a bowl of soup (or anything else that comforts you), to snuggle under the covers and feel the sadness. To feel the ache.
It’s important to welcome all our feelings. Sadness is part of that collective. We might not know where it stems from and exactly why it’s here today. It might wash over us suddenly, without any warning—the sun is out and then a cloud comes in, everything turns dark and it starts pouring.
Sometimes, this is just how it goes. So, today, if you need to feel sad, feel sad. Don’t try to figure out what’s going on. Don’t tell yourself that you should be happy, that you should be grateful, that you should, should, should. Sit and feel it. Let yourself cry. Let yourself shake. Let yourself mourn. Give yourself what you need. It’s freeing and healing to give ourselves the permission to feel whatever arises.