Happiness Hangovers: What They Are and How to Survive Them

Let me set the scene: you have tickets to your favorite singer or band’s concert. You are more excited for this night than Christmas and your birthday combined. You go to the concert, and it’s everything you could’ve imagined and so much more. The vocals, the performance, everything. Everything was perfect. 

That night, as you lay in bed, a wave of sadness washes over you. The night that you’ve been building up in your head for months, while incredible, is now over.

I know how you feel. 

We don’t give enough attention to that pit-of-your-stomach feeling you get when something awesome ends. Disclaimer, I’m not talking about big, life-changing endings like breakups or losing a loved one. I’m talking concerts and fun vacations and amazing weeks at summer camp or even just a fun night with your best friends. When these events come to an end, I usually feel sad for a couple of days. This is the happiness hangover. 

I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are able to do fun things and be totally fine the next day. I, however, am not one of those people. I’m one of those people who feel ALL the feels all the time. My highs are high and my lows are low. I’ve always been like that, and it’s something that I’m learning to love about myself. 

But enough about me. For my fellow emotional pals, the highs and lows of life can be draining. So here are a few tips to overcome happiness hangovers.

Allow yourself to feel those feelings, but be careful not to dwell.

Denying yourself feelings is not going to do you any good. Validate that your feelings are important and significant. However, it is not realistic to be upset for a week after every fun event in your life. A little sadness is okay, but try not to let those feelings take over for too long.

Plan something new to look forward to. 

Yes, this may seem like you’re getting yourself into an endless cycle of having fun and then being sad, but if we avoided every little thing that made us sad, what kind of life would that be? When I’m feeling glum after something fun, I try to look at my schedule and plan something exciting, even just lunch with a friend. 

Acknowledge that good things end so better things can begin. 

I know this sounds corny, but I believe that some things don’t last because they’re not supposed to last. Sometimes, doors close so others can open. Now, I’m not dumb. Not every ending leads to a better beginning, but hope is powerful. Try to stay positive and manifest new possibilities. 

All of this advice sounds great until you’re laying in bed “mourning” the loss of a good moment. But just like the good times don’t last, the sadness doesn’t last either. Once again, I’m not saying that all sadness just goes away, but hopefully these tips help you realize that as much as happiness hangovers suck, they don’t outweigh or invalidate the amazing memories. Endings are sad, but the beginning and middle are pretty darn amazing.