Feeling Sad, Unhappy or Depressed

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There are days where we feel happy and excited about our friends, hobbies, and other positive things in life. But there are also other days where we might feel down and struggle to smile. In this article, let's explore sad feelings and discuss ways to improve your mood.

Why do We Feel Like This?

Sometimes there is an obvious reason for feeling sad or even depressed – for example, there could be something happening in your life that really drags you down, and makes you feel hopeless (like the death of a loved one). But there are also times where it can be hard to explain exactly why you feel low.


Online Experiences that Can Make You Feel Upset


Reading or watching the news can help you stay up-to-date on what is happening in the world. But the news often focus on negative events – wars, natural disasters, crime, or accidents - making it seem like the world is an unfair and dangerous place where nothing good ever happens. This is only one view of the world, as the great things in life rarely get mentioned in the news.

What can I do if the news make me feel upset?

  • Be aware of catchy headlines: Some news websites use "clickbait" headlines to gain attention. Make sure to read the article carefully to find out what really happened.
  • Check the facts: Some people share information that is not true. Look for evidence elsewhere online by searching for the same topic on trusted news websites, or ask someone for a second opinion.
  • Talk to somebody: Discuss the news with a parent or teacher. They can help you understand what is really happening.
  • Take a break: It can be good to take a break the news for a little while, and balance your views of the world with positive things.

Social Media

Even though social media is there to connect people, it can also make you feel lonely. That is why it’s important to spend face-to-face time with your friends and family, too.

Sometimes people will post things on social media that can make you feel like your life isn't as great as theirs – for example, showing off new clothes, posting travel pictures from places you always wanted to go to, or bragging about how much fun they have with their friends.

Remember, often people's lives look perfect on social media because they only share their best moments and avoid posting all of the struggles they face on a daily basis - struggles that we all go through. What some people share on social media isn't always as real as it seems.

Negative Vibes

While some people only talk about the good things in their lives, there are also people who only talk about their problems. Sometimes this can make you feel good, because you don’t feel like you are the only one who has troubles. But vlogs, blogs or social media accounts of people who only share negative things can also drag you down – if you fins this to be true, then it might be better to unfollow them.


There are times where people use the anonymity of the online world to talk to people in a way that they wouldn't often do in real life. It can either come from people we know in our offline world, or from complete strangers. Regardless, there are moments where these comments can be hurtful and make us feel bad about ourselves. If you feel like this could be something you're experiencing, feel free to check out this article on cyberbullying as we talk a bit more about what the experience is like and steps one can take to tackle it.


Is Being Sad the Same as Being Depressed?

Sadness and depression can feel similar. Generally, you might feel low, heavy, blue, grumpy, or like you want to cry. But there are also important differences between sadness and depression.

Sadness is a very normal feeling that comes and goes. You might feel sad because you did poorly on an exam, or because your friend doesn’t have time to hang out with you. This feeling might stay for a few minutes, hours or a day or two. But eventually you start to feel happier again.

When someone is depressed, it means that they feel a very strong sadness that doesn’t go away. This feeling might last for weeks or even years. People who are depressed can feel hopeless and think that things will not get better. They might pull away from friends and have little energy to go about their day.

Signs of Depression

  • Long-lasting feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
  • Not being able to focus, make decisions, or remember things
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy like hobbies or sports
  • Feeling tired or sluggish and not completing simple tasks
  • Sleeping too much during the day or too little at night
  • Large changes in appetite leading to overeating or not eating enough
  • Unexplained physical problems - like back pain or headaches
  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Getting angry or frustrated even over small issues

10 Tips To Feel Better

  1. Find The Source: Instead of running away from your sadness, see if you can find the source of it - was it something like a breakup, a bad grade, or family issues? If so, remind yourself that it is perfectly normal to feel sad and write down small steps to address the source of your sadness (e.g., talking to a friend about the breakup, going to a study group for your next exam, etc.).

  2. Spend Time With Friends: You might feel like being by yourself when you are sad. This is ok. But being around good friends can help you let go of your sadness and get back in touch with the positive things in your life.

  3. Talk: Share your feelings with a good friend, a trusted adult or a counselor at Your Life Your Voice.

  4. Exercise: Sports and exercise that you enjoy can give you energy and make you feel happier.

  5. Get Creative: Do something to express your feelings, such as drawing, dancing or getting in touch with music. It doesn’t have to look great – it’s just for yourself.

  6. Sleep: Sometimes problems seem much bigger when we haven’t rested enough.

  7. Eat Healthy: Eating too little or too much can affect how you feel. Try to avoid junk food and make sure to drink enough water. A healthy diet will give you more energy, support your brain, and improve your ability to cope with stress.

  8. Allow Yourself To Be Sad: It’s okay to spend a little time by yourself, feel sad, and even have a good cry if you feel like it. It’s important to be able to slow down and explore your feelings (*just be aware of when you are spending too much time alone and try to maintain a balance of spending time with others as well).

  9. Help Someone Else: Doing something nice for someone else can make you feel better.

  10. Notice Good Things: When you are sad everything might seem terrible. Take a notepad and think about things that are good – maybe it’s a book, a song that makes you happy, a friend or a great adventure from the past.


How Can I Find Help?

If you feel worried about yourself, feel like you might hurt yourself, or simply want to talk to someone - there are people always available for you.

There's always someone available to talk to at Kids Helpline. You can anonymously reach out to them by calling 1800 55 1800, or you can chat with them online.

If you are in immediate danger never hesitate to call 000.

There are also many resources on the Kids Helpline website that can help you when things get really overwhelming.

I feel threatened

Is someone that you have met on the internet asking you to do things that make you feel uncomfortable? This might be cyberbullying or online grooming – our discussions on these topics can give you more information on what these are and what to do if you are experiencing these.

Always feel free to talk to someone at Kids Helpline.

Are you in immediate danger? - Never hesitate to call the police on 000.