How to Cope with Bad News

By Rachel King

If there’s anything that always seems to be piling up with no end in sight, it’s bad news. 2020 is a testament to this statement, if not the year that prompted it. In other words, it’s a stressful era to be living in, but it’s nothing any of us can’t handle. This article is here to help you cope with bad news you hear every day in eight different ways so you can maintain a positive outlook on life.

  1. Treat yourself.
Ice Cream

When we hear good news, we use it as an opportunity to celebrate. Why should bad news be any different? While we may not be celebrating anything, feeling beaten down is often when we need a pick-me-up the most, so go out, have a drink, get some ice cream; do whatever you need to feel happier. This one’s on us.

2. Downplay it.

We tend to attribute a lot of weight to bad news and let it rule our lives. Don’t give it that power! In fact, try and do the opposite: Devalue it. Remind yourself this is only one part of your life, no matter how small or big it may seem at the time. By giving bad news less value, you are setting yourself up to move past it that much quicker.

3. Look on the bright side.

Stop dwelling on and wallowing in the bad news you just received — admit it, we all do it. Instead, take a moment to focus on all the positives in your life. Think about everything going right for you. Shifting your concentration away from the bad and toward the good will turn your mindset around and elevate your mood in no time.

4. Sleep it off.


This one is easy. A good night’s sleep always seems to give us the fresh start we need for the next day. It lets you rest your mind so that when you wake up, the news doesn’t seem as daunting as it was when you first heard it. So put on your PJs, snuggle under those covers, and take a break from thinking for a while. You need it.

5. Find a distraction.

While distractions can be inconvenient, they are exactly what the doctor prescribed when you receive some unsettling news. Drown yourself in work or call an old friend to catch up. Whatever you do, put the news on the back burner and forget about it for the time being.

6. Exercise.


Exercising is a great way to cope with bad news. Go on a run or try out a workout video on YouTube. Whatever you choose, sweating it out to an intense workout will release endorphins, which help to improve your mood. Even if you’re not a fitness guru, give this coping mechanism a shot. You might surprise yourself.

7. Think of something worse.

This may seem counterintuitive. After all, why would you want to further depress yourself when you are already feeling down? However, thinking of how bad something could have been can often make what actually happened seem almost trivial. Remember that circumstances can always be worse, and you are lucky to not be in that situation.

8. Talk to a close friend.

If you feel like your emotions are being pent up inside you, confide in someone about something negative that has happened recently in your life. You don’t have to go through this hard time alone; know that you have a support system, whether it’s your friends, your family, or a mentor. Talking something through with someone you trust can instantly make you feel better.

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