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Feeling sad

A girl sitting at the bottom of a straircase.If you are a teen or becoming one, you may feel sad, alone, and worn down at times. That is normal, partly because of natural changes in your hormones. You can feel better. Keep reading below for ways to improve your mood.

Here is some important info about feeling sad:

There is a big difference between feeling sad and having depression. Depression involves a lot more than feeling sad. It can affect how you act, your eating and sleeping, and what you feel like doing. It also can last weeks or months. Depression is a serious illness that affects many young people. Learn more about signs that you may have depression. If you think you have depression, make sure to talk to a parent or guardian, doctor, school counselor, teacher, or other trusted adult.

Some teens turn to unhealthy ways to handle sadness. Some teens may overeat, use drugs or alcohol, or do other unhealthy things to push down their pain. These habits do not solve problems — they only make things worse. If you are trying to feel better by doing things that can hurt you, talk to an adult you trust. You also can get help from a mental health professional and read some healthy ways to feel better below.

Some girls get sad around the time of their periods (menstruation). If you have started getting your period, you may find that you feel sad right before or during your period. This is caused by hormones and is normal. You can use our period calendar to track your period and the times when you feel sad to see if they overlap. If the sadness around your period is causing serious problems for you, talk to your doctor.

Ways to feel better arrow. top

Everybody has the blues sometimes. The good news is that there are things you can do to feel better. Here are some tips to improve your mood:

  • Chill out. Find a way to relax, such as taking a deep breath or taking a bath.
  • Make a plan. Life can feel out of control at times. Making a list of what you can do about a problem puts you back in charge.
  • Focus on the positive. Even in tough times, you likely have some good things going for you.
  • Talk it out. Talk to your friends, parents or guardians, teachers, counselors, or doctor about what you are feeling. They can help you sort through emotions and find solutions to problems.

Want more ideas? Check out our tips for being happy when you're already feeling pretty good. Those can work to boost your mood when you're feeling down too!

Getting help

Everyone feels sad sometimes. But if you are feeling very sad and you have felt that way for a while (around a month), make sure to talk to an adult you trust. A doctor or other health professional can help you figure out if you have depression or other problems like an eating disorder or self-injury and can suggest ways to get treatment. You also can find sources for mental health treatment.

Need support? You can reach a 24-hour crisis text line and call a helpline for kids and teens.

If you are feeling suicidal, contact Lifeline by chat or phone at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Call 911 for immediate help.


Content last reviewed January 07, 2015
Page last updated February 12, 2015