100 Things To Do When You Are Sad
100 Things To Do When You Are Sad
By the Girl with the Little Black Dress
I advise you to do these things on rainy days (I’m not talking about the weather).
1.) Use up a whole stick of Post-Its. Write names, poetry, phone numbers, dates. Stick them around your room.
2.) Drink orange juice. Eat fruit. Buy some soup. I don’t know. Just eat or drink something that makes you feel better.
3.) Put on too many clothes. Several jackets, your favorite pair of sweats and some fuzzy socks ideally. (Sydney taught me this. It works I swear.)
4.) Take a bath. Sylvia Plath said it best: « There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them » (The Bell Jar ). Get some candles, and put on your December playlist.
5.) Look up pictures of dinosaurs. They are so cool.
6.) Watch a French movie. I suggest Amélie or Joyeux Noël or Les Choristes or Populaire. (Subtitles are a thing if you don’t speak French.)
7.) Know that when I was in 7th grade, I was real into purple eyeshadow, and I also thought saying « groovy » was hip with the kids.
8.) Eat a whole cup of ice.
9.) Google photos of skylines. I prefer the New York City one, but whatever floats your boat. There’s just something about all those little lights dotting sky rises that will remind you of other people’s existence, and that reminder will be calming somehow. (Some of those simmering dots are probably having bad days too.)
10.) Roll down a hill.
11.) Put on a dress that makes you feel important. Go downtown and walk around.
12.) Remember that just as the leaves grow back green after winter, so, too, will you overcome the cold. It’s a metaphor – you can and will start fresh. You, too, will be green.
13.) Read the best thing you ever wrote. Be proud of yourself for writing it.
14.) Listen to this song: The Postal Service – Turn Around.
15.) Wear a grey jacket. Put the hood up.
16.) Study the solar system. Outer space is fascinating. Did you know that Jupiter’s rings are made of dust? You, too, can make beautiful things out of dead cells.
17.) Close your eyes and pretend that every bit of your body is melting into the earth. (This is how I fall asleep every night. It’s so nice.)
18.) I know that some days the reminders of human existence (coughs and whispers and tapping toes) will grate on your ears, but they should also remind you that you are existing too.
19.) Apply way too much lotion.
20.) Sit somewhere with a good view of the freeway. As the cars go by, think about how each car belongs to somebody who might like chocolate and rainy days too. Realize that we all might be more similar than you had originally thought.
21.) Make cinnamon toast (Mix butter and cinnamon and spread on toast. Put toast in toaster. Eat hot.)
22.) Put your favorite sweater into the dryer for 10 minutes and then put it on. Go watch The Office.
23.) Find a marker and draw all over your body. On your thighs on your toes on your wrists. Draw butterflies and stripes and castles. It’s real fun.
24.) Put the Pandora Christmas Station on. I don’t care if it’s July. Deck the halls anyways.
25.) Sharpen all of your pencils.
26.) Make an exercise playlist and go for a run. Let the air seep into your skin.
27.) Have a Harry Potter marathon.
28.) Jump on your bed. Throw pillows at the wall. Let it happen.
29.) Listen to your favorite album from start to finish. I would choose Plans (Death Cab For Cutie), AM (Arctic Monkeys), or Mind Over Matter (Young The Giant). Turn the volume all the way up.
30.) Email your favorite author and tell them how they changed your life. Maybe send them something you wrote.
31.) Google Earth stalk Amsterdam or Istanbul or Vienna.
32.) Put a ribbon in your hair. You can’t be sad if you have a ribbon in your hair.
33.) Look at photos from middle school. Self-five yourself for not looking like that anymore.
34.) Put raspberries on each of your fingers and then eat them all as quickly as possible. (Do you get my reference?)
35.) Print a map of your city or neighborhood or wherever, and circle all the places where you were once happy. The park where you ran barefoot on Saturdays. The convenience store where all the kids used to buy sour candy after school. Your first boyfriend’s house. Can you go back to any of these places?
36.) Decide what color you want to paint your future apartment.
37.) Write with a fountain pen. If you do not have a fountain pen, that is probably why you are sad. Go buy yourself a fountain pen.
38.) Make black out poetry.
39.) Take a picture of the sky and tape it to your ceiling. Take a similar picture every day you feel sad and compare the skies. How many are grey? How many are blue?
40.) Go to a museum you have never been to before. Get close enough to the paintings that you can see the brushstrokes (wonder if the artist ran his fingers over the painting once it dried).
41.) Make a mood board and hang it up on your wall.
42.) Take something you are really passionate about and write about it. Type five pages about why feminism, giraffes, or blankets are important.
43.) Take Photo Booth photos with your cat. You actually don’t even need to be sad to do this. I take about 10 per week. Example below.
44.) Shave your legs and wash your sheets. Then get in bed and try to be sad. Try. Yeah. It’s impossible.
45.) Go to http://www.rainymood.com which plays rain and thunder noises and close your eyes.
46.) Look at your horoscope. Believe it when it says things will get better and that you “are the reason butterfly hairpins and parachute pants have made a comeback” (mine actually said this today. I don’t know what it means, but I’m flattered).
47.) Try to eat a lemon plain without sugar if only to remind yourself that nothing, not even your life and some of the people in it, is more sour than a lemon plain without sugar.
48.) Buy a balloon and write what is upsetting you on it. Let it go.
49.) Drink coffee. Or tea. Put in the perfect ratio of milk to sugar.
50.) Put on a whole bunch of makeup. Look at yourself in the mirror. Realize that you look better without it.
51.) Curl your hair even if you have nowhere to go.
52.) Straighten the curls you just spent an hour twirling. Pretend you are smoothing out your problems. (Note: I recommend only doing this once in a while because it is not ideal for your hair – albeit quite satisfying.)
53.) Make a daisy chain. A really long one. Leave it on the ground in the shape of a heart.
54.) Bake cupcakes for your neighbor.
56.) Stop crying once you begin to fear for your body’s water percentage.
57.) Take a sheet of colored paper, (I prefer green for this) and cover it with your favorite lyrics. Tape it above your bed.
58.) Type a note to someone who made you sad. Tell them they’re a horrible person for making you sad. Write it with Caps Lock on. Use bad words if you need to. Then read it out loud. To your mirror. To your cat. Just make sure someone knows how dark grey that person made you feel. And then delete it slash them from your life.
59.) Take your favorite fruit and dip it in your favorite kind of jam. I suggest pears in raspberry jam, but you do you.
60.) Make a mixtape/CD for yourself. Not a playlist. An old-school mixtape. Burn it onto a music playing thing, (is there a word for this? who knows?) and then see #84.
61.) Draw something. It doesn’t have to be good. Just distract yourself. Sketch your thumb. Doodle 200 daisies on lined paper. Trace someone else’s hand.
62.) Paint your nails a color you haven’t painted them in a while. While you’re at it, paint your toes that shade too.
63.) Know that by the end of the day, your blood will have traveled 168,000,000 miles and you will have spoken about 48,000 words. Thats 6,720 times around the world and a book.
64.) Close your eyes and pretend you are where you really want to be.
65.) Write a letter in cursive to someone you love.
66.) Do one of those old-school, green facials. Find a recipe online.
67.) Read Paper Towns by John Green. Appreciate this quote: « That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste. »
68.) Make sure that you have been picking your cereals based on taste instead of color. (Figuratively of course. But I guess literally, too, if thats a problem you have?)
69.) Watch this video.
70.) Make lemon water and drink it chilled.
71.) Pet your pet. (Disclaimer: this only works if you have a pet.)
72.) Call somebody you haven’t talked to in a while. Tell them what you miss about them. Remind them of a time they made you feel whole again. Thank them for picking up the phone.
73.) Buy yourself flowers if you don’t have someone to do it for you. Walk around and wonder if people are wondering if you have a significant other.
74.) Think of the last time you were genuinely happy. Figure out why, and see if you can get that feeling back.
75.) Paint a thing and mail it to someone.
76.) Re-read your favorite childhood book.
77.) Cook a big dinner for your parents. If you are like me and cannot cook, make them pasta and call it a day. They will appreciate the gesture.
78.) Watch one or two or six episodes of My So Called Life.
79.) Fill four pages with stream of consciousness writing. Then read them and laugh at how ridiculous the things in your head are.
80.) The poisonous people are slowly dissolving from your memory. They aren’t as important as they were yesterday, and maybe in a year, you won’t think about them at all. Seven months even. You will find new people to mess you up, and they will be blushing and lovely. Stop responding to empty, grey apologies. They aren’t worth your Sunday nights any more.
81.) Get a haircut. Not anything you’ll regret, just something that will make you feel lighter.
82.) Wear loose clothing.
83.) Wear tight clothing.
84.) Put your tape/CD in your car and go for a drive. To your old preschool, to a bookstore, to the beach.
85.) Buy yourself a new pair of sunglasses for when the sun comes back out. Again, I’m not talking about the weather.
86.) Do what I did once. Make a blog and share your random thoughts with the world. Maybe people will read them and care (thank you for reading and caring).
87.) Make your favorite kind of tea and put it in your favorite mug. Sit on your bed and look through old photographs.
88.) Read some Shel Silverstein poems. I know you have Where The Sidewalk Endssomewhere on your bookshelf.
89.) Read old messages. Laugh about how much things have changed. Chances are, it’s all quite funny if you think about it.
90.) Look up what time it is in another country. Think about what the sky looks like there. Are the people eating breakfast? Is it dark enough for kids to go skinny dipping? Is everyone asleep except for people working the night shift in hospitals and heavy-lidded people in love?
91.) Find a jumprope in your garage. I know you have one somewhere. Jump until you feel like you don’t ever want to jump ever again.
92.) Teach yourself how to yo-yo or juggle or something else cool.
93.) Finally figure out how to make those fancy weaved bracelet things. You know what I’m talking about.
94.) Know that in Rennes, France, there is a man who wipes the fog off bus windows for people so they can see outside. Know that if you sat next to him, he would do the same for you.
95.) Watch Tavi Gevinson’s Ted Talk.
96.) Rearrange the furniture in your room. Maybe you need the blue couch against the wall.
97.) Mix frozen raspberries and yogurt in a blender. Homemade frozen yogurt. Bam.
98.) Email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I check my blog email quite a bit (7-8 times a day. It’s a bit compulsive I admit. I might have a problem.) and am always always happy to cheer you up. I might even send you photos of kittens depending on how bad it is.
99.) Hang black-and-white pictures up on your wall.
100.) Just as traffic lights turn from red to green to yellow and twelve-year-olds start putting on mascara when they turn into thirteen-year-olds and we all start caring less and less about birthdays, the world around you is shifting. Things will change, and they will get better.
XX, The Girl in the Little Black Dress