Feeling Better

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There are lots of things you can do to make yourself feel better.

The most important one is to keep doing the things you like to do.  Try to keep up with your regular activities. See your friends—don't isolate yourself.  Read books. Listen to music.  Play with your dog or cat.  Take long walks. It's not just OK to have some fun during hard times, it's essential!

Make sure that you take time for yourself everyday!  When life gets stressful, it's easy to forget to do things for yourself, even though times of stress are when you most need time for yourself.

Here are some other suggestions:

Talk about it:

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to talk. Talking about your feelings—not just once, but often—almost always makes you feel better. It releases tension, and can help you put things into perspective, so they don't feel so overwhelming.


  • Tell your parents how you feel. If they are too upset to be helpful, try again another time. Talk to someone else in the meantime.
  • If you have brothers or sisters, talk to them. Since they're going through the same thing you are, they'll probably understand how you are feeling.
  • Talk to a close friend, especially someone who has gone through parental separation or divorce.
  • Talk to a relative, like an aunt or uncle, or another adult you know and trust, like the parent of a close friend.
  • Sometimes talking to someone who doesn't know your family very well—like a teacher or school counselor—can be very useful, because he or she can be objective.

Write about it. Try writing about your feelings in a journal or diary. You can write as often as you want, and say whatever you want to say. Over time, you will be able to see the progress you are making as you adjust to the changes and face the challenges.

It's OK to cry. Crying can make you feel better, because it lets the feelings out, instead of keeping them bottled up inside. But don't worry: if you don't feel like crying, that's OK too.


Get active! Exercise is an excellent way to let off steam. And being fit physically may help you feel good emotionally.

  • Walk, run, or bike. Skate. Swim.
  • Play basketball, soccer, baseball, hockey, or another game you like.

Do something creative

  • Write a story, or poetry.
  • Write a song.
  • Draw, sculpt, or paint.
  • Dance!

Think positive

Things will get better! Parental separation and divorce certainly are hard at first, but you will get through it. Others survive, and you will too. You might even find that there are ways in which your life is better than it was before.

Q & A

I'm feeling really upset and confused about my parents splitting up. Is this normal?

It's natural — and entirely normal — to experience some intense emotions. You will feel better over time. There are lots of ways to help yourself feel better, and people who can help you if you need it.

I'm feeling guilty about my parents splitting up. Was there something I did to cause it?

It's very common for teens to believe that they have somehow caused their parents to split up. But you are not the reason for your parents splitting up. Parents split up because of problems in their relationship.

It's not your fault!

If my parents divorce, will the same thing happen to me?

Many teens whose parents split up feel anxious about their own relationships in the future. But just because your parents split up doesn't mean the same thing will happen to you. What happens in your relationships will be up to you, not your parents!