What To Do When You Need To Vent

Medically reviewed by Katrice Hollins, LCSW, LICSW
Updated November 30, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

If you feel like you need to vent, you’re not alone. At one point or another, most of us feel the need to release our inner turmoil and emotions by talking with others in some way. It may not always feel easy to express what you’re going through, but there are many healthy ways to release your thoughts and emotions and find comfort. In this article, we’ll offer a few tips for talking and coping with your feelings, including connecting with an online therapist. 

Need To Vent?

Tips For Expressing Your Feelings

When you ignore your feelings, it can allow negative feelings to fester and turn into larger problems if left unchecked. But, processing and telling your feelings isn’t always easy. 

Here are a few tips to help you express and cope with your feelings:

Find Someone You Trust

It’s important to trust whomever you decide to talk to, so you can feel comfortable talking freely. If you are unsure if you can trust a certain friend or loved one, you might consider entrusting them with a little information to start instead of trying to stuff it all into one conversation. As you talk, you might also try to gauge if you feel heard and respected. If the person you are venting to dismisses your feelings or gives unrelated advice without offering to hear you out, it might not be the right fit. Try to find someone who responds to your words from an empathetic perspective. You may also want to avoid venting to someone in the workplace, as this could come back to you in a negative way. If you would prefer to vent to a professional, online therapy may be a good option.


Join A Support Group

There are many support groups available in-person and online for a variety of concerns. If you are interested in finding a support group that might fit your needs, you might consider starting by doing a simple web search for in-person or online groups; you may be able to find a supportive community that is built around experiences. When you start from a place of commonality, it may be easier to form a lasting bond. For some, it may also feel easier to discuss their frustration or vent amongst people who can understand your experience.

Journal Regularly

For some people, journaling may feel like an easier option than speaking about their feelings with another person. With journaling, you can create a stress-free place to express your thoughts and feelings on your own, anywhere, at any time. When you write down your fears and negative emotions, you can keep your thoughts to yourself, and you don't have to worry about the possibility of judgment or criticism from others. Journaling has also been shown to have mental and physical benefits, including reduced stress, improved mood, and lower blood pressure. Some studies have even shown that gratitude journaling can reduce mild depression. Sometimes, simply writing down what’s bothering you can help you release that emotion.

Ensure Balance In Your Friendships

Sometimes, confiding in people we have close relationships with, like friends and family, can be very beneficial and it can even bring you closer. However, it can be important to try to balance venting with other positive interactions and utilizing active listening to understand the other person's thoughts and feelings too. Also, you may want to ask your friend or loved one if they have the time and emotional space to listen before you start to vent, especially if you want to discuss a big problem. 

Try Other Coping Skills

At times, you may want to try other ways to express yourself besides healthy venting. In fact, trying other coping strategies may even help you come up with the right words to articulate your emotions when you’re ready. 

Need To Vent?

These coping skills can include the following:


When we need to vent, we may feel overwhelmed with anger or uncomfortable energy. You can burn off some of that energy by doing something physical, like taking a walk, running, dancing, or going to the gym. The resulting endorphins may help you control your emotions and think more clearly.

Take Your Mind Off The Problem

 Sometimes, it may be helpful to give yourself a break and lead your mind to a calmer place before venting. For example, you can listen to music, watch a favorite movie or television show, take time for self-care, or practice mindfulness techniques. Any of these activities may help you calm down and feel more in control before you talk with someone you trust.

Listen To Yourself First

Sometimes, when you vent to others, you may end up with more potential solutions and opinions than you want, and that can feel overwhelming. When you can, you might try to focus first on your own ideas for how you might handle the problem, instead of immediately asking others for a solution.. By giving yourself time to mull over possible answers to a problem, you may have more clarity when you tell your thoughts with someone you trust, which may make that conversation more beneficial, too. 

If you feel like you need to vent and want to find a trusted professional, you might consider seeking the help of a therapist instead. A licensed therapist can use their expertise to help you understand and process your feelings and emotions, as well as learn to solve problems independently.

Get Support With Online Therapy

Connecting with a therapist may also help you to maintain healthy boundaries with friends and loved ones.   

Research has demonstrated that online therapy is an effective treatment option for a variety of concerns, including emotional challenges. For instance, one such study examined the effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral therapy for treating depression and anxiety disorders. It found that online CBT had a positive impact on both cognitive factors and emotional outcomes, concluding that “cognitive-behavioral therapy delivered online can be used as an efficacious treatment for patients with emotional disorders.”

Nicholas Crisp, LCSW
He is a blessing in my life. When I am discouraged, he encourages me. When I need to vent, he listens. When I am anxious and don’t know what to do, he supports me and talks me through it. I cannot say enough how thankful I am for his help and care.”

For individuals who feel a sudden need to vent, online therapy through BetterHelp lets you take full advantage of features like in-app messaging, so you can reach out to your therapist at any time, whenever those emotions rush up, and they will respond as soon as they can.


If you are feeling the need to vent, there are a variety of strategies you can try to express and cope with your emotions. If you would like to talk about and work through your emotions with a trained professional, you might consider connecting with an online therapist.

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