What to say if someone is sad

Acknowledge the emotion

No one likes feeling sad and so it can be difficult to know what to say if someone is feeling down. However, the most important thing to do in this situation is to acknowledge the emotion that the person is feeling. This can be done by validating what they’re feeling and letting them know that you understand that they’re going through a tough time. This can also help them to feel less alone in their sadness and more understood by the people around them.

Show empathy

Empathy is an important part of communication and relationships. Effective listening involves taking the time to fully understand someone’s emotions and point of view. It can be difficult to express empathy when you do not share a similar experience or outlook. However, it is important to demonstrate understanding and respect for the individual’s feelings by validating their experiences.

When interacting with someone, actively listen by repeating back what they’ve said in your own words and trying to imagine how they feel in their current situation. Avoid making assumptions or offering advice without understanding their unique perspective first. When you make an effort to understand, it shows that you care about them and are considering how your words may impact them emotionally.

Showing empathy also means using language that acknowledges the other person’s feelings without judging them, such as “I can see how you must feel” or “It sounds like this is really tough for you”. Additionally, asking questions such as “how did that make you feel?” provides the person an opportunity to express themselves fully, both verbally and emotionally, which can help them work through their issues more effectively.

Validate their feelings

It can be difficult to know how to respond if a friend or loved one is feeling sad, but it is important to acknowledge their emotions. Acknowledging someone’s feelings does not mean you need to agree with or support those feelings, but simply recognizing them allows the person experiencing sadness to feel heard and understood.

A few phrases you can use to validates someone’s feelings include:

  • I hear you
  • What a difficult time for you
  • That sounds really tough
  • You aren’t alone in this
  • I’m here for you
  • That must be so difficult for you

It is also important not to invalidate their emotions by trying to dismiss their experience or suggest they ‘should’ feel differently. Instead, focus on listening nonjudgmentally and providing reassurance and understanding. Having a supportive friend during hard times can make a world of difference, so let your loved ones know that they are not alone and that it’s ok to feel what they’re feeling.

Ask Questions

When someone is feeling sad, it is important to ask questions to help them open up. Asking open ended questions can help the other person think about their feelings in a new way, as well as provide them with an opportunity to express their feelings in their own words. Asking questions can also help the other person realize they are not alone in their experience, as it helps to create a space of shared understanding.

Ask open-ended questions

Asking open-ended questions is a great way to start a conversation and express empathy when someone is feeling down. Open-ended questions are questions that cannot be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ These types of questions encourage the other person to talk about their feelings and experiences in more depth, providing an opportunity for you to listen without judgement.

Here are some examples of open-ended questions to start the conversation:

  • What can I do to help?
  • What has been the most difficult part about this for you?
  • How has this impacted your daily life?
  • When did you first begin feeling this way?
  • What do you think would help the most right now?
  • Tell me more about what happened.

Ask about the source of their sadness

When talking to someone who is feeling sad, it is important to be curious and genuinely interested in helping them. Ask open-ended questions that focus on how they are feeling and why they might feel that way. This will help them think through their feelings and brainstorm solutions. Do not judge what they say or worry about giving advice. Simply be present and listen to their response with compassion and understanding.

Examples of good questions include:

  • What happened that contributed to your sadness?
  • What do you find most difficult about the situation?
  • How can I best support you in this moment?
  • How do you think this issue can be solved?
  • What can I do to make sure you take care of yourself during this time?


Sometimes, the best thing to do when someone is sad is just to listen. Simply being present and supportive can be a huge help when someone is going through a difficult time. It can be hard to know the right words to say to someone who is sad, but simply being a sounding board and listening is often all they need. Listening is a powerful gesture and can really help someone going through a difficult time.

Give them your full attention

It’s so important to give a person your full attention if they’re sharing with you. Putting down your phone, closing your laptop, consciously setting aside all other distractions and actively listening to what they are saying can show them that you really care about what they are going through and that you want to support them. Just be there for them and allow them the time and space to open up.

It can be difficult to know exactly how to respond when someone shares something sad with you. Try not to jump into solving the problem or offering solutions – just listen and accept their feelings without judgement. Acknowledge what they are feeling without implying anything is wrong with it – this can help them feel heard and understood by you.

It may be difficult for someone dealing with sadness to vocalize the depth of their emotions, so give them the support of being an active listener, rather than trying to fill any pauses in conversation with reassurances or platitudes that may inadvertently invalidate their feelings. Show empathy – try repeating back key phrases nodding lightly as a sign of understanding – allowing them time in silence while still letting them know you’re there is a powerful way of showing you care. People want acknowledgement more than advice; making sure they feel heard is a great way of helping someone through sad times.

Avoid making assumptions

It takes courage to open up and talk about our emotions, so it’s important to remember not to make assumptions when speaking with someone who is sad. It can be tempting to suggest solutions or try to make the person see the positive side of things. However, doing so can come across as insensitive and invalidating of their feelings.

Instead, focus on being an engaged listener who offers validation by reflecting what they’ve said back in a non-judgmental manner. Making slight acknowledgments such as “Yes, I understand how difficult this is for you” are small but impactful ways you can create a safe space for someone to open up in their own time. You can also offer helpful reassurances that you are there for them and will be available whenever they need support or just want to talk. Finally, sharing your own stories or experiences of sadness or related topics shuttles further understanding and empathy toward them.

The most important thing is that the sad person knows that you respect and value their feelings however they choose to express them. Above all else, listening with patience and kindness is an immensely powerful act of selfless love we can offer these days.

Offer Support

When someone you care about is feeling sad or overwhelmed, it can be difficult to find the right words to support them. Showing that you are there for them and offering them a listening ear can make all the difference in how they process their emotions. Finding ways to show that you care and understand their feelings is an important part of being supportive.

Here are some tips on how to offer your support:

  • Let them know you are there for them.
  • Listen without judgement.
  • Validate their feelings.
  • Offer practical help.
  • Encourage them to get help if needed.

Suggest activities that can help

It is important to provide adequate support for those in need by suggesting helpful activities and resources. Encourage the individual to exercise, get plenty of rest, talk to family or friends, attend support groups, and strive toward a regular routine. Exercise releases endorphins which can be beneficial in improving mental health. Additionally, it is important to direct the individual toward professional help such as counseling and psychiatric care if needed.

Another way to offer support is by connecting the individual with external organizations that offer a range of resources based on their needs. These services include:

  • Therapy options
  • Education
  • Medication management
  • Peer supports
  • Family outreach
  • And more

They also often provide information about local mental health related programming that may be useful in helping them build a sense of community and belonging which can be incredibly beneficial during difficult times.

Offer your help

When someone you care about is feeling sad, it’s natural to want to help in any way you can. While it may be difficult to know what to say or do, there are some ways that you can show your support and let them know that they’re not alone.

Start by asking if they want to talk. Let them know that you are there for them and willing to listen. Make sure that they don’t feel rushed or pressured into talking, but let them know that if they do need an outlet, you are available.

Let your friend or family member know that you care deeply about their wellbeing and that with your help, things will get better eventually. Remind them of their own qualities and remind them why they are so special and important in your life – use specific examples if possible!

Offer practical things you can do together like a walk in the park, cooking dinner together at home or simply sitting with them in a quiet space. Ask questions about what might make them feel better but remember not to give too direct advice – it can make the person feel more helpless rather than empowered. Let them know how powerful decisions truly are within the context of their situation and instill a sense of hope for the future ahead of time rather than waiting for things to improve on its own. Showing compassion and identifying with their emotions no matter how small will also make all the difference as well – supporting someone doesn’t always have to look monumental!


When someone you care about is going through a hard time, it can be challenging to know the best way to support them. One important way to offer support is through a check-in. Checking-in is a simple, but powerful way to show you care and want the best for them. Here, we’ll explore what a check-in is and how to do it effectively.

Follow up with them

It is important to follow up with people after they check-in. After you’ve checked them in, take a few moments to introduce yourself and offer an overview of your organization and its mission. Show them around and let them know about any services, events, programs or resources that might be of interest to them. Ask if there are any questions or feedback they would like to share with you.

If appropriate, offer visitors the opportunity to add their contact information to your mailing list so that you can stay in touch with them further down the line. Collecting emails is just one way for you to keep up after someone visits your location. You can also connect on social media (Facebook pages, Twitter handles, Instagram accounts), meetup tools (Eventbrite, Meetup) or other digital tools (email newsletters).

Follow-up also includes making sure that visitors complete necessary forms or transactions before they leave so that they will get the most out of their visit. Make sure they are aware of relevant deadlines or next steps associated with forms completion or creating an appointment at a later date if needed. Finally, thank them for visiting and end the conversation on a friendly note – this is an opportunity for excellent customer service!

Ask how they are feeling

When you are concerned that someone may be feeling sad or overwhelmed, start by asking how they are doing. This will help to open up a dialogue and can make it easier to have a sincere conversation. Ask specific questions about how they are feeling, such as “How are you doing?”, “What’s going on in your life right now?” or “Why do you think you’re feeling this way?” If the person is simply having an off day, a simple request for advice or help may be enough. If the sadness appears more extreme, comfort them first and then recommend professional help if necessary.

Stay calm and try not to overreact to what the person is saying. Make sure that you validate their feelings and don’t invalidate them with your response. Try not to fix their problems overly quickly; give them space to talk and express themselves without judgment or unwanted advice. Listen attentively and provide reassurance that everything will eventually be ok if they take the right steps slowly but surely. Show kindness, empathy and creativity in order to build trust with the person so that they can feel safe confiding in you whenever possible.