I Don't Want To Do Anything: Why You Might Feel This Way And How To Cope

Updated May 29, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you often feel tired, low-energy, bored with life, uninterested in your usual activities, and like even small tasks feel daunting, these could be signs of depression. Common symptoms of depression can include fatigue, loss of interest, and a lack of motivation to do things. 

Experiencing occasional low mood or low motivation from time to time can be common and natural, but if you are experiencing these and other symptoms persistently, you may consider seeking treatment. Depression can feel frustrating and scary, and it can feel difficult to figure out how to cope, but there are treatment options available. In this article, we'll explore this feeling of not wanting to do anything more in-depth, and we'll offer a few tips on how to get out of a funk and move forward.

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Feeling Like You Don’t Want To Do Anything

Feeling unmotivated or apathetic towards life can happen to many of us from time to time. Someone experiencing feelings like, "I have no motivation to do anything" may have difficulty getting out of bed or completing daily tasks like cooking or taking a shower. Sometimes, there may be a clear reason why you’re feeling this way—like a recent hardship, a difficult breakup, or job loss, for example—but other times, it may feel like these feelings popped out of nowhere with no clear cause. 

You may feel you’re zapped with mental or physical energy, and spending time with loved ones or doing things you enjoy may be becoming more and more difficult for you. You may find yourself saying things like:

  • I don't want to do anything anymore.
  • I don't want to do anything with my life.
  • I don't feel like I care about anything.
  • I don't want to leave the house or do anything.

If any of these feelings or thoughts sound familiar, you may be experiencing symptoms of depression, and you may want to seek help from a healthcare professional. Many people with depression experience a loss of interest or energy, and could even get them to think "I have no life". It may feel as if all of these feelings are completely out of your control, and you may need some assistance to gain control once more.

Tips For How To Address This Feeling

If you are finding that you are frequently feeling off and you don’t want to do anything, there are a variety of steps you can take to try to address this feeling and regain a sense of motivation. Included below are a few ideas to consider: 

  1. Talk With Your Doctor

First, you may want to visit your primary care doctor, especially if these feelings are unusual for you or have lasted much of the time for days or for a few weeks. Your doctor may suggest doing some diagnostic testing and blood work to rule out an underlying health issue and try to get to the root cause of what's causing these thoughts and feelings.

Some autoimmune diseases and vitamin deficiencies can cause lethargy and feelings and thoughts of worthlessness or depression. Likewise, certain medications can have some side effects that could cause these symptoms, as well. If your doctor can find answers about the problem, they may be able to offer a clear treatment plan. For all guidance about medication, consult a licensed medical professional. If your doctor is able to rule out other underlying medical conditions, they may refer you to a mental health provider or another specialist. 


     2. Remember That You Are Not Alone

If you are feeling this way, it may also be helpful to remember that you are not alone in this feeling. Many people experience a lack of motivation at some point in their lives, and some people may also feel unmotivated due to external conditions or current events, such as a pandemic. 

For example, according to a 2020 Pew Research Center survey, many young teleworkers had difficulty working up the motivation to follow through with their work responsibilities in light of the pandemic: around 53% of survey respondents ages 18 to 29 said it’s been difficult for them to feel motivated to do their work since the coronavirus outbreak started.

Some people may also feel particularly exhausted and unmotivated in light of a recent life change. For example, new parents may feel so lethargic and exhausted due to a new baby that they do not leave their house for weeks; they lack the rest to even walk out the door. Whatever the reason, it can be helpful to decipher where the feelings may be coming from so that you can try to figure out what's wrong, begin to feel better again, and get your energy back.

     3. Be Kind To Yourself

When you feel like not doing anything, it can sometimes be tempting to beat yourself up for it. You may feel guilty for feeling unmotivated, and you may be hard on yourself for not having the energy to do a range of tasks. You may find yourself getting frustrated with yourself and asking, "Why can't I just be happy?" and "Why does it seem that a happy life feels impossible?"

But, being so hard on yourself will likely only make you feel worse, while not doing much to actually help the situation. Instead, try to treat yourself with kindness and compassion. Life can be hard sometimes, and there can be many reasons why you may feel unmotivated, many of which may be out of your control. Try to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself some grace. 

Need Help With Feelings Of Low Motivation?

    4. Practice Self-Care

In addition to seeking professional help, peer-reviewed studies have shown that self-care strategies can be helpful for those living with depression and anxiety disorders. Self-care might include spending time in nature, deep breathing, meditation, listening to your favorite music, talking to a close friend, and getting regular exercise. Just getting outside or doing some light exercise can be a form of self-care. You might just go visit your favorite coffee shop or take a short walk before you head to bed. 

Eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep can also be helpful. You might also consider spending quality time with close friends and family, or taking some time to journal about how you’re feeling. These tips can all help improve your overall well-being and may be incorporated into a treatment plan to help you feel better. 

   5. Seek Help Through Therapy

If you are feeling unmotivated and like you don’t want to do anything, speaking with a professional therapist can also be helpful. Therapy can be an excellent place to explore and get to the bottom of these feelings, and then identify ways to manage them. In therapy, you may find helpful ways to feel better, improve motivation, replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, and learn coping skills.

Therapists can be utilized both in-person or by using an online platform, such as BetterHelp. An online therapist can be especially helpful if you find it hard to muster up the energy to travel to an in-person appointment. Instead, you can speak with a therapist virtually from the comfort of your own home without having to expend much effort.

A growing body of research has demonstrated the effectiveness of online therapy for a range of concerns, including depression. For example, one such study reviewed effectiveness studies of internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (iCBT) for the treatment of depression or anxiety. It concluded that the study “provides evidence supporting the acceptability and effectiveness of guided iCBT for the treatment of depression and anxiety in routine care.”

Below is a list of reviews from people who have sought help for similar concerns: 

BetterHelp Therapist Reviews

"I put off finding a therapist for a long time. I dreaded my first conversation with Neil and all the awkward, clunky explanations I'd have to give about my depression and anxiety. All of the things that felt like dirty little secrets caused me so much pain. But I was pleasantly surprised by how Neil accurately picked up on what I was saying and gave me more insight into how my brain was working.

It made my issue feel less of a personal problem and more of a universal problem we could examine together. He always gives me a thoughtful response within a day or two any time I send a message. I think we've made more progress in between sessions just by communicating things that are coming up in real-time. Neil is intelligent and kind. I appreciate his communication style and highly recommend him."

"Tamera is straightforward and supportive. She's not afraid of pointing out what to work on and giving you the right tools immediately. It is highly personalized just for your unique symptoms and situation! Tamera helped me manage my depression and anxiety, and I became more empowered to control my life. I feel a lot happier."


Feeling unmotivated and like you don’t want to do anything can be difficult, and there can be a range of reasons for feeling this way. Some of these feelings can be symptoms of depression. If this is something you’re experiencing, you may consider talking with your doctor, incorporating self-care strategies, and seeking help through online therapy.

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