How to be happy during sad times

This article was co-authored by Peggy Rios, PhD. Dr. Peggy Rios is a Counseling Psychologist based in Florida. With over 24 years of experience, Dr. Rios works with people struggling with psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression. She specializes in medical psychology, weaving together behavioral health programs informed by empowerment theory and trauma treatment. Dr. Rios uses integrated, evidence-based models to provide support and therapy for people with life-altering medical conditions. She holds an MS and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland. Dr. Rios is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida.

There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Everyone experiences sadness in some form during life. When we are feeling sad or going through a rough time, it is often difficult to find the silver lining and try to be happy. However, you can become happier if you work to accept and explore your sadness, change your thinking patterns, and take active steps to cultivate happiness. [1] X Expert Source

How to be happy during sad times

Michelle Shahbazyan, MS, MA
Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 March 2020. Sadness is different for everyone, but typically lasts for no longer than 6 months after the event that triggered it. [3] X Research source

    You may be experiencing clinical depression if your sadness occurs nearly every day and is accompanied by feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, fatigue, lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, difficulty focusing, and/or suicidal thoughts. [4] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world’s leading hospitals Go to source You should consult with a doctor or mental health professional right away if you experience any of these more significant symptoms. [5] X Expert Source

How to be happy during sad times

Peggy Rios, PhD
Counseling Psychologist (Florida) Expert Interview. 18 December 2020.

  • Ignoring or denying your sadness can lead to problems later in life including pain, fatigue, and difficulty coping with further losses. [7] X Research source

How to be happy during sad times

How to be happy during sad times

How to be happy during sad times

Michelle Shahbazyan, MS, MA
Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 March 2020. It may take years to achieve and may require being vulnerable to working through your emotions, changing your habits, and pushing yourself to be open. [15] X Research source

  • In American culture, we may also be taught to delay happiness until we’ve achieved our goals or reached certain milestones. It may be more helpful to try to think of happiness and well-being as something you should invest in now, rather than something that will come to you later. [16] X Research source

How to be happy during sad times

Michelle Shahbazyan, MS, MA
Life Coach Expert Interview. 18 March 2020. Sadness during rough times often leads to automatic negative thoughts, such as thinking that nothing will get better or calling yourself names. These types of thoughts will only keep you stuck in sadness. Some ways you can confront negative thinking patterns include:

  • Recognize the common types of negative thoughts. All-or-nothing thinking occurs when you tend to only see things in black-and-white terms. Overgeneralizing occurs when one sad event makes you feel defeated. For example, “I’m never going to get this right.” Mental filtering happens when you focus only on the negative details of an event.
  • Keep a record of your daily thoughts. You can write them down in a daily journal at the end of the day, or you can keep track of them on paper or on your phone as they occur throughout the day. [18] X Research source
  • After you’ve written down your negative thoughts, examine any evidence that they are true and try to think of times and examples where these thoughts were not true.

When bad things in the world happen, sometimes it very difficult to accept or understand why. At some point in our lives we will face times that are extra stressful, completely out of our control, or sad and very hard to shake. With the awful events that take place in the world, we need to develop a way to heal ourselves and in turn help heal the world around us. This isn’t easy to do all of the time. You need to give yourself that time to be sad in order to heal and take what positive you can from the negative. Here is my how to guide on how to find happy in times that are dark and out of our control. This guide will hopefully help you and in turn help the world overall be a happier place.

Talk to someone! Whether it be a friend, therapist, stranger, relatives, whomever! If you need to talk and just voice, your sadness or just to take your mind off of the negative then do so. There is something powerful about being able to speak to someone and share your thoughts with no judgement.

Paint rainbows. Draw pictures, paint pretty pictures, color in a coloring book. Creating is a wonderful way to vent out your emotions. You don’t have to be a professional artist to do this, it’s just a brilliant way to get out the negative that might be building up inside of yourself.

Be okay with what you’re feeling. You need to hurt to get to the good. As hard as things may be, you need these feelings to happen to realize what you have. The more you have this idea in your mind, the more positive light you can share with the world.

Don’t get overwhelmed by the negative. The deeper the depression gets, the more negative will follow. If you allow these negative feelings to completely take over it will only add to the negative in the world.

Be a Care Bear! You read, right. Be a Care Bear ! Dig deep down inside and find the positive that is naturally inside of all of us and share that with the world. Care Bear stare the crap out of everyone around you (you will figure out how, it’s science). The more you radiant positive the more positive will happen for you and the world around you.

Make sure you are doing something daily to make each day count. No matter how small or big, make sure you are doing something meaningful in your life. Love, learn, laugh, teach, explore, whatever! Time to make it work.

It’s time to sweat. Do something physical. Go for a walk, dance in your undies, jump on your bed. Being physical releases chemicals in your brain that makes you happier.

Make a list! Not just any list. Make a list of all of your blessings and great things in your life. Remind yourself of how amazing your life truly is and how grateful you are for the things that you have in your life currently.

Look up funny GIFs on the internet. Here is a perfect example .

Everyone is different but there are great things you can do for yourself to guide you through your emotions and help you feel better in a situation where you have no control over what is going on. It is so important for all of us NOW more than ever to find ways to help spread love and joy. Within ourselves and for one another.

How do you find happiness in dark times? What are some of your tricks to the magic that is happiness?

A basketful of thank you notes can become your flowers.

Posted November 7, 2011

How to be happy during sad times

In the world of gratitude, there is a glitch. It is easy to be grateful when the sun is shining, when our dreams are coming true, when the world seems to be unfolding at our feet. But the challenge of gratitude comes with a glitch. Are we grateful when we prick our finger on the thorn of a rose? When our perfect plan goes awry? When all doors seem to be closing on us? When we lose at love?

How can we be grateful during sad times as well as happy ones? Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at University of California at Davis, tells me: “Gratitude is an attitude, not a feeling that can be easily willed.”

Even if you are not satisfied with your life as it is today, he pointed out, “If you go through grateful motions, the emotion of gratitude should be triggered. It is like improving your posture and as a result becoming more energetic and self-confident.”

This is the same lesson expressed in 365 Thank Yous – by John Kralik. Before discovering the power of “thank you,” the man who would become a Superior Court Judge in California not long after embracing gratitude was living in one room, experiencing strained relationships, and watching his law practice fall on hard times.

At this low point, it was during a walk in the Echo Mountains of Pasadena, California that he sensed “a growing awareness, a voice within.” What he heard was his: “Until you learn to be grateful for the things you have, you will not receive the things you want.” The moment changed his life.

Four step gratitude plan for good times and bad

Here is a simple plan to open the door to more happiness in your life.

Smiles: Begin and end your day with a smile. What if you don’t feel like smiling? Find something that will bring a smile to your face. Look through a magazine until you find a picture that helps you bubble over with laughter. Smile at someone you love, even if they have been hurtful to you. How? By recalling a happy moment the two of you shared.

Gratitude visits: Make an unexpected visit to someone who needs you. And if you cannot go in person, send a little thought gift.

The words “Thank you.” So often during the day we take little kindnesses for granted. Someone holds the elevator for us or opens a door. A person in line sees we have only two items and lets us get ahead. How many times have you seen this happen and the person who received the gracious gesture simply nods his or her head and goes back to talking on a cell phone rather than saying the words “thank you.”

Thank you notes: Find a place in your home to turn a table into a gratitude desk.

  • Fill a basket with stationary, note cards, and even birthday cards.
  • Make certain to have at least two working pens in the basket.
  • Add at least one book of stamps.
  • Buy a journal in which you make a note to yourself of someone who deserves a thank you note and date it. When you send out that note, add that date as well. What you will often see is that too much time elapses from the day in which you said to yourself “I should write that person a note” and the day you actually get to write it, stamp it, and get it into the mail.And NO email does not have the same power.

It was through thank-you notes that Kralik turned his life around. He decided to write his son a thank you note for a special gift, but realized that he did not know the address.

Kralik said to me: “We get so wrapped up in the day-to-day that we lose touch. I decided to hand write a note rather than send him one that was machine created. When someone receives a hand-written note they know it came from a person who evaluated their decision to write. Hand writing for me is greater admissible evidence of concern.”

Their relationship almost immediately changed. And it works in love relationships as well: Revitalize Your Love Life with a Three Day Gratitude Plan

Bardone’s Flowers, Gift of Harold Hugo, Yale Digital Commons

Follow Rita Watson on Twitter @ LoveColumnist

We spend so much of our waking lives avoiding death—in more ways than one. When it comes to talking about the inevitable, it isn’t always easy. So the Orange Dot is aiming to shine a light on these stories, in hopes that it may help others. The After Series features essays from people around the world who’ve experienced loss and want to share what comes after.

When I boarded a plane from the U.S. to Italy earlier this year, I tried to figure out how to avoid small talk with the stranger sitting next to me.

When I put on my headphones and scrolled through the entertainment options on the screen in front of me, I realized I was actually excited at the chance to watch a movie that didn’t feature animated characters or dogs dressed like astronauts. It was the first time I had been on an overseas flight in years, and there was something nice about the moment—being buffered from my day-to-day life in the muffled darkness of the plane. In the past, I would have felt guilty about seeing any positive side to my awful situation, but I had recently learned about the concept of holding opposing feelings at the same time. It can be hard to not be weighed down by one emotion—particularly a negative one—but feelings can be layered with contradictions. We can be both angry and happy, both sad and relieved, or both frustrated and grateful. I had heard about the idea in an interview with writer Cheryl Strayed, and it helped me manage my grief in the immediate aftermath of my father’s death. So on that plane, I found a movie, pushed “play,” and settled in for the ride. When I arrived in Tuscany, it was hard not to notice the beauty of my surroundings—rolling hills covered with vineyards and dotted with tall, thin cypress trees. The small town we stayed in had shops filled with local cheeses and olive oils and stone walls with blooming honeysuckles spilling over them. The picturesque environment made focusing on the moment easier at times, even if those moments were both good and bad.

My two sisters had arrived before me to meet my mom and help make arrangements for my father’s body and the return trip home. Even though the circumstances were bad, we wouldn’t have normally had a chance to spend that amount of time together because of our commitments at home, and I was grateful for the present—even with a painful absence. I recognized that there were simple pleasures, like a plate of freshly made gnocchi, even if the meal was accompanied by tears. When I returned home, I found that my kids also brought me back into the moment more. It was challenging to deal with my own grief while also dealing with the day-to-day requirements of managing small children, and part of me thought it would have been easier if I could just be alone. But kids make regular practice of living in the moment, and when I found my thoughts running away from me, I could focus on a tiny smile or belly laugh in front of me. I have found this practice of not pushing aside difficult moments, but being open to both joy and pain at the same time a helpful thought process in many situations. When dealing with tough times, negative feelings can often be all-consuming, so I’ve started to look for whatever small shimmers of light I can find.

“Are you traveling for business or pleasure?” I imagined him asking. “Neither,” I would say. “My father just died.” My dad had passed away in an accident while traveling in Italy with my mom, and I booked a flight there as quickly as possible. The news was fresh, and I didn’t feel like I could discuss it without crying. Not that crying in front of a stranger has to be a bad thing—he could have been a grief counselor or had his own story of grief to share. A 2014 study found that talking with strangers can increase people’s happiness. But I’m guessing the study participants did not unload serious news on the person they had just met. And at that moment on the plane, I wasn’t in the mood to talk.

My two sisters had arrived before me to meet my mom and help make arrangements for my father’s body and the return trip home. Even though the circumstances were bad, we wouldn’t have normally had a chance to spend that amount of time together because of our commitments at home, and I was grateful for the present—even with a painful absence. I recognized that there were simple pleasures, like a plate of freshly made gnocchi, even if the meal was accompanied by tears. When I returned home, I found that my kids also brought me back into the moment more. It was challenging to deal with my own grief while also dealing with the day-to-day requirements of managing small children, and part of me thought it would have been easier if I could just be alone. But kids make regular practice of living in the moment, and when I found my thoughts running away from me, I could focus on a tiny smile or belly laugh in front of me. I have found this practice of not pushing aside difficult moments, but being open to both joy and pain at the same time a helpful thought process in many situations. When dealing with tough times, negative feelings can often be all-consuming, so I’ve started to look for whatever small shimmers of light I can find.

You bet—and it might even boost your immune system.

How to be happy during sad times

These are not easy days. We’re stuck at home trying to make sense of a contagious virus that sounds like something invented by a Hollywood screenwriter.

And yet, there’s so much to be grateful for. As quickly as our communities shut down, new avenues of happiness emerged, whether these took the form of Zoom baby showers, drive-by birthday parties, or an Instagram feed of Pinterest-perfect dinners.

So the fundamental question we’re all facing is this: Is it okay to be happy right now—despite the pandemic death toll, the panic over PPE, the pile of bills to be paid, and the pressure facing healthcare providers, grocery workers, first responders, bus drivers, and all those truck drivers bringing food from coast to coast to make sure we’re all fed and safe?

It may sound counterintuitive but experts say that seeing the good, despite the bad, is a sign that you’ve got a healthy and balanced approach to this current—and very challenging—situation.

“If we have to wait for all the conditions to be perfect in order to be happy, we’re going to be waiting a long time, perhaps as long as we live,” says Lisa S. Larsen, PsyD, a licensed psychologist in private practice in Lancaster, CA. “Sometimes, we have to look for the best possible solution for a tough situation in order to move forward during a difficult time.”

How to be happy during sad times

Even during hard times, it’s common to feel two feelings at once.

“We can be gutted by the financial stress our friends, loved ones, and communities are experiencing and still feel grateful if we’re doing okay,” says Kristen King, a wellness facilitator in Denver, CO. “We can feel scared about what’s coming next and still thoroughly enjoy binge watching comedies on Netflix. We can feel frustrated by the challenges of working from home and also be relieved we still have a job. We don’t have to pick just one emotion.”

In fact, the ability to feel multiple emotions and to feel them fully points to an awareness and emotional resilience that helps us navigate uncertain times.

“I encourage you to look for the joy, humor, and excitement among the sadness and chaos,” King says. “It’s okay to be scared but also hopeful. It’s more than okay because the ability to see those bright points is what sustains us and helps us bring hope to others who may be struggling to find it for themselves.”

If you’re still feeling like it’s tough to turn the switch to feeling more optimistic, it’s important to remember that while you can’t change what’s going on around you, you can change how you react to it, says Julie Kaylin, a happiness coach and voice artist who is often called ‘The voice of happiness.’

“You can live in fear and be panicky all the time or you can look at this as an opportunity to get closer to your family,” she says. “In fact, this is also a perfect time for self-reflection and slowing down the pace of life.”

There are reasons to tap into your happy self that will positively benefit your health, too.

“Positive moods can help boost our immune system,” says Laurie Santos, a professor of psychology at Yale University and the host of the critically acclaimed podcast, The Happiness Lab. “There’s also evidence that people with more positive moods are less susceptible to respiratory infections. That means that making sure you experience moments of joy can be important for your physical health and your immune function, just like washing your hands and eating healthy.”

There’s another key thing to think about right now: Finding ways to be happy will sustain you for the long haul.

“It’s true that a lot of folks are suffering, but we still get to control our own reactions to this crisis,” Santos says. “We can choose to only be sad or to take those happy moments when we can.”

In the end, Larsen says we should all try to do our best to become ‘optimizing realists.’

How to be happy during sad times

“This sort of person acknowledges the reality of a situation but believes that the best outcome is possible,” she says. “If you can look for the upside of a tough situation and not demand that all the circumstances are favorable, you have a better chance of experiencing less stress and worry during these difficult stretches of time.”

Or, just think of those people throughout history who have found ways to make the best of even the worst of times.

“I always think of people like the Dalai Lama who is able to smile and laugh despite the atrocities that were done to him and his people in Tibet,” Larsen says. “Or, I think of Nelson Mandela, who never lost his dignity or humanity in spite of being imprisoned unjustly for so many years. Right now is a great time to draw upon these figures for inspiration and examples of how to thrive in difficult situations.”

How to be happy during sad times

Some days, when life is beating us up left and right, it seems impossible to find things to be joyful. The Bible gives us a different story though. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” The Bible says that not only is it possible to find things to be joyful about during trials, but it actually commands us to do so!

Unfortunately, part of being a Christian means that we will face times of difficulty. Why? Because even though we are Christians, we are still human beings and that’s part of the plan. Jesus went through rough times during His earthly ministry, and if we want to be like Him, (which is what the Christians life is all about), we too will have some hard knocks.

The Bible talks about people who endured some really, really tough situations and yet found joy in the midst of their pain. Take Job for example. Now there’s a sad story! He had everything taken away, and he didn’t even do anything wrong! He lost his family, his health, his career, everything he had ever worked for, and he still found things to praise God for (Job 1:21). Can you imagine losing everything yet still praising God?

There are plenty of other examples throughout the Bible of people who went through awful things that we can’t even imagine, but they all still praised God. Their perseverance made their faith stronger. First Peter 1:6-9 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Shift Your Perspective

Following God’s command to be joyous in the midst of trials is really a matter of perspective. If you really look and think hard enough, you will always find something to be thankful for—even if life seems too hard to go on. Be thankful for your relationship with God, thankful that you do not have to spend eternity in Hell, thankful for another day of life. Be thankful that your situation is not worse than it is.

If you step back, you can find the joy and encouragement that God is sending to you. Be thankful for something as simple as a bird that suddenly flew by and made you smile. Being thankful leads to praising God for those things. After all, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). If we are thankful for something, no matter how small, we should turn that into praise for our Lord.

A Spiritual Workout

Trials are no fun, but the Bible says God uses them to make us stronger. There is no spiritual gym we can obtain a membership to so we can go and workout our spiritual biceps. We must be “worked out” and strengthened through God’s methods. Trials are one way He develops our character and our endurance. We don’t wanna be wimpy Christians with weak faith, do we? No way! We want to be tough and resilient warriors for God who can endure the tests of the flesh.

Okay, so how exactly does a person go about being joyful during terrible, awful, gut-wrenching times?

Joy vs. Happiness

Well, first things first, let’s clarify that “joy” does not mean the same thing as “happy”. Happiness is something that is temporary—one minute, you’re soaring because the teacher forgot to collect last night’s homework assignment that you forgot to do. until Mr. A+ sitting next to you reminds her. Aw, snap. Happiness = gone.

Happiness is fleeting, but joy sticks around. For example, if your grandparent who was a Christian passes away, you may feel tremendous grief and sadness; there would be no room for happiness there. But you may find joy in the fact that they were a Christian and now live eternally in Heaven with no pain and no sorrow. This type of joy can only be provided by God. Happiness won’t get us through hard times in the long run, but joy from God will.

If we think hard enough on the things of God, we can always find something to be joyful about. Maybe not something that’s going to make you “happy” per se, but you can still find deep joy.

Choosing Joy that Lasts

The great thing about joy compared to happiness is that joy can’t leave us any more than the Holy Spirit can. It may seem to have disappeared sometimes, but because we are Christians, we have been given the Holy Spirit to continuously work inside of us. Joy is an automatic part of the package! John 15:11 says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Also, Acts 13:52 says, “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

Yes, you and I both know that hard times will come. That’s just life. But for the believer, God promises that those trials have a purpose (see Jeremiah 29:11). Let’s look to Him during those difficulties and remember that no trial lasts forever, but our God-given joy does!

Experiencing God’s joy is a choice. During dark days, when we think we just can’t make it another step, let’s remember that Jesus never leaves us no matter what we are going through. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Keep truckin’ in the midst of trouble and remember that even while you are suffering, you are being perfected for a greater purpose. There is a reason for all the hurts and pain. Remember James 1:12 in those tough times, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

Hang in there, and choose joy one day at a time!

Experiencing God’s joy is a choice. Remind yourself that Jesus never leaves you (Hebrews 12:2). Being joyous in the midst of trials is really a matter of perspective. Trials are no fun, but the Bible says God uses them to make us stronger. Remember that “joy” does not mean the same thing as “happy”. Happiness is fleeting, but joy sticks around. True joy can only be provided by God. Happiness won’t get us through hard times in the long run, but joy from God will.

How to be happy during sad times

Whether you want them to or not, whether you’re ready or not, chapters come to a close.

Two years ago, I rolled up to New York City in my parents’ van and got ready for the rest of my life in this city.

A month after my second anniversary, I made plans to move because of my depression and lack of a good job. As I sat in Hammerstein Ballroom on my last Sunday in the city, I bawled, mourning all that I’m leaving and all that I will lose.

I envisioned a future for myself in New York City, and slowly it faded from sight. But it’s still special to me, this place of buildings scraping the skies, bustling, hustling movers, shakers, and dreamers who’ve come to make their impact on the world, and corner delis where cooks know exactly how I like an egg and cheese on a roll.

I remember the man who asked me if I was OK as I cry-walked through Brooklyn. I remember the boy who captured my heart, to whom I never got to say goodbye. I remember the feel of the wind on the High Line at the Hudson River on a blustery day. I remember the blisters on my feet from my first days, which eventually turned to callouses as I became accustomed to the walking. I remember the pizza place near Astor Place where I went every day during the year of grad school I completed. I cherish the thought of the dinner boats that made me feel like a millionaire while being a broke New Yorker, the millions of laughs I shared with the friends this city gave me.

I’m heartbroken to leave — but I’m also excited about what’s next. As confusing as that mix of emotions can be, I think it’s fine to be confused.

There’s nothing wrong with mourning what you’re giving up, all the things that are or were but cannot be anymore because you’re leaving. I hope I’ll return someday, but the truth is that I don’t know if I’ll ever make it back.

So I cry. I cry because leaving is the end of something. It’s the beginning of something else, of course, and I’m excited to face a future that could take any shape and that will undoubtedly surprise me. I’m happy to be going where I’m going — first to South Carolina, then Italy, and then anywhere the wind blows.

You Might Also Like: How To Stop Numbing Your Emotions — And Start Feeling Them

There are also things that could not be whether I stayed or not. I was standing outside church, waiting to say goodbye to a friend, when a familiar figure stumbled down the stairs, running to accomplish a task. She was my best friend for all of four glorious months. I loved her and thought we were best friends forever. But that friendship is gone, and leaving New York doesn’t change the fact that she gave up.

Whether you want them to or not, whether you’re ready or not, chapters come to a close.

The New York chapter of my life has been a weird one. I’ve been intensely happy, but I’ve also been hospitalized twice for depression. I’ve made friends I hope to keep for life, but I’ve also lost great ones. I’ve worked hard but have little financial stability to show for it. It’s a study in paradoxes. And as excited as I am for the next adventure, I’m grieving this one’s completion. That, too, is a study in paradoxes, and I can’t help but smile at the beautiful symmetry of it all.

There are going to be times in life when the things don’t work out. There are going to be times when that’s disappointing. But there might also be times when you realize that’s OK. It’s OK that you spent years fighting for one thing, ended up with another, and are happy.

I think that’s the beauty of life — how unpredictable it is and how adaptable we are as humans. We’re so flexible in the things we can weather! It’s honestly amazing.

I’m excited to see where I end up in a few months. Maybe I’ll run right back to New York. Maybe I’ll never come back. I think both options are alright.

Sharing is caring!

How to be happy during sad times

It’s been a hard week.

I’ve been sad. My heart hurts.

Memories. What-ifs. What should have been. All thoughts I’ve surrender over and over again but then there are weeks like this one when a date on the calendar makes it harder.

So, I’ve done more crying out this week. I’ve pleaded and asked God to fill me with His peace as He makes me aware of His faithfulness and love.

Maybe you get it, your heart hurts too.

The date or season reminds you of…

  • the day your family fell apart.
  • the day your friend betrayed you.
  • the day your loved-one died.
  • the day you made your biggest mistake.
  • the day you wish you could undo or do over.

And you’re reliving memories and emotions.

This week’s verses and prayers are for anyone whose heart hurts.

5 Psalms to Pray When You Are Sad and Hurting

How to be happy during sad times

Psalm 27:7–8

Hear me as I pray, O Lord .
Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard You say,
“Come and talk with me.”

And my heart responds, “ Lord , I am coming.” (NLT)

Father, thank you. When my heart is sad You whisper “come and talk.” You invite me into Your throne room to tell You about whatever is bothering or upsetting me. What a blessing to come and sit in Your presence and hear that You love and forgive me. And in my hurt You remind me of the peace that comes in forgiving others. Your grace and mercy overwhelm me. Lord, I am coming … thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.

Psalm 62:5–6,8

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.
O my people, trust in Him at all times.
Pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our refuge. (NLT)

Father, this world can be terrifying and sad. Terrible things happen and sometimes I feel like I just want to stay in bed and hide. But You are my rock and my salvation. You are strong and trustworthy and because of who You are, I will not be overcome. Generation after generation You prove Yourself trustworthy. So, I will pour my heart out to You remembering the many times You have calmed my heart in the past. Thank you, Father. You are my safe place and You fill me with hope. Amen.

Psalm 147:3–6

He heals the brokenhearted
and bandages their wounds.
He counts the stars

and names each one.
Our Lord is great and very powerful.
There is no limit to what He knows. (NCV)

Father, I love these words. You are Creator, the namer of stars. You rule over the universe and yet, You care about me. It’s really too wonderful to grasp … that You would know the “number of hairs on my head” (Matthew 10:30) and the deepest thoughts in my heart … the broken places I try to hide from the world. Thank you for Your love and care, for healing the broken pieces of my heart. You are great and You are tender. I thank and praise You. Amen.

Psalm 56:8,10

You have recorded my troubles.
You have kept a list of my tears.
Aren’t they in your records?
I praise God for His word to me;
I praise the Lord for His word.
(NLT)

Oh, Father, how these words comfort me. When life distresses me and tears flow You hold me close. No pain or problem is too difficult for You. Thank you for whispering Your words of promise to my heart. You have always been faithful to keep every promise; so, I cling to Your words.

  • I am with you always. Matthew 28:20
  • I am forgiven and free in Jesus. John 8:36
  • I have Your Spirit to give me peace, joy, hope, patience. Galatians 5:22–23
  • You faithfully meet every need. Philippians 4:19

Thank you for Your Word – trustworthy and true. Amen.

How to be happy during sad times

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (NIV)

And Father, of all Your promises this is favorite. It reminds me that as long as I have You, I have everything I need. You are my hope and strength. You are my everything. I am Yours because of Jesus, in whose name I come and talk with You. Amen.

What verse do you go to when your heart hurts?

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How to be happy during sad times

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How to be happy during sad times

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