When I feel sad, it helps to ....


“How do I stop Feeling sad?”

First off, welcome to SadLab: the internet's original database of things to do when you feel sad.

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you typed some variation of “How do I stop feeling sad?” into your phone or laptop search bar.

Sadly, this is one of the most popular queries searched on the Internet. Tens of thousands of people type a variation of “how to stop feeling sad” into their device every day.

This website is a crowdsourced database of answers to the question: “how do I stop feeling sad?” To date, we have collected 203 suggestions about how to stop feeling sad.

Can you think of a time that you felt sad? What did you do to feel better?

Please share your answer using the entry field above and click “submit”. I review entries every week and add new items to the database.

Why I Built This Website

According to Google's own search volume data, approximately 500,000 people type "depression" into their search bar every month. Accounting for synonyms and variations, the data suggests that people in general are really, profoundly sad.

But what content actually shows up for these queries?

As one of the people typing this sort of question into Google, I was dissapointed to find that most of the results for "help I'm sad"-related questions are misleading or not helpful; articles promoting expensive rehab programs, ads for subscription on-demand meditation apps, and other attempts to sell things to vulnerable people.

"People are always buying when they're in pain" is a sort of obvious trueism in business, and from what I can tell the mental healthcare industry is no exception.

So, I made this website as a way to collect more helpful input from the general public. After a brief circuit on social media, the database of suggestions grew to several hundred.

I hope that it will grow to thousands and become a good source of information for other sad people typing "stop feeling sad" into their search bar.

Trends in crowdsourced anti-depression tactics

While reviewing submissions from viewers of this website, I've noticed a few interesting trends.

  • Physical activity: a strong majority of submissions center around some form of physical activity.
  • Community: many submissions center around seeking out or finding community, either in person or online.
  • Personal space: contradicting the above item, many submissions are variations of "find a place to be alone doing something you enjoy."
  • Wallowing: many submission feature some form of "wallowing," e.g. marathon Netflix sessions, listening to sad music, etc.

How to Stop Feeling Sad: My Favorite Suggestions

Here are a few of my favorite entries submitted by visitors to this website:

  • Vizualize each person in my family smiling.
  • Take a nap with my head on the other end of the bed.
  • Plan a birthday surprise for a friend.
  • Exchange my change jar for bills.
  • Find a donut.
  • Go outside at night and listen to critters.
  • Polish things that might need polishing.
  • Go to open houses with no intention of buying.

Don't forget to add your own entry above!

As of April 2019, there are 203 published entries.

Sadness vs Depression

Please note that "sadness" and "depression" are not the same thing. Depression is characterized as a mental disorder that might require professional medical treatment. People suffering from depression may not be able to "cheer up" without assistance from a therapist.

The suggestions about how to stop feeling sad displayed on this page are intended for people who are simply "sad." Sadness is a completely normal human emotion. Unlike depression, it is usually a reasonable reaction to events in your life or surroundings, such as the death of a loved one or failure to achieve a goal.

Importantly, sadness is thought of a "mood" that most people can "snap out of." Depressions is an illness that usually requires formal treatment.

If self-help tools like this page do not help you stop feeling sad, you might be depressed. A few symptoms of depression include:

  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Difficulty sleeping, or difficulty waking up
  • Lack of motivation to perform basic tasks like showering or going to work
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fatigue

Consult your doctor for a diagnosis if you believe you are suffering from depression, rather than just feeling sad.

Disclaimer: Less Whimsical Advice About Mental Health

The suggestions on this website are intended to amuse and entertain. This webpage is not a substitute for consultation with a mental health professional.

If you have concerns about your mental health, contact a certified mental health professional in your area. Therapy for depression, anxiety, and other common mental health issues is often covered by insurance, or available for free or reduced cost through non-profit organizations.

If you feel suicidal, call a free suicide hotline by clicking the blue "help" link on bottom left. Consider consulting a mental health professional.

Again, to be completely clear: this webpage is intended for entertainment purposes. I hope the suggestions shown above help you find small, actionable ways to improve your mood.