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Know the signs of depression.
Know how to get help.

We all have to deal with difficult emotions at times,
but it can be tricky knowing how to manage those feelings when we get overwhelmed.

We’ve put together this Feelings-Skill List to help because, let’s face it, our brains can often get stuck when emotions take over. Sometimes a gentle nudge towards helpful ideas can be welcome… especially when we’re not really sure where we’re at emotionally.

Angry, frustrated, aggressive, annoyed?


  • Hit a punching bag (if you actually have one). A pillow works great, too!
  • Rip up a newspaper. Just make sure no one is still reading it!
  • Go for a walk, jog, or run.
  • Break sticks (outside).
  • Throw ice against a brick wall or ground (also, outside).
  • Make something with play-doh or clay. You can smash it, if you’d like.
  • Flatten empty aluminum cans. You probably won’t get your nickel back for those, though.
  • Talk to someone you trust.
  • Write down your feelings- it can be as messy and jumbled as you need it to be.
  • Paint, draw or sketch (scribble if that helps, too!)
  • Turn up the music…while you’re at it, dance!
  • Hug someone or something (pet, pillow, stuffed animal).
  • Cry (it IS ok to do this!).
  • Take a hot bath or shower.
  • Do yoga, stretch, or exercise.
  • Clean or organize something.
  • Do some calm breathing (breathe in for FOUR, exhale for SIX).

Sad, isolated, hurt, disappointed?


  • Take a hot bath or shower.
  • Curl up in a soft blanket.
  • Listen to soothing music.
  • Eat something you enjoy.
  • Watch a movie or TV show.
  • Read a book.
  • Sing.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Use something that smells good (lotion, candle, essential oils).
  • Paint or draw.
  • Write (goals, dreams, things that you are grateful for).
  • Cry.
  • Dance.
  • Build a pillow fort.
  • Do a puzzle.
  • Clean or organize something.
  • Do yoga or stretch.
  • Hug someone or something (stuffed animal).
  • Talk to someone you trust.

Fearful, anxious, overwhelmed, threatened, weak?


  • Do calm breathing (in FOUR, out SIX)
  • Massage your hand (pressure point).
  • Go outside (nature, fresh air).
  • Take a bath or shower.
  • Organize something.
  • Practice guided meditation or other mindfulness.
  • Make a cup of tea, hot chocolate.
  • Say it out loud (can help fears lose power).
  • Tense then relax muscles.
  • Distract yourself (cards, puzzles, board game).
  • Journal.
  • Wrap yourself in a blanket or sit in comfortable chair.
  • Talk to someone you trust.

Happy, Confident, Successful, Creative, Thankful


  • Write down what makes you grateful (you can read these when you aren’t feeling so great).
  • Listen to your favorite music.
  • Take a walk or hike. Look at the beautiful things around you.
  • Write things you like about yourself on small pieces of paper (like post-its). Put them up around your room or mirror.
  • Write a letter to someone who inspires you (you can choose to send it or not later).
  • Make a list of goals and dreams you have for yourself.
  • Tell a friend or someone you trust that you’re having a good day—and why.
App store

Check out our Mindmatters app to assess your mental health, get support and join the conversation about mind wellness.