6 Reasons To Allow Sadness In Life@ Reward Me

The up side of feeling down

We’re always striving towards happiness, towards a perpetual sunny state. But what if that could make us even unhappier?


Happiness is a condition we are expected to aspire towards, work for, learn how to secure. But what if you were told that a little bit of sad was good for the soul. Fundamental even, to ultimately enhanced happiness.

Life is about happy and sad, light and dark. It’s why we notice, relish, a brilliant sunlit day after a gloomy, wet one. Sadness offers texture, throws happiness into greater, more delightful relief.

While philosophising about the upsides of feeling down doesn’t prove a thing the science does. Scientists now warn that the tendency to medicate against sadness as though it were a disease stops us embracing our miserable side and removes the motivation to mature emotionally.

Without sadness we couldn’t fully appreciate what it means to be happy, similarly, without chaos we wouldn’t fully appreciate calm. The natural balance of life necessitates that there is light and dark, happiness and sadness, chaos and calm.

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Learning to manage your emotions, to cope with the variety of feelings you have, enables an inner strength that is less prone to “burnout” or stress-related conditions. Taking the time and learning to manage ones feelings is a healthy and necessary part of mental wellbeing.

6 reasons to allow a bit of sadness

  1. Research demonstrates that sad people tend to be more sympathetic, less self-centred and make better listeners; in short, they’re often better company.
  2. Sadness makes you think more deeply, assimilate new information, and reassess old ideas, all imperatives given that, ironically, change is the only constant in life.
  3. Sadness presents a reality check. It helps us to recognise what’s important and what isn’t, to prioritise properly. It’s a life leveller.
  4. Sadness has the propensity to make us more empathetic: in recognising our own pain we are able to comprehend and respond to pain in others.
  5. Sadness presents an opportunity for personal growth; as glib as it sounds, the mantra ‘no pain, no gain’ is true.
  6. Just as fear serves as a warning to the presence of danger, so sadness signals a cry for help. It’s a biological imperative evident in apes, dogs and elephants. Being ‘up’ all the time might mean you play down very real threats.

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