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4 Things To Try If You Feel Melancholy

Do you ever feel melancholy?

Google defines melancholy this way, “a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.”

As someone who struggles with depression, I feel melancholy a lot. And that’s where today found me. I felt sad and lethargic for no apparent reason.

This should be a joyful time in my life. My mom is here visiting. My son is getting ready to graduate high school. My other son is joining the Army Reserves. My daughters love spending time with their mom. My husband is extremely supportive. I have no reason to be sad.

But sad I am.

Feeling melancholy can put a severe damper on our faith. It’s like, “Where’s the joy of the Lord?” #AmIRight? But God created our emotions and I believe He totally understands our moods, even the ones we don’t understand ourselves.

So what do you do when life leaves you melancholy?

I was tempted to go back to bed, but I didn’t. Instead, I looked to Jesus to see if He could help me out of my funk. Here’s what He showed me…

4 Things To Try If You Feel Melancholy

1.) Read

Read the Psalms. Any of them. All of them. Just pick up your Bible and start reading.

So many Psalms remind me that I’m not alone. David (who wrote many of the Psalms) struggled with depression and anxiety. And when he did, he turned to God. And that’s what I can do too.

Other Psalms pour out praise for God. They remind me of His faithfulness. That He is worthy to be praised. That I am His. The Psalms remind me that God is always good, even when I feel melancholy.

2.) Worship

Another thing you can do when you’re feeling melancholy is to turn up the praise and worship music. Let your heart pour out praise to the One who created you. It helps take your mind off yourself and put it back on Jesus. Sometimes, when I feel like I’m at the end of myself, this helps me more than anything else.

3.) Pray

Next, if you’re feeling melancholy say a prayer. Ask God to help you. Ask Him to fill you with the joy of the Lord. Because He can. He is the God of the possible. And no amount of sadness is more than He can handle.

4.) Trust

Last, but not least, we have to put our trust in Jesus. We can trust that this is just a phase or a season and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Trusting that Jesus will help us even when we don’t fell helpable.

Join the Conversation

What do you do when you’re feeling melancholy? Is it something you struggle with a lot? If so, I hope you know that you are not alone. It’s something I struggle with on a regular basis. Thankfully, I know God is with me no matter how I feel. And I hope you know that, too.

14 Comments

  1. Love these! I also love getting around others who stir up my faith and bring joy in those times too.

  2. Thank you, Heather for this great advice. The psalms always help me when I am feeling melancholy. Another helpful practice is I look back at history, and spend time thanking the Lord for His unfailing love and faithfulness in every circumstance.

  3. YES! Thanks Heather!
    Great ideas to help overcome melancholy. YES!!! they all absolutely help it to lift. And when I read large portions of Scripture, even when I am having trouble concentrating (because I am feeling “down”), helps me get my own life in perspective.
    I have found one more thing to try: When I choose to reach out to encourage someone else–even when I don’t FEEL like it. (Either a text, a phone call, an email or a visit.) Getting my mind OFF myself definitely helps.

  4. Great suggestions Heather! Melancholia come to us all but some it does visit more often.
    Although I don’t often have this visitor, last week I felt like bursting into tears while at the Book Club & then in Church service, for no apparent reason!
    So I went to prayer & then focused on others, I still feel a little more fragile then normal…
    Bless you, Jennifer

  5. All of these are wonderful and effective when feeling melancholy. Reading the psalms truly does put both our emotions and life into perspective. May the Lord continue to strengthen you to win the battle on those days it comes to visit!

  6. Fortunately, I have learned over the years to talk back to my feelings. Melancholy comes and goes so I don’t mind sitting with it to see what it has to teach me. I do find that going outside—for any reason—lifts my spirits.

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