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