How To Be Sad

How To Be Sad: A Short Guide

  • Stay up until 3 a.m., while the rest of the world sleeps.
  • Listen to sad songs on repeat.
  • Pick fights with people who love you.
  • Stop going out.
  • Don't call friends.


  • No more eye contact. 
  • Say mean things about yourself often.
  • Sigh. All the time.
  • Stop believing in things you find important.
  • Believe no one understands you.
  • Eat bad food that makes you feel worse.
  • Stay in bed or on the couch.
  • Chase people away, then hate them because they left.


  • Love less, worry more.
  • Live this way for a while. A very long while. Too long, actually.
  • Catch a glimpse of yourself in someone else. Or maybe a mirror. Or maybe both.
  • Realize you don't like what you see.


  • Take a piece of pink paper and scribble a list on How To Be Sad.
  • Stop doing those things.
  • Keep the list in your pocket or bag for months.
  • Refer to it often.
  • Then not so much.


  • Tuck the paper away in a drawer.
  • Forget about it for years.
  • Find it when doing spring cleaning.
  • Smooth the wrinkled edges.
  • Remember your sadness, but from a different perspective.
  • Honor that time in your life.


  • Rip the paper into tiny little pieces.
  • Throw the list into the recycling bin.
  • You know how to be sad.
  • But you're figuring out how to be happy.


illustration: Zakhar Krylov



This post is part of a Blogging A To Z series where I write a new, personal story almost every day (except Sundays). The theme is the hidden messages: the language of flowers.