Be Happy to Feel Sad

Just a little food for thought this week:

A couple months ago I read a tweet that said, “It’s all about being happy. Life is way too short to be anything but happy.” Cue the groan and eye roll for yet another person on Twitter preaching about happiness. First of all, life is not that short. The average American lives to be about 79 years old. If you spend every moment of every year being happy, you would lose your mind.

Now don’t get me wrong. Happiness is important. I love being happy! But sometimes things in life go wrong, and it’s hard to feel happy. That’s why we have other emotions to express, such as sadness, anger, grief, guilt, nervousness, pain, etc. One of the greatest things about being human is our ability to FEEL, and we have every right to feel emotions other than happiness. In fact, they are just as important.

In the article How I Learned To Be OK With Being Sad Buzzfeed contributor, Mac McClelland, addresses how society attaches a negative stigma to the expression of sadness. She writes, “Culturally, we aren’t allowed to be sad even for a little while. Even when it’s perfectly sensible. Even when, sometimes, we need it.”

And we do need it. No sane person who’s going through a struggle is going to adopt the mindset of “It’s all about being happy.” Before you can be happy you have to let yourself feel sad and hurt. Give yourself proper time to grieve or else your attempts to feel happy will be forced and fake. Genuine happiness doesn’t come from the suppression of other emotions. It comes from addressing the way you feel in the moment, allowing yourself to feel it and eventually moving on.

It’s all about being human. Life is tough. Shit happens, and it’s not sunshine and smiles all the time. Allow yourself to feel the way you need, but don’t let any emotion swallow you for too long.

P.S. If you need any help…you can always ask Kit.


Photo by Sam Zarifeh


About Kit Maher 13 Articles
I am a junior at Albion College studying journalism. I play defense for the Albion Women's Lacrosse team and write in my spare time. I love to workout and be outdoors. My favorite quote is the motto for LIFE Magazine: "To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, to draw closer, to find each other and to feel. That is the purpose of life."

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