Why Do I Feel Sad For No Reason?

By: Sarah Fader

Updated October 21, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Tanya Harell

Content/Trigger Warning: Please be advised, the below article might mention trauma-related topics that include sexual assault & violence which could potentially be triggering.

I'm Sad and I Don't Know Why

Have you ever said the words "I am sad" out loud? If you have, you're brave. It's difficult to face feeling down, however it's also extremely normal. Sadness is a part of life. Sometimes we feel down, and we don't know the source of that sadness. You're feeling down, lost or scared and don't know what the reason for these emotions is, or how to fix your life. Not knowing the source of that pain can be upsetting. It's important to know that your feelings are valid.

If we're feeling sad when we wake up, or sadness creeps upon us for no apparent reason during the day, this is troubling. That's when it's important to pay attention to that feeling and investigate where it's coming from. Sadness doesn't appear for "no reason," it's a matter of finding out the origin of that feeling. Even if you don't know why you're sad, there are ways you can help yourself in these challenging moments.

Your mental health can suffer at times, but those moments aren't permanent. Understanding that feeling sad is a part of life can help you feel better. You know that these emotions are normal and that they pass. But there are reasons for them and it's important to explore the origin of the feelings related to your behavioral health, and prevent yourself from having a difficult time.

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Could It Be Depression?

"Why am I sad?"

Sadness is a natural part of life. You're sitting there thinking "I'm sad," and you don't know what to do about it. Sad feelings could emerge for many reasons, starting from losing interest in activities. You're feeling fine and out of nowhere you start crying. Is it sadness or symptoms of depression?

You may experience a loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. That's a sign of depression as well as many more possible behavioral health symptoms. When you don't know the source of your sadness, you might feel anxious. You're worried that it won't go away or get relief.

Sometimes sadness is natural, but other times it's not. One possible cause of persistent sadness could be depression. Sadness (if left untreated) could turn into depression. That's something to be aware of and monitor closely for your mental health and well-being.

If you're experiencing thoughts of death or suicide call 911 or visit an emergency room immediately. You can also seek help at your local department of health to help you prevent suicidal thoughts when dealing with chronic depression.

When you're depressed you need to get help. If you're worried that you may be depressed, don't panic. Many people suffer from depression, and it's a treatable mental health condition.

You're not alone in feeling sad or depressed. Sad feelings happen to all of us, and we can get through them. There are many local support groups where you can surround yourself with people who understand that can be found online.

When you express your down feelings, you may feel better. Call up a friend and tell them "I am sad." They can listen to your pain. If it's more than sadness, you'll start to notice signs and symptoms of something greater: depression.

The symptoms of depression include decreased appetite or increased appetite, low or depressed mood, lethargy, social isolation and even substance abuse in some cases.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of depression, reach out for help, as there are several effective treatments. There are many forms of depression including major depressive disorder. Major depressive disorder is a form of depression that impacts 16.1 million Americans according to WHO.

People who are living with depression can help a deficit of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. However, antidepressants can correct these imbalances. It is critical to pay attention to your mental health care when you're feeling low.

When depression is treated the result is a healthy mind. Find a therapist, and start getting on the road to recovery. Whether that provider is in your local area or online it doesn't matter, getting help is what's important. 

The sooner you find a therapist the better. That person wants to help you get on the road to recovery. You may not know where to find a therapist, but that's okay. You can search online or places in your local neighborhood. You can find a therapist online for many cities and localities within the United States. We'll get into that later in this article.

There is hope and helpful tools available for people living with unexplained sadness, depression, or substance abuse. At BetterHelp, 70 percent of clients saw a decrease in their depression symptoms, according to a study conducted by the Berkeley Well-Being Institute.

These people found that their mental health significantly improved. If you're struggling with feelings of sadness or depression, counseling and other resources can help. Living a fulfilling life should feel good. That's where therapy can help, since there are different types of depression.

One form of treatment available is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It focuses on changing your thoughts so your emotions are more positive. There are other effective treatments besides CBT for mental health/behavioral health, but CBT has helped many people. Whether you see an online counselor or someone in your local area, counseling can help you through these down times.

Many people with chronic pain experience sadness or depression. When you're constantly hurting physically it can take a toll on your emotional well-being. Chronic pain and depression can have an overlap with substance abuse and mental health. There are many sufferers who report feeling depressed in addition to managing their physical pain symptoms.

Other Signs of Depression

Depression is not feeling sad all the time. Here are some other feelings you may experience if you are depressed.

Behavioral Health

When thinking of depression and its symptoms, it's more than just mental health. It's behavioral health as well. Behavioral health is the connection between your health and the behaviors you exhibit.

Depression is a magnet for bad behaviors. For example, you may fall out of your schedule and have a hard time coming back to your schedule. This can lead to worse depression and you may feel like you're unable to function as a result. Many depressed people inadvertently fall into substance abuse.

The term "Behavior health" is quite broad. Here are some behaviors that depression can worsen.

  • Poor sleeping habits. Depression can make you sleep less or sleep too much, which can have an impact on your daily life. If you're depressed, it's important that you have a sleep schedule that is consistent and you practice sleep hygiene. Deal with your insomnia as soon as possible and talk to a doctor if you must, because sleep deprivation or oversleeping can make every aspect of your depression worse.
  • Poor eating habits. You may eat too much or too little. This can lead to weight gain, weight loss, and not getting enough nutrition in our daily diet. Make sure that you're eating well whenever you're suffering from depression.
  • Substance abuse is very common in depressed people who try to ease their pain by self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse issues can compound feelings of depression and worthlessness.

Major depression has a big impact on your behavior health, and if you see your behaviors changing or being negatively affected by substance abuse and mental health, talk to someone today.

You Lose Interest in the Things You Used To Love

Losing interest in activities is a classic symptom of depression. Many of us change our interests with time. What you were interested in 10 years ago may not be what you're interested in today. However, if you suddenly lost interest in the things you loved and you aren't replacing them with activities that mentally stimulate you and give you joy, then this may be a sign of depression.

Difficulty Concentrating

Another symptom of depression that can feel like it's something else is having trouble concentrating. When you are depressed, it's challenging to perform basic tasks, including staying focused on one task.

Many people with depression have a hard time completing essays and other tasks. Their mind may wander and they may end up distracted in order to get past all their feelings. Oftentimes, there are many unfinished projects in a depressed person's life, and while deep down they want to complete them, they feel like they can't.

Difficulty concentrating could be because of the lack of sleep, too. When you're depressed, insomnia is a symptom. One symptom of not getting enough sleep is having trouble staying focused.

Meditation and mindfulness may be able to help you stay in the present, but if you're still having trouble, you need to seek help.

Headaches

Sometimes, depression comes in something more painful, such as headaches or random pains. These pains may not go away with medicine, and it can create a vicious cycle of your depression flaring up because you hurt so much. Sometimes, the pain is all in your head, and other times, it may be a sign of something more serious.

Suicidal Thoughts

In extreme cases of depression, suicidal thoughts may occur. Suicide prevention is important for those who are suffering from extreme depression. Your life is worth living, yet depression can tell you otherwise. Here is how you can realize if you or someone you know is suicidal, and how suicide depression can help:

  • Someone is giving away their supplies for free and writing out a will.
  • They may purchase a gun or another fatal weapon.
  • They talk about how life isn't worth living anymore.
  • They may seclude themselves.
  • A suicidal person may say they're going to kill themselves directly. While they may not follow through, take every threat of suicide as seriously as possible.

Suicide prevention is the key to helping a person. The goal is for a depressed individual to have the resources available. One way to achieve suicide prevention is by calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available 24/7. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you've had serious thoughts about suicide.

Types of Depression

There are many types of depression and mental health issues; it's not a monolith whatsoever. Here are some types of depression you may experience.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

If you feel depressed for no reason, check what time of year it is. Incredibly, the season can affect your mood.

This is known as seasonal affective disorder, or fittingly, SAD. SAD is when your depression relates to the changing seasons. For most people with SAD, depression happens in the fall and winter parts of the year. However, there are some cases where seasonal affective can happen in the spring or summer.

SAD has similar symptoms to depression, and the effects can last quite a while. Usually, the reason for seasonal affective is because of the lack of light in the winter. Also, many people stay indoors in the winter more, meaning that they experience cabin fever.

For summer SAD sufferers, the long, hot days can grate on you as well, giving you depression. Your seasonal preference could have an effect on when you develop seasonal affective disorder.

Many treat seasonal affective as a case of the winter blues or the summertime blues and write it off, but don't be that way. You should seek help for it whenever possible, as SAD could be deadly.

Postpartum Depression

If you're female and you've just given birth, postpartum depression may occur. You're a mother of a beautiful baby, and yet you feel depressed. This is due to the hormonal changes your body has went through, along with the intimidation of raising a child. Postpartum depression is often not taken seriously because it's written off as a case of the baby blues. However, baby blues is a minor case, and postpartum depression is a full-blown case of depression.

This form of depression may go away after a while as your body readjusts to its pre-pregnancy stage. However, many mothers experience postpartum depression that lasts for years. Take postpartum depression seriously and get treatment whenever possible. If you don't treat your postpartum depression, it may lead to more severe mental health issues in the future.

Situational Depression

Sometimes, you may feel depressed because of a problem you're in. Many people with depression don't have a chemical imbalance, but are instead dealing with a problem in life.

This is often due to a change in your life. If you moved, for instance, you may have been glad to go to a new place, but your mind is having problems adjusting. If you've recently dealt with a loss, you may have some depression because of it.

Usually, your depression will go away as you adjust to the change or rid yourself of the situation. However, if the situation is something you cannot control, it may be worth it to speak to a therapist and learn ways to handle the depression.

Major Depression

This is when you have depression most days of the week. For people with major depressive disorder, it can be hard to function, keep a job, and live a normal life. It's important that a person with major depression seek help immediately, as it can end up destroying one's life.

Bipolar Disorder

This disorder involves two moods: mania and depression. Some days, you may experience depression similar to the other forms of depression. Other days, you may experience mania. Mania is more than extreme happiness; it's something that can damage your life. Someone with mania may end up spending more than they can handle or living recklessly.

Persistent Depression

This is when you've had depression for longer than a couple of years. Despite this, it never seems to get easier. Having persistent depression that you don't treat can definitely lead to other mental health issues down the line.

Eating Disorders

Depression over your appearance is known as body dysmorphia, and it can control how you eat. There are many eating disorders one can experience, such as anorexia and bulimia. While they are stereotypically viewed as a women's issue, many men have eating disorders as well. No matter who you are, it's important that you deal with your eating disorders as soon as possible and get the help you need.

Borderline Personality Disorder

Another form of depression is borderline personality disorder, or BPD. BPD involves someone who has a hard time regulating their emotions. What does this mean? Essentially, BPD means that someone will have intense emotions for a long time, and they will not be able to contain their emotions. It's always important to become stable after a while, and yet many who have BPD will struggle to do so. Borderline personality disorder is not diagnosed enough, so if you suspect you have it, talk to a professional today.

BPD doesn't just entail depression, but it can cover more extreme emotions, too. Someone with BPD may have a hard time keeping relationships and they could end up harming themselves. BPD is rare, but it should be treated with intensity, as it could ruin your life. People are unfortunately not sympathetic towards someone who can't regulate their emotions. Therapy and medication may be able to help you.

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Seeking Help

If you're reading this article, and you want to find a therapist, that's great news. We want to help you achieve that goal. Counseling is one of the best treatments for people who are living with depression. Many people struggle with sadness and depression. You don't have to suffer from these sad feelings alone. BetterHelp has online counselors who understand what it feels like to battle with your emotions.

Depression is a severe condition, but with the right treatment, you can make it through these dark times. Whether you are battling unexplained sadness or clinical depression, an online counselor cares about what you're experiencing and wants to help you learn to cope. Research shows that online therapy can be a powerful tool in treating depression. 

Opening up about your feelings is going to help you feel better and learn to manage them. When you go to therapy, start by being honest with yourself and voice your feelings. Say "I am sad." It feels powerful. When you state your feelings aloud, your therapist is clear on how you're experiencing life at the moment. They might say "I hear you saying ' I am sad' but they want you to go through with handling your emotions and understanding what's going on. Sometimes, recognition is the beginning step however. When you're down, even just recognizing something is amiss can greatly help you.

However, you are stronger than you know, and your online counselor will help you learn to foster that strength and bravery during therapy sessions. To get started all you need to do is sign up with an email address. Check out the reviews of BetterHelp Counselors below and find a therapist for you.

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"I am SO grateful that Ms. Rivard has come into my life. She is guiding me through a very difficult time. She gives me valuable techniques to get me "unstuck" when I am paralyzed by anxiety, grief, sadness, and anger. She gives me hope that my life will be better. She listens, is patient and kind and very knowledgeable."

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"Steven's helped me break through in ways I haven't in the past. He reminds me of my value and that it's ok to be human and feel."

FAQs

What are the causes of depression?

If you're asking yourself, "Why am I so sad?" then you've come to the right place. Depression has many causes. Some of them are obvious, some aren't. Here are some common causes of depression.

  • Your life situation. If you're in poverty, are stressed, have lost a loved one, or have anything else going on that is upsetting or causes stress, then you may develop depression as a result.
  • Your genetics could play a part in your depression. If you have family members who have dealt with depression, this could mean that you're at risk for it as well.
  • Illness. If you're feeling sick, especially if you have a chronic illness, it can have an impact on how you feel and make you more depressed.
  • Not getting enough sleep can intensify your depression, which can make your insomnia worse, which can make your depression worse. Definitely a tough cycle to break, but one that you can through therapy.
  • A chemical imbalance in your brain can be due to depression.

If you don't know why you're depressed, you should talk to a therapist about it. You may be able to find the answer to your question of "Why am I so sad?"

Why Do I Feel Bad All the Time?

We move past "Why am I so sad?" to "Why do I feel bad?" "Bad" is a vague term, and it can apply to your physical feelings as well as your emotions. You could have a sad mood, angry mood, or anything in-between. If you're unsure of the cause, this is something you should talk to your therapist or doctor about. You may have an illness or a mental disorder, and a doctor can help with the disorder treatment. The disorder treatment could be medical, or it could involve therapy. A therapist is like an advisory board, giving you ways to handle yourself when you're feeling upset.

Is it Normal to Cry Once a Day?

If you've gone through trauma or loss, then it's normal to cry at least once a day, at least for a while. If your sad mood doesn't have a cause and you're crying every day, it may be worth it to talk to a doctor or a therapist. Your therapist may help you find the solution and give you techniques to control your crying. An occasional cry is nothing to be worried about, but if you're crying every day for no reason, then you may want to seek help. They can be your advisory board with handling your emotions.

Does Depression change Your Brain?

Depression is often described as not being physical, but there are some physical changes that it can bring to your brain. For example, you may experience inflammation in your brain. On the other hand, your brain may shrink a little bit due to depression. Plus, there's the chemical imbalance that happens in your brain.

These changes can worsen if you have chronic depression, which can then change your brain so that you're depressed even more. It's a tough cycle to break, but it is possible. Through therapy and medication, you may be able to reverse the effects depression brings to your brain, and live a happier, healthier life as a result.

Is depression hereditary?

Depression does have some genetic links. If your parents or siblings have depression, there is a good chance that you may have it as well. However, your environment plays a slightly bigger part in feeling depressed. People who live great lives can certainly feel upset, but the many people who feel this way have their life situation to thank for that.

Genetics can certainly influence how you react to situations. If you have depressive genetics, then you may not be able to handle anything upsetting without spiraling in depression. However, if your genetics are the opposite, you may be someone who is able to have the whole world crash down on them and come out smiling.

How do I stop feeling sick from anxiety?

When you feel anxious, you may feel a little nauseous as well. When this happens, here are some ways that you can stop being sick:

  • Eat lightly. Have some crackers or water, and don't eat anything too filling or drink anything too stimulating.
  • Take some deep breaths. This may help to calm your anxiety.
  • When you're feeling sick, focusing on the nausea can make you feel worse. Instead, you should concentrate on something else, such as a TV show, book, or you should practice mindfulness.
  • When all else fails, this is something that you may want to see a counselor or a therapist for.

Why does the heart hurt when your sad?

Many people use the term "my heart aches," when they're sad, but it's sort of a metaphor. However, it is based in some truth. For some people, especially when there are some intense emotions, you do feel pain. So, what's the cause?

It's a case where the exact reason isn't fully known, but there are some ideas. The most popular idea is that when you're stressed or upset, the anterior cingulate cortex is stimulated. This part of your brain is what regulates your emotional reactions to events. When it's active, it stimulates the vagus nerve, which is connected to your chest. This stimulation may be what you're feeling when you have heartache. So it's not your heart that aches, but instead your vagus nerve. Maybe.

What happens to your body when you're sad?

It's quite fascinating what your body can do when your emotions are high. When you're feeling sad, your body can respond to that in quite a few ways, such as:

  • A lowered heart rate. Though, if the emotions are intense, your heart rate may increase.
  • Your appetite may increase, but it may stop as well.
  • You may have trouble sleeping, or end up sleeping too much. This can end up with you having less energy than before and wanting to take a nap.
  • The tears can come out, and when they do, you may end up feeling better as a result.

These are just a few examples of changes that can happen to your body whenever you're sad. If you've ever been upset over something, you know exactly how it feels.

Is crying a sign of weakness?

Crying being a sign of weakness is an outdated belief. No matter how old you are, what gender you are, or what the situation is, crying can get your emotions out and make you feel better, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, if you're crying all the time and don't know how to control it, this could be a sign of an emotional problem that you need to handle. With that said, the occasional cry or crying a lot over a tragic event is perfectly valid.

Do emotions come from the heart or brain?

The answer to this seems quite obvious. We know now, thanks to modern science, that emotions come from the brain, with the heart just being an organ that pumps blood. The heart is seen as a metaphor for emotions, especially emotions that contradict the rational decision.

However, your emotions can affect your heart, with the beating of your heart changing. When you're afraid or excited, it can beat faster. When you're relaxed, it can beat slower. Intense emotions, in rare cases, can be deadly, with dying from a broken heart being one of those reasons. So while emotions come from the brain, the heart plays a part in its own little way.

How do I stop being so emotional?

Being a little emotional and expressing how you feel is a good thing, but like anything, you have to strike a balance. Some people may respond emotionally to a situation where cooler heads should prevail, or they may burden their friends and family with their emotions. Here are some ways to control your emotions.

  • The most important step you can take is to seek help from a therapist. If you feel like you don't have control over your emotions, a therapist can help you with techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and they can teach you why you feel this way and how to prevent it.
  • Look for triggers. What happens whenever you're feeling emotional? Do you know if there's any way that you can stop it? If so, what should you do? Write down your triggers and try to avoid them. If you can't, try to find ways to calm yourself down should you have to face your triggers.
  • Learn breathing techniques to calm you down, and practice mindfulness. Figure out ways you can discard any overly emotional or self-defeating thoughts.
  • Express how you feel, but do so in a calm, collected manner. Sometimes, you may need to leave the room a bit to collect your thoughts and make sure that you're cool.

Depression is a real problem, but learning to understand and get help for it is very important. If you're feeling sad a lot, you should seek help.

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LMFT, Lifecoach, Burke
Specialties: Relationship issues/marriage counseling, Family conflicts, Parenting issues, Career difficulties
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Specialties: Addictions, Relationship issues/marriage counseling, Family conflicts, Trauma and abuse
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Specialties: Stress, Anxiety, Relationship issues/marriage counseling, Self esteem, Depression, Coping with life changes
Years of Experience: 12

Sadness: When to Pay Attention

Everyone gets sad, but how often is too often? Maybe you're having challenges in your family life. Perhaps your partner isn't fulfilling your needs and you're splitting up, or maybe someone passed away in your family. These are legitimate reasons to feel sad. However, it's important to recognize how often you're experiencing sadness.

Do you find that you're sad most of the time? That might be something that needs attention. Sadness is a common emotion some people feel as often as once per day depending on what's happening in their lives. We may hear or read a tragic news story and feel sadness for the family involved. We might hear devastating news such as the death of a friend, extended family member. These are events that evoke the feeling of sadness within us. The loss of a loved one is something that makes us sad.

If you are an empathetic person, you may feel sadness more often than other people because you are sensitive and open. In your family life, do you take on other people's emotions? If you're an empath that makes sense. You feel other people's feelings, and those individuals could be in pain, so you take on their sadness like your own, and that's how you are their support system. Regardless of being empathetic or not, there are ways in which sadness can be problematic in our lives. That's why speaking to a mental health professional can help you. You don't have to experience these sad feelings alone. When you're having a difficult time, you have the right to get help. And that's where a professional counselor can be of service to you.

Mental Illness And Sadness

Living with mental illness isn't easy. It's hard, it feels sad and daunting, and it can be difficult to find the right support system including therapists or psychiatrists. It's not just people living with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or anxiety who are challenged by mental illness. It's also those who care for people with mental health issues. Mental illness affects one in five people according to NAMI, and the chances are if you don't have it you know someone who does. There are many types of mood disorders, personality disorders, and other conditions that impact a person's life. Mental illness doesn't discriminate by race, age, class or religion. Anyone can have a mental health condition. National mental health studies show that many people live with mental illness.

And remember that mental illness is a medical condition, something that needs to be diagnosed and treated by doctors. It's a legitimate condition despite what some snake oil salesmen might say. As a part of living with mental illness, you may experience days where you feel sad for seemingly no reason. It might be related to something going on in your life or it could have to do directly with your mental illness.

You find yourself saying "I am sad" and not understanding the reasons. You might call a friend and vent. You may get outside and go for a run trying to alleviate your feelings, but you still find yourself thinking "I am sad," repeatedly with no relief in sight. There are times it's hard to tell. There are things that can help with sadness, especially if you live in a place that has gray weather in the winter months. Light therapy can be extremely helpful in treating seasonal depression. You might wake up and it's bad weather outside and you think "I am sad." Here's an instance where light therapy can help liven up your mood.

Substance abuse and mental health often go hand-in-hand when someone is experiencing feelings of extreme depression or loss. Don't be afraid to seek out support by reaching out to a trusted friend, family member, or crisis line for help. Many issues related to substance abuse and mental health can be mitigated with proper treatment and therapy.

Feeling Sad When You Wake Up

If we're feeling sad when we wake up, or sadness creeps upon us for no apparent reason during the day, this is troubling. It's frustrating to start having a difficult time out of nowhere. We just cannot seem to put our finger on the origin of the sad feeling. That's when it's important to pay attention to that feeling and investigate where it's coming from. Sadness doesn't appear for "no reason," it's a matter of finding out the origin of that feeling. People who have mood disorders experience emotional shifts. When you are in school, and not doing well in class, you might feel down. After bombing a test, you may think "I am sad because I got a failing grade." For example those who have bipolar disorder might experience sadness or full blown depression. It's hard to say sometimes what could be sadness and what's depression until the person experiences signs of feeling depressed. Bipolar disorder has highs of mania and low of depression. When a person is experiencing a low, it's difficult for them to function. But, recognizing those low moods can help you get through these tough times. You don't have to fight with your brain alone. That's where talking to a therapist can help.

The Subconscious Mind at Work

There are times that sad feelings come up, and we don't know what to do with them. When sadness comes upon us suddenly, there may be some subconscious reason for it. Your mental health is suffering, but you may not understand it. Perhaps someone has said something to us that on a subconscious level reminded us of a traumatic childhood event. Our brains store so much information and memories that we never know when some visual or auditory stimulation will trigger something within us. We are not always aware of the actual memory being triggered, but we become acutely aware of the feeling of sadness.

Sometimes we become so aware, in fact, that it can distract us from completing the daily activities we need to do. That's a sign that we need to figure out why we're so sad and what we can do about it.

When you wake up feeling sad you could have experienced something traumatic while asleep; you had a nightmare or an intense dream. Dreams are our subconscious mind's way of working through complex issues. Our minds work overtime while we sleep to help us deal with past or current conflicts that we have not had time to deal with while awake. Waking up with sadness could also be due to some small harmless event such as not saying goodnight to your child or your spouse before going to sleep.

Remember those sad feelings are valid. When you think to yourself "I am sad," there are reasons for the thought and the feeling. Embrace your emotions. You don't have to suppress them. Acknowledge them for what they are. Your emotions are messages and can teach you about yourself. The next time you have sad feelings, explore where they're coming from by taking a moment to sit with them. Many of us don't want to look at our emotions because they're painful. However, when you take a second to be with those sad feelings, you will find they're not as oppressive as you might believe.

If you're someone who analyzes your actions, sadness can feel persistent and troubling to you. You may struggle to let go of sad thoughts because the thought of not saying goodnight is repeating over and over again in your mind. Even something like feeling anger toward a pet and not patting it on the head to say you were sorry for having those feelings. We would not equate either of these with our sadness because they do not seem important or significant enough to warrant being sad about; however, some individuals do not like leaving things unresolved before going to bed.

When family members fight, they want to make peace and that's not always possible. You can't resolve major issues in an hour or two. That might make you feel sad if you can't come to a resolution with your family. Sometimes, you need to really analyze what is causing this, what might be eating at you, and from there, you can figure out a way to handle it, at least to a point where it doesn't constantly impact your daily life.

Physiological Reasons For Sadness

When you're sad, you may feel like you're stuck in a dark tunnel. It might be a difficult time but those sad emotions could be a sign of something more severe. Feelings of sadness that persist for no reason could be related to mild or even severe depression. However, other reasons should be explored before resorting to using medication to treat persistent sadness. Sometimes sadness or feeling blue can be related to physical health. Anemia, low blood iron, or hormonal imbalance can cause feelings of mild or even severe depression.

It is always good to see a medical doctor for a full physical workup when feeling mentally or physically out of sorts. Blood work will often reveal the reason for feeling sad. Replacing what is missing in our diets is a healthier and safer means of dealing with sadness or mild depression than psychotropic medications. Maintaining your physical health and well-being can mitigate symptoms of sadness related to substance abuse and mental health.

While the advice and care of a medical doctor are the first steps one should take if bothered by persistent feelings of sadness, having someone to talk to who can provide resources for other help and strategies for dealing with bouts of sadness-is also a good idea. This person is professionally trained to help you understand your feelings of sadness or depression and work through them. These mental health providers can help support you through tough times.

It's hard sometimes to figure out why you're sad or depressed, which is why having a professional to speak to is extremely useful. They can help you look inward and find the origin of your sadness, and help you work through those intense feelings.

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Accepting Your Feelings

When you're feeling down, little things can make it worse. Something as small as your freezer going out can make you think "I am sad," because you're already under a lot of stress in your life. It feels sad when you don't know the reason why. Before you begin exploring the reason for your sadness, first accept your feelings. Remember this: your feelings are valid because you feel them. They are real, and you don't need to judge yourself for having them.

Accept the fact that you are sad and that's okay right now. You may think to feel sad means you're weak or overly emotional. Everyone experiences sadness at some time in their life, no matter how strong or stoic they may seem. We're not robots, we're humans and our mental health matters. We're impacted by things that happen to us in our lives. Seeking professional mental health services can go a long way toward providing new hope and relief.

As humans, we all process different emotions. Experiencing sadness has nothing to do with your character as a person. Family members may not understand why you're feeling sad, but a therapist won't judge you. An online counselor is there to offer support and helpful tools to manage your sadness, and comfort as you go through this time.

Gaining Insight

When you have no idea why you're sad, your mood itself can be distressing. Your mental health declines seemingly out of nowhere and it's terrifying. Just knowing why you feel that way can help relieve your burden. Your counselor will likely begin by finding out about your specific symptoms to determine if you are experiencing a crisis and to determine the best treatment options. Some levels of sadness are so high that they need immediate intervention.

If you're ever feeling a sense of extreme sadness or overwhelming depression that leads to thoughts of suicide, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Helpline immediately to get help.

After your sadness is assessed for severity, they may begin to ask you about what's going on in your life right now. They can help you to identify situations that contribute to your sad feelings.

Sometimes, things that seem harmless can have a profound effect on our moods, especially if a similar event has caused you sadness in the past. Remember if you're a sensitive and empathetic person, you are likely to experience sadness more often and that's okay. Some triggers will set off sadness. You may not realize you're experiencing a trigger until your counselor guides you through an exploration of your current and past experiences.

The therapist you're working with may understand how a simple word, sensation, person or place might make you sad. Therapists are trained to recognize when their clients are triggered, and help them work through those triggers. You may also have insights into your triggers after you open your mind to the fact that these triggers are impacting your life and causing you emotional distress.

Facing Losses

If a loved one has died, you probably know exactly why you're sad. However, there are other types of loss you might not have considered. Have you recently lost a job or been demoted? Have you moved from a familiar home? Has a beloved pet run away? Have you been diagnosed with a disease, such as cancer, heart disease, or even diabetes? Have any of your prized possessions been stolen or broken?

Any of these happenings, as well as others, might provoke a feeling of sadness and loss. In some situations, merely identifying the loss and grieving for it briefly is enough. Perhaps you lost a beloved pet who you've owned for years. There are many reasons to grieve and you might need an extended period of time to process your loss. If you need more support for a longer time, your therapist is there to help you work through your grief.

Learning Positivity

Being hopeful and positive about your life isn't a magic potion. For people with clinical depression, choosing to be happy isn't realistic. These individuals cope with a serious mental illness. Clinical depression is a severe condition that impacts millions of people. Those who have clinical depression might have feelings of guilt for not being positive. Their friends and loved ones/family members (while they're well-meaning) might tell them to stay positive, but it's not that simple. When you're depressed you have emotional and physical symptoms that make it extremely difficult to enjoy life. Your mood is low, you may have thoughts of self-harm or suicide. It's not easy to live with clinical depression. It's a medical and mental health condition that makes life incredibly challenging. When you care about your mental wellbeing, you need to take charge and get the right care.

Mental health is about developing a treatment plan and following it. Trying to stay positive is great but it doesn't solve your problems. It won't take away the pain, loss, and cruelty that happen at times in our lives. And, being overly optimistic can sometimes get us into trouble. However, learning to expect the best can put us in the right frame of mind to enjoy our lives more, seize opportunities, and have more fulfilling relationships. Dwelling on the most negative aspects of life can make us feel hopeless or just plain sad. You might turn to your family members for support and they don't know how to accommodate you. A counselor can help you develop a more positive mindset while staying grounded in reality. They also won't judge you for having sad feelings and help you work through them.

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When to Examine the Negative Aspects of Your Life

Thinking about hard times, losses, and unhappy moments can prove valuable at times. It can help you deal with past traumas and remind you how far you've come since those things happened. It's also helpful to think about these unfortunate times if you've never dealt with them before. Some occurrences are so upsetting that you might have tried to shut them out of your mind instead. Maybe you're having memories of when you lost your beloved pet or loved one, and it's taking a toll on you. Sometimes, if it happens immediately, you need to spend time recovering and healing before you can move on. It isn't bad to spend time recovering, sometimes you need to spend more time analyzing your life before you continue.

However, trauma must eventually be understood and overcome. It didn't go away completely until you've made peace with your past and learned to move on. Bad memories that are kept shut away will eventually resurface. However, dealing with them alone can sometimes make you even more distressed and sad because you don't know how to react to them. That's why it's best to seek professional help so you can learn coping mechanisms that will guide you toward healing and a better life.

If it's a particularly personal traumatic experience, whether it be the death of a family member, partner, or even the loss of a job, you should talk to someone if it's very traumatic. Time doesn't heal the wounds fully, but with the right help, sometimes it can make looking at the situation from a more objective standpoint so you can learn to move on possible.

Speaking to a counselor who is trained in working with people who are experiencing sadness and depression can benefit you. A counselor can help you go beyond simple identification of past traumas. As you work through those incidents with the therapist, they can guide you away from depression or despair and on to a resolution of your sad feelings. The sadness may never go away completely, but you'll know why it's there and how to respond when it comes back.

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Letting Go and Moving On

Sometimes, we hold onto our feelings of sadness and stay stuck in these emotions. We might feel that if we stop feeling sad, it means we don't care what happened to us or someone else. We might feel we are disrespecting a loved one we lost if we let our feelings go.

This is a natural reaction, but it is one that can hold us back from enjoying our life. Your therapist can help you determine whether you need to work through that sadness or if you're ready to move on with your life.

After the darkest times in our lives we're entitled to feel hope. That's why seeking counseling is an excellent idea. If you're ready to start a new chapter in your life, your therapist might suggest that you begin making plans. As you decide how to spend a weekend or choose a community function to attend, you begin looking outside yourself. Even though the sadness may hang on for a while, planning for the future requires you to move on, even if you do feel sad. The new experience brings new opportunities for pleasure and joy.

You don't want to feel apathy, you want to experience an array of emotions. That's why confronting your emotions in therapy can help you work through them. You don't want to feel out of control, and that's something you can learn in therapy - emotional regulation. Maybe you're sad a lot of the time, and can't seem to control it. Therapy can help and there are many treatment services out there. Spend time searching for therapists who suit your mental health needs. You don't want to select someone who isn't a good fit for you.

If It's Depression

You might find yourself sitting on a park bench, not wanting to move, tears streaming down your face. You're experiencing sadness and you can't control it. The reality is you can't prevent sad feelings, but you can get help if you're down a lot of the time. A counselor you speak with can assess your mood. If they see warning signs of depression, they'll recommend that you talk to a doctor about it. The doctor might work with you on improving lifestyle factors such as sleep, diet, alcohol or drug use, and exercise. They might also suggest antidepressants or a mood stabilizer, if you choose the path of medication.

Before they can treat you with medications, they have to come to some conclusion about what the problem is. If they don't tell you immediately, you can find out more by asking for your diagnosis. If it's depression, you'll have a better understanding of why you're sad. Non-medication treatments for depression include cognitive-behavioral therapy, meditation or yoga, acupuncture, and other forms of therapy. If you experience signs of depression don't ignore them. Seek the help of an experienced mental health provider.

Starting Therapy Is Easy

Feeling sad is a good reason to start going to counseling. Making a change in your life can help you feel better and starting therapy is part of that process. In extreme cases, talk therapy can be good for suicide prevention and extreme depression. Talk therapy is a proven way to work out our problems using the tools we learn from mental health providers. You can find a therapist in your local community through your insurance company or mental health organization. If this process proves too slow, there's a faster way to begin counseling. Healthcare is available for physical concerns and it treats mental health issues as well. We'll give you a little more insight on where to begin in the ensuing sections, so you can get help for your sadness.

Mental Health America

One resource you can turn to is Mental Health America. For over 110 years, Mental Health America is the leading nonprofit in helping those with mental illness find the help they need. Some of their services include:

  • Identifying those who are mentally ill and helping those who are. Their philosophy is that a mental health crisis should be handled until it reaches its most critical point.
  • Helping prevent a mental health crisis.
  • They are available in 41 states and have over 200 affiliates.
  • Their programs are designed to educate the population and help those who may not know all there is to know about mental health. Their programs are available for all ages and education levels.

Mental Health America is an outstanding company for those are dealing with mental health. If you're curious, see if there is a local Mental Health America affiliate in your state, or contact them by visiting their site.

Remember to reach out to the National Suicide Lifeline or Veterans Crisis Line if you're feeling more depressed than usual or contemplating suicide.

Online Therapy

Do you have an email address? If so, you're one step closer to mental health treatment with online counseling. Many health insurance plans now cover telephone therapy - telehealth as a part of your behavioral health plan benefit.

Consider online therapy as a viable option to deal with your feelings of sadness. You'll want to do some research to make sure you're dealing with a reputable counseling site. You can learn what kind of successful experiences others have had by reading social media comments and reviews.

Online therapy can be a flexible way to deal with your sadness in the privacy of your own home. Talk therapy doesn't have to be in an office. You can connect with an online counselor in the privacy of your home. After seeing a therapist online, you won't be able to believe that you haven't left home.

It only takes a few moments to choose your counselor and start enjoying the benefits of online therapy that can take place wherever is convenient for you. All you need is a valid email address and you can get started with online therapy. It's great for people who don't have a lot of choices when it comes to providers. This is especially important if you live in a remote area where you don't have access to a lot of therapeutic options, or you're a busy professional that can't seem to find the time to get into a therapist's office. These are two great reasons to consider online therapy, and begin to heal. It's one of the best treatment services out there for a reason.

A Support Group

Group counseling is another form of treatment services you may consider. Group counseling/support groups may be a solution. With group counseling, you are talking to people who suffer from depression too, and together, you can come up with solutions that you may not have thought of if you had a one-on-one with your therapist. There are many in-person mental health groups available as well as online options via social media.

Some people dislike group counseling/support groups because they feel like their problems aren't focused on. However, sometimes a group can discover unique solutions, and you may benefit from both group and one-on-one therapy.

Another support group you may consider is an online forum. These forums are usually anonymous and you can talk to various people who are suffering from depression or general sadness. While there usually isn't a professional therapist on these websites, many use Internet forums and chats as a valid support group to help get the comfort they need. Indeed, it can be a great support group and we highly recommend it as yet another good form of treatment services.

Meditation and Mindfulness

These are treatment services you can do on your own. Many people who have depression can benefit from controlled breathing and mindfulness, or being in the present.

When we suffer from depression, our thoughts are usually focused on the past or the future. Learning to control these self-defeating thoughts and using breathing as a method to control our emotions is another technique you can use. There are many meditation apps and videos you can try. It costs nothing and any can do it. While a therapist may know of professional ways to achieve mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy, it's still worth it to try out meditation on your own and see if it's worth it.

Get Help

The takeaway is that you suffer from depression, or you just feel sad for no reason, it's important that you seek help. Not just through a professional, but through lifestyle changes as well. A combination of medicine, therapy, and changes to your lifestyle are key when you're dealing with depression, and by realizing this, you can feel better and stop feeling sad for no reason at all.

Remember, your emotions are valid. Even if you are feeling sad without a noticeable reason, expressing your emotions and getting the help you need is so important.

If You Need a Crisis Hotline in the United States…Here Are Some Resources That Offer Immediate Help:

- The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration): 1-800-662-4357

- RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network): 1-800-656-4673

- Lifeline Crisis Chat

- Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 (Press Option #1)

For more information about BetterHelp as a company, please see our social channels listed in our footer. Aside from those, you can also find us on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. Click here to check out our YouTube channel.

If you are experiencing having thoughts of death or suicide, call 911.

More FAQs

What should we do when we are sad?

That depends. Sadness is a natural human feeling. If you're feeling momentary sadness or sadness due to traumatic stress, it's okay to accept and express those feelings without concern. It's also okay to cry. It might even help you process your emotions and feel better.

However, if the sadness is persistent, it's a good idea to search for the source of your sadness. You may need to talk to a doctor for medical advice to make sure the problem isn't coming from a medical condition. They can give you health information to address any medical issues they find.

You can also talk to a behavioral health counselor. You need to know if you have a mental illness so you can address it. When you talk to your counselor, they can help you distinguish between the normal human emotion of sadness and more serious problems like depression. Your counselor will use evidence-based behavioral health techniques to help you take responsibility for the things that are within your control so you can emerge from your mental illness. They can also offer health information, tools and resources for dealing with depression and provide support for you through this difficult time. Although choosing to be happy is easier said than done, you certainly can choose to work towards better mental health. When you do, it's easier to find your way to a happier mood.

Developing a strong support system can help you, too. Friends, family, and community-based support groups can provide support and make you feel less alone in your sadness.

What does it mean when you want to cry for no reason?

Wanting to cry for no reason means that something has happened, either in the past or the present, that is making you feel sad. The first thing you need to do is get in touch with that emotion. Let yourself experience it and express it. Then, if you can't determine why you're sad, work with a behavioral health professional to discover why you feel sad. If they diagnose you with a mental illness, they can help you find ways to deal with the symptoms. Finally, they can help you choose new behaviors and develop new habits that will improve your overall mental well-being.

What are the things that make you sad?

Many different things can make you feel sad. Here are a few.

  • The death of a loved one
  • The breakup of a relationship
  • Loss of a job, demotion, layoff, or trouble finding a job
  • Moving to a new town and leaving old friends behind or friends moving away
  • Children leaving home to be on their own after graduating
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Medical problems – your own or those of a loved one
  • Traumatic stress from unresolved past issues, such as child abuse or neglect
  • Not passing an important test or interview
  • Having little or no support system
  • Dealing with disabilities
  • Change of season
  • Poor diet and inadequate exercise
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Substance abuse
  • Getting older
  • Mental illness such as depression or bipolar

Is it okay to cry yourself to sleep?

It's okay to cry yourself to sleep occasionally when something bad happens. Crying can trigger a sleepy state, so it's easy to do. And it's always okay to not be okay in the sense that it's good to recognize and accept your authentic feelings. When you cry yourself to sleep often, though, there is probably some underlying problem. Getting help from a behavioral health therapist can give you lots of tools and resources to overcome your excessive sadness and crying.


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