Sadness is a range of emotional states

What is Sadness?

Sadness is an emotion that people experience it from the loss of a loved one or something important. What make us sad varies greatly based on personal and cultural notions of loss. While sadness is often considered a “negative” emotion, it plays an important role in signaling a need to receive help or comfort.

Feeling sadness

Sadness is a range of emotional states that we can experience including everything from mild disappointment to extreme despair and anguish. Sadness can also be experienced along with other emotions, such as:

  • Anger (e.g., having a loved one abandon you)
  • Fear (e.g., we will not be able to cope or move on with life)
  • Joy (e.g., pleasure from the comfort provided by others)

What makes us sad?

Sadness is the loss of a valued person or object, though this can vary greatly between individuals based on their personal definitions of value and loss. Common sadness triggers:

  • Rejection by a friend or lover
  • Endings and goodbyes
  • Sickness or death of a loved one
  • The loss of some aspect of identity (e.g., during times of transition at home, work, life stages)
  • Being disappointed by an unexpected outcome (e.g., not receiving a raise at work when you expected it)