Dealing With Low Mood


Sadness and “feeling down” are a natural part of life—but feeling like this all of the time is not. Having a low mood may be accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, low energy levels, and a lack of interest in doing things that you used to enjoy. You might also be more irritable and quick to anger, or you may turn to substances such as alcohol or drugs to try to make yourself feel better.

If you’re struggling with a low mood, there are many resources that may be helpful for you. For example, techniques from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you challenge unhelpful thought patterns, while mindfulness can help you feel more connected to parts of your life that are most meaningful to you.

Signs of low mood

Low mood can affect people in many different ways, some of which you might not expect. As the name implies, its main effects are usually on how you feel emotionally, and it may cause you to feel:

  • Sadness
  • Anger and irritability 
  • Numbness 
  • Hopeless 
  • Worry and nervousness 

If you’re struggling with low mood, you might also notice that you feel different physically. This can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia and waking up in the night
  • Sleeping too much 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Overeating 
  • Aches and pains, such as headaches or cramps

You may also find that you have trouble concentrating or remembering things, or that you don’t find as much enjoyment in things that used to make you happy. 

If you’re in immediate danger or need urgent help, call 911. You can also talk to a trained crisis responder.

Steps towards wellness

  1. Make exercise part of your routine
    • Even just going for a walk can go a long way to help you return to a calm state of mind.
  2. Reach out to others
    • Stay connected with friends and family, or try joining an online community.
  3. Find the meaning in your life
    • Whether it’s making art, being in nature, or connecting with your spirituality, find what brings you fulfillment & make time for it.
  4. Consider working with as mental health professional

Supporting someone with low mood

When someone you care about is struggling with their mood, it’s important to be patient and to try to maintain realistic expectations. It’s easy to tell somebody that they should just “cheer up,” or that they should exercise more and eat healthier.

While these things are often helpful, low mood can cause people to lose the energy, motivation, and enjoyment of things that they may have had in the past. Dealing with low mood is a gradual process, and pushing somebody too hard may just make them feel worse, not better. Remember not to blame them for what they’re going through, even when you feel frustrated or when you’re having a hard time understanding their behaviour.