Quotes for teens on life lessons

Quote for teens feeling sad -'It's ok to feel bad sometimes'

"It's ok to feel bad sometimes."

-- Truth Be Told Quotes

Everybody feels bad sometimes. In fact sometimes, you’re supposed to feel bad.

Like when you bumped into that guy and he spilled Starbucks all over his mom? That bad feeling was empathy—and it means you’re compassionate.

Or that time you did that totally embarrassing thing we swore never to mention? That bad feeling was appropriate shame, and it’ll keep you from running around howling narwhal mating calls so you can “feel like a unicorn of the sea.” (Again.)

And that time you felt terrible about lying? That was your conscience and it’ll help you remember to be a person you can be proud of.

Now sometimes, we feel bad about things we don’t really need to feel bad about. If you’re beating yourself up for something that wasn’t wrong or harmful, you may be ok just letting that go. And if you can’t stop feeling bad even though you try, it’s ok to ask for help.

Teaching resources

Bring this quote into your classroom with a lesson guide and activities that are ready to use.

Quote Overview / Description

Quote about sadness and emotions

This quote about sadness shows teens that it’s ok to feel sad sometimes. The quote reminds them that there are lots of reasons people feel sad or "feel bad" about having done something, and most are normal moments that rise up and fade away. Feeling a mix of happiness and sadness is a normal part of life and serves a healthy purpose.

  • Sometimes feeling sad or bad is really about being compassionate.
  • Sometimes feeling bad is your conscience helping you make better choices. Embarrassment and shame help us remember to make better choices next time.
  • And sometimes, people get stuck in a cycle of feeling sad and need help to get out of it.

This quote on sadness, happiness, and overall emotional aspects of life is a good launching point to help kids understand their own emotions and to encourage them to know the difference between normal sadness and depression.

Discussion questions / Writing Prompts

Questions to prompt discussion, journaling, essays for high school health class and social emotional development lessons:

  1. Is it good to feel empathy even if it means you feel sadness? Should you have boundaries when feeling empathy? (Try this resource: What is Empathy? Definition and Examples)
  2. Is there a situation when being embarrassed or feeling shame can help you? Are there situations when someone shames someone else that is harmful?
  3. What are some things you can do if you feel a little sad? What if you try lots of things and still can’t stop feeling very sad? (See the activities section for resources on the difference between sadness and depression.)
  4. What are some signs that sadness is temporary? What are some signs that someone needs help overcoming their sadness?



Activities and worksheets for teen SEL / high school health and wellness lessons:

  1. Gratitude Journaling Activity- A week-long activity to record things that teens are thankful for, and measure the impact on happiness.
  2. Creating Lasting Happiness Activity- Using a video and worksheet, teens learn about strategies for creating lasting happiness.
  3. Journaling Page on Feeling Sad- Printable journaling page for this quote on processing sadness in a healthy way.

Resources on Sadness in Teens

  1. Helping High Schoolers Manage Emotions- video and tips from Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
  2. Teenline: Talk, text or email with trained teens on real life issues. Discussion boards, printable brochures and more resources by mental health professionals.
  3. Suicide prevention brochure includes topics such as “What are the danger signs” and “How can you know if it’s serious”.
  4. Difference between sadness and depression written for younger audiences
  5. Difference between sadness and depression for older audiences
  6. Strategies for dealing with sadness and depression for young adults and older
  7. US Suicide Helpline

Coloring Pages

Download printable coloring pages for a mindfulness activity that features this quote.

  1. Classic coloring page
  2. Feeling Growth coloring page

Curriculum Topics

High School Health Class / Social Emotional Development Core Curriculum Alignment:

  • Positive relationships
  • Self-concept
  • Happiness / emotions
  • Growing up and change


  • Sadness and happiness are part of a healthy life
  • Understanding your own emotions is a healthy part of self concept
  • Having empathy for others
  • Listen to your conscience for healthier decision making

Character Traits/Values

  • Growth Mindset
  • Caring / Kindness
  • Forgiveness / Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Self Esteem / Self Confidence

The quote and opening paragraph of this page are an excerpt from the Book, Truth Be Told Quotes: Teen Edition. Presented with permission from the author, Colleen Doyle Bryant. ©LoveWell Press. Find the print and ebook versions of Truth Be Told Quotes on the Shop page.

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Colleen Doyle Bryant

Colleen Doyle Bryant is the author of five books and more than 50 learning resources about making good choices for the right reasons. Her Talking with Trees series for elementary students and Truth Be Told Quotes series for teens are used in curriculums around the world. Rooted in Decency, Colleen's latest release for an adult audience, explores what happened to common decency and how we can get to a place of more cooperation and kindness. Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com.

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