How To Recover From A Bad Day

Everyone has bad days. But what about the day after that bad day? Here are some ways you can recover from a bad day.


Everything can be going perfectly fine in your life and one unfortunate event can quickly change your mood. Everyone has bad days, even those that seem like the happiest people in your life; even if you are that person in other people's lives, you are allowed to have bad days. Past YouAlberta writer, Azra, eloquently states in an article that “[bad days] happen. I learn from them, try to improve from them, and I get through them.” 

But what about the day after that bad day? I often forget that even when a bad day is over, parts of my body and mind still need time and help to recover. How you respond to the event and how you let it affect your life moving forward, even if it was a seemingly small event, can make the difference between a bump in the road and a life changing event. Like many experiences in life, you can either learn from this bad day and grow from it, or let it weigh you down until you’re forced to address it.

The first step in recovering from a bad day is acknowledging your feelings and what has happened to you. Whether it's a bad test score, a fight with a friend, or no specific reason, it’s important to tap into your feelings and reflect on them. My go-to method of doing this is through journaling because I grew up writing my feelings down when I felt like I had no one else to turn to. But reflecting on your feelings doesn’t necessarily need to take the form of a pen and paper journal. You may find it more effective to type your thoughts out, record yourself talking out loud, or talk to a loved one about what you are feeling. At times I’ve even felt that doing just one of these methods wasn’t enough, and there isn’t anything wrong with using more than one method to work through your feelings. At the end of the day, the method is less important than the act of you combing through your emotions, staring them in the face, and asking them important questions.


While you’re doing this, it is also important to be aware of how you are talking to yourself. Sometimes we aren’t even aware that we are doing this, but negative thoughts can easily swallow whatever positive thoughts, such as compassion and hope, we may have left at that moment. A quote that guides me especially when I have bad days comes from Victor F. Frankl: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Your thoughts can truly affect your perspective and therefore your reality, so as difficult as it may seem in the moment, try to turn your negative thoughts into positive motivation and grow from your experience. It may seem fruitless at the moment but I assure you that future you will be grateful that you put in the effort when it seemed impossible and continued to move forward despite your circumstances. At the end of the day, regardless of what has happened to you you are in control of the shape your life takes after each bad day. By taking back control of your inner voice you can regain control, no matter how large or small, of a situation that may seem beyond your control.


Tackling your emotions and reflecting on your bad day is no easy task in any circumstance, let alone the day after a bad day so be sure to take it easy on yourself and practice self-compassion in the ways that speak to you the most. It can be putting work aside for the day and doing something you love, spending time with loved ones, listening to sad songs and crying your eyes out, or simply laying in bed and resting; there is no one right way to mentally recover from distress so do what brings you the most peace. The important thing for you to remember is that you should take care of your mental health after a bad day just as you would take care of your body after a physically exhausting day.

You will have beautiful days and you will have unforgettably dark days, but each day you choose to get up and keep going will always be a hopeful day. You are not weak for having a bad day and needing time after to recover. Love yourself for getting up the next day and moving forward.