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Updated: August 27, 2021

Healthy Ways to Cope With Sadness in Recovery

Everyone deals with sadness from time to time. It’s a part of life as much as joy. Sadness is a normal emotion that everyone has to cope with. For people new in recovery, sadness may feel foreign or threatening. Nobody wants to feel “bad”! But sadness is necessary because life isn’t perfect, and we all experience some sort of loss from time to time. So allowing yourself to feel sadness is just as important as letting yourself feel joyful.

What is Sadness?

Sadness can be a complex emotion; you may feel it in response to a memory. Or you could feel it in reaction to something that happened in the present. For example, watching television news filled with tragedies or a dramatic film can cause anyone to feel sad, at least for a few minutes.

For many people, sadness comes when they feel like something is lost. For example, saying goodbye to your old lifestyle may make you feel sad for a time. Likewise, losing a loved one can be very hard to cope with. But sadness passes, and we come to appreciate the memories, and we come to appreciate the good times in our lives alongside the bad.

Ways to Cope With Sadness in Recovery

In recovery, sadness may feel like a “negative” emotion, but the truth is it is normal and healthy to experience. It can be uncomfortable to feel sad, especially when mourning or grieving. However, what you choose to do while you’re feeling sad makes all the difference in your recovery. So, what are some healthy ways to cope with sadness?

  • Allow yourself to feel the sadness. It’s okay to cry, punch pillows, or listen to sad music to help you let it all out. You won’t be sad forever, so it’s okay to let yourself feel this way.
  • Reach out to somebody. This is especially true when you feel like isolating. Let them know what’s going on and how you feel.
  • Journal about your feelings. Write it all down, no matter how “ugly” it feels. Share it with your sponsor if you need to.
  • Give yourself time to be alone, then go to a 12-step meeting. Everyone in recovery feels sad sometimes; it’s good to remember that you’re never alone.
  • Get help if you’re sad “for no reason” or feel like life is meaningless. You may have more going on than sadness - you may need to get a screening for depression.

Consider Sober Living

People who live in sober homes can live their lives with more clarity and dedication to their goals. Being around others with similar priorities is important! Learn more about how you can find a sober living home by reaching out to us.


If you or a loved one is looking for a safe and sober home in North County San Diego, call 760-216-2077. One of our caring members is ready to answer all of your questions.

Customer Testimonials

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  •  Very Friendly staff and a great living facility

    My brother, we’ll call him James to protect his anonymity, came here after attending their detox and inpatient program. He’s had tremendous success and currently has over six months of sobriety!

    - Jeff Hanson

  • This is not your average sober living.

     My family has been reunited and we share a beautiful relationship today. By the Sea is the cornerstone of my recovery and I am forever grateful for the experience I have had with the people I consider my family.

    - Adam Herald

  • We highly recommend Mark and his facility.

    Mark answered a cold call from us when we were confused and desperate trying to help our son. Six months later he is transitioning to living on his own and we are thankful for Mark and the By the Sea community.

    - Google Reviewer

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