Finding ways to successfully cope with any sort of emotional issue s a bigger deal than most people make it out to be. The way we deal with pain is fundamentally what makes or breaks us as human beings and, unfortunately, it ends up breaking many of us.

A lot of trial and error is involved in the search for skills that work with your personality and it can eventually become pretty discouraging. Below, we’ve included a list of 100 strategies to help you cope with any sort of emotional trouble. Be sure to let us know which ones work best for you and let us know if there are any additional skills that are helpful!


  1. Write! Don’t think hard about it. Just set a timer and write as much as you can and everything you’re feeling with no filter. If you want, you can keep a journal or a blog of your writing as well.
  2. Exercise – Sometimes physical exhaustion can help you tune out any kind of mental exhaustion. Plus, it’s good for you, so it’s a win-win!
  3. Try grounding – Look around the room and become aware of your surroundings. Find five things you see, four things you can touch, three you can hear, two you can smell, and one you can taste. Repeat this until you feel calm.
  4. Meditation – While you can find guided meditations online, it’s also very simply done through processes very similar to grounding and becoming increasingly aware of your surroundings. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Take note of how your feet feel in your shoes, wiggle your fingers, and take note at how it feels to bend each one. It may sound weird, but it’s an easy way to reconnect!
  5. Yoga – Like meditation, many guides are available online on how to complete a successful yoga session, but you can also just freestyle it!
  6. Dance – Speaking of freestyling … turn on one of your favorite songs of any mood and just get it all out. Stomp, jump, twirl – do whatever it takes to get rid of the negative vibes.
  7. Play a musical instrument/sing – Sometimes putting all of your focus into something or perfecting a song can help you mend especially well.
  8. Paint! – It doesn’t matter how artistically inclined you are. There’s something very comforting about gliding the brush along the page.
  9. Create a calm jar – This basically is a jar filled with glitter that you can shake up and watch settle to help clear your mind. You can find directions to make them online, and they’re very simple.
  10. Write a letter to someone you admire – You don’t have to send it to or give it to them. It can even be to your favorite singer/actor/athlete/etc.
  11. Watch your favorite TV show – Being able to escape to the land of television is sometimes a good thing and you can have a quick breka from reality.
  12. Call a friend – You don’t even have to talk about what’s bothering you; even hearing a friend’s voice or listening to them talk or tell some kind of story can be comforting in itself.
  13. Use a marker to draw in favorite lyrics/quotes/doodles where you want to self-harm. The more detailed, the better!
  14. Play with a pet – Even petting an animal can be helpful.
  15. Try aromatherapy – Get scented candles, bath bombs, incense, or make your very own potpourri; the options are limitless. Many smells can create a calming atmosphere without you even noticing.
  16. Contact a hotline – Of course, this is one that’s strongly recommended; people at hotlines are usually trained counselors who are the best at helping out people going through things similar to you. You can find various hotlines’ numbers on our website.
  17. Play the “15 Minute” game – If you feel like doing something relating to self-injury, set a timer for 15 minutes and tell yourself, “I’ll do it when the timer is up.” When the timer is up, set it for another 15 minutes and repeat the same phrase to yourself until the urge mostly or completely disappears.
  18. Buy a few plants – Especially for people with depression issues, it’s very helpful to own plants, whether they be outdoors or indoors. They offer encouragement to get out bed because, well, they have to be taken care of.
  19. Purchase a fidget. –  Fidgets are small toys, usually able to fit into the palm your  hand, that you can use to occupy your hands. There are many available online, but my personal favorite is the Twiddle. It’s fairly inexpensive and comes in several colors.
  20. Coloring – Mandala coloring books have become very popular as of late and are very time consuming.
  21. Pray – If you are spiritual, talking to your higher power can be extremely comforting and a good way to get things off of your chest!
  22. Take a warm bath – Bubbles optional.
  23. Play with play-dough.
  24. Squeeze an ice cube very tightly – This is especially good for wanting to feel pain or sensation and is good for clearing your mind as well.
  25. Deep breathing – Practice doing focused breathing, in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  26. Suck on a peppermint or chew gum.
  27. Get a very cold drink (like ice water) or a very hot drink (like tea) and drink it very slowly.
  28. Write yourself a nice note and carry it in your pocket – Sometimes you are your worst enemy. So when it feels like the world is stacked against you, take out your note of encouragement for a smile.
  29. Do the dishes – Any sort of cleaning is very time consuming and occupies the mind very well.
  30. Organize your CDs – Get all of them out and organize them however you want:  by color, alphabetically, your favorite to least favorite, etc.
  31. Go for a brisk walk – This one can work anywhere, even school or in public. Separate yourself from your surroundings briefly and take a break if there’s a specific trigger in your immediate environment.
  32. Write positive affirmations on notecards and doodle on them – Bonus points if you carry them with you or stick them up on your walls.
  33. Ask a few friends to write out something nice or draw you a picture that you can hang up on your wall.
  34. Ask friends to make bracelets for you to wear on your wrist.
  35. Make a collage with pictures of your favorite things. – This can very easily remind you of all the positive things in your life.
  36. Count backwards from 500 (or any other number you choose) – No stopping until you get to the end! If you’re still having negative thoughts when you finish, do it again.
  37. Think of three foods for each letter in the alphabet without skipping any.
  38. Draw a picture outside with sidewalk chalk – You get to get outside for a little and enjoy the fresh air along with making something!
  39. Go on a walk and take pictures of pretty things you see – Create some sort of challenge for yourself like photographing 10 sorts of creatures you see or 10 different flowers.
  40. Get a magazine and read it front to back.
  41. Look at a picture and create a story using all of its elements.
  42. Go somewhere and people watch. – Create personalities or stories about them (ex: Where are they going? What’s their family like? What’s their name?)
  43. Sew, knit, or crochet – If you don’t know how, it’s always a good time to learn!
  44. Go to the library – Pick out a few books and sit in silence while you read them.
  45. Use a stress ball.
  46. Watch positive or funny videos on YouTube.
  47. Go window-shopping.
  48. Work on a puzzle.
  49. Create a list of 10 more coping skills not on this list! If some of these weren’t helpful, try creating a list of what is most helpful to you when you’re feeling low.
  50. Text Holding of Wrist’s text line! – iMessage (iOS devices only. Txt&data rates may apply.)