10 Simple Ways To Overcome Depression and Sadness

By Jay White

February 11, 2019   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Ways To Overcome Depression

We’ve all been upset. Sadness is a totally natural emotional response to certain environmental stimuli. Most of us have support or systems in place to overcome sadness, reach balance, and go on to be happy as quickly as possible.

There are two groups of people that have prolonged sadness or depression.

One group consists of those that have a severe chemical imbalance. They often require the help of a doctor and medications for treatment. This article, however, is not for that group. Rather, this is directed to the people in a funk or seem stuck in a rut, those that lack the tools, know-how, and support systems to bounce them back.

In my opinion- and I’m no doctor (BA, Psychology; MS, Biomedical Science)- the latter group of people are wise to seek natural treatments instead of simply medicating the symptoms. That’s why we’re going to look at 10 ways to overcome sadness, without the happy pills.

Set Goals


Something special happens the moment the paper meets the pen and we write down our goals. Our brain chemistry changes, neurons fire, hormones are deployed, and we start thinking about how we can achieve those goals.


Getting the right amount of sleep is healthy for our body and mind. Some argue that sleep deprivation treats depression, but I don’t buy it. I think it’s a cheap distraction that catches up to you within days. Get enough rest. 


If you’re physically capable, try one hour of cardio (or as much as you can). If you’re shirt is soaking wet, you’re standing in a puddle of your own sweat, and you can feel the endorphins pumping through your body, you did it right. Shower up and try not being happy, I dare you. 


Many times, we’re making ourselves sad for no good reason at all. People have been known to keep grudges for lifetimes. When you forgive, you remove this weight off of your shoulders and you yourself in a position to be happier. 


When we complain, we can cause ourselves to be sad. Complaining is just a factor of not taking into account what we’re grateful for. Sit down and make a list of 100 things you’re grateful for right now (and I dare you not to feel better).

See Also: Why You Should Keep Your Journal Positive


Certain people have a disorder, in which, due to a lack of sunlight, they experience seasonal sadness. I’m somewhat affected by this in the winter when the days are shorter. That’s why it pays to grab your iPod (or your friend) and go for 30-minute walks each day and embrace the sunlight. 


This has always been my downfall. I don’t drink enough and chances are you don’t either. Some days I drink only 1 cup of water and I feel horrible. When I remember and drink 2 to 3 liters, I’m happy as a kitten on cat-nip and productive as a bat out of hell. 


Your life force, support system, and everything that matters. It’s not hard to make friends if you put the time in. Everyone wants to be heard, appreciated, and loved. Start off by listening, appreciating, and loving- it will come back your way. 


Take a temporary leave from reality and bury yourself in one of your favorite books. A lot of wise people have been through what you’re going through and they made it through to the other side to tell about it. 


This could be an escape but it doesn’t have to be. You can write about fiction and transport yourself to another world or you can write about what’s going on and let your thoughts carry you through to a solution. Many great books were written by people who were, at least at the time, going through a period of pain and suffering. 

So, what do you think? Could one or two of these get you through the rough patch you may be in today?

Written by Alex Shalman who does for personal development what Chuck Norris does for the world and he’s got a very bad (to the bone) Podcast on self-improvement.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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