Sadness and despair are two things that affect many people on a daily basis. Depression is very common, but we often overlook this in our modern, fast-paced society. People who suffer from sadness and despair need a guiding hand in order to remain positive and hopeful when it seems like things will never get better.

With this in mind, I have designed the following 8 guidelines in my utmost desire to reach out to those who have trouble believing that tomorrow will be a better day.

1. Learn from your mistakes.

Sadness and intense feelings of despair can often be a result of failing at something. Whether it's a college exam, a big job interview, an important business deal, or perhaps even a long-term relationship or marriage, failure is an extremely difficult thing to deal with.

Sometimes you simply go along thinking that you're doing great and that everything is fine only to crash and burn after finding out that everything has actually been going wrong. At this point, you must understand that nobody is perfect and that it is completely OK to fail once in a while. Setbacks are a natural part of life. Don't let it eat you up inside. Just be honest with yourself, re-evaluate where you went wrong, and strive to make improvements so that you can get back on track and continue living a fulfilling life.

The problem is that you've never actually been successful at anything, so this advice doesn't really apply to you. Proceed to #2.

2. Don't talk to anyone about your feelings. Nobody wants to hear them. Just hold everything inside until you explode and go completely ape shit.

As sadness, pain, loneliness, and overwhelming amounts of despair slowly crush what's left of your soul, make sure that you keep all of your feelings bottled up. You may desperately yearn to talk to someone just to help ease the horrible torment that's eating away at your heart, but you really should keep your feelings to yourself. Nobody wants to hear about them. (After all, you're kind of a depressing person when you think about it.) You will only drag others down with your problems, which are probably extremely embarrassing and should not be shared anyway.

Most of the people around you are happy and well-balanced. Do them a huge favor by leaving them alone while holding all of your grief inside. Who are you to go out and ruin the party with the irreversible issues that you have?

When you really think about it, nobody is going to be able to help you anyway. Your problems are too deep and extensive for even a therapist to deal with. The best thing to do is just hold everything inside until it simply won't stay in there any longer. This way, you will at least provide people with some good entertainment when you explode and go completely ape shit.

There are many exciting ways to let your pent up feelings out in public, such as:

  1. Setting yourself on fire while sledding downhill towards a highway full of speeding traffic.
  2. Drinking a bottle of vodka before pushing a hot needle into your penis-hole.
  3. Playing cards with your invisible friend on the railroad tracks. Or even…
  4. Going to your favorite restaurant and ordering a meal before repeatedly smashing your face into the table as you scream the words, “WHY WON'T SHE TALK TO ME?!”

3. Depress other people.

If the previous advice is not going to work because you're one of those people who simply can't hold your feelings inside, then use your current state of sadness and despair to bring others down. After all, there is no reason why you should be the only one who feels this way.

Weddings and family reunions provide excellent opportunities to achieve this. All of these people are celebrating, being social, and having a good time. Fuck that!  Go around and tell people how your life is going or perhaps even describe your greatest accomplishments in detail. Just make sure that nobody actually commits suicide afterwards.

4. Join a dating site.

Sadness and loneliness often go hand in hand. Maybe all you really need is someone to communicate with. Being alone can be the worst feeling in the world. Everybody needs somebody. If you are a really shy person, the idea of joining a dating site may be a bit intimidating. But this is your opportunity to be brave and to get yourself out there. You never know, something special might just happen.

Just make sure you don't put a picture of your face on the profile site. Describing your personal background or answering any of the questions truthfully would probably also be a bad idea.  The goal is to get people to talk to you and not cause them to leave the dating site completely.

5. Have faith that everything will work out for the best.

If you're not into dating sites, that's OK too. I don't really believe in them, either. Why put an image of yourself out there in a faulty attempt to impress others when that image only tells a small part of the whole story?

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but that's exactly what most people do when they start dating online. And besides, online dating is not the same thing as actually being with another person. Everything can seem rosy and wonderful when you're chatting with someone at a distance, but this is no guarantee that you are really going to get along with the other person or that your relationship will survive the test of time. The whole thing seems rather superficial to me.

Everything happens for a reason. There is no need to put on your best image and strive to get someone else to like you. If you meet the right person, everything will fall into place naturally. I firmly believe that the best things in life come along when you don't look for them. In other words, miracles happen when you least expect them…which is why I'm sitting at home alone and writing this article.

Yeah, whatever. Fuck you, too!

6. Watch documentaries and TV shows to get your mind off of the things that are making you feel sad.

Whenever I feel depressed and upset about life, I like to watch the Ghost Channel in order to get myself in a better mood. There are many excellent TV shows and fascinating documentaries about paranormal activity that are bound to captivate your mind. I personally recommend:

  1. “Hey, I Think I Heard Something Over There. Hold This Camera On Me While I Try to Go Look For It”
  2. “Oops I Slipped: A History Of Blood Orgies in North America From the Period of 1721-1923”
  3. “Why is There a Severed Body Part in My Back Yard? A Sociological Analysis of Cults on the Eastern Coast” 
  4. “Why Can't I Sleep? I Know Someone was Murdered in This Bed Before I Bought It From the Creepy Old One-Eyed Woman Down the Street…But Seriously, I Have to Work in the Morning” and…
  5. “I Know People Were Sodomized and Beheaded as Part of the Satanic Rituals That Used to Be Performed In This House…But I Think It Looks Pretty, So I'm Going to Buy It Anyway”

7. Read the local news.

Another good way to alleviate your depression is to pay attention to things that are going on around you. Remain an informed citizen of the events that are happening in your local community. This way you will feel more involved and less alone. The best way to do this is to simply read the news. Take the following article, for example.

Longwood High School Welcomes Its New Counselor, Mr. Peter Grabber 

Longwood High School is proud to welcome its new School Counselor, Mr. Peter Grabber. Mr. Grabber was recently interviewed and hired by District Principal, Mr. Rod Whitestain, and his Assistant Principal, Ms. Oval Peckertracks. He will be replacing the school's previous counselor, Mr. Bendem Overfast. 

When asked why he chose student counseling as a career path, Mr. Grabber said he was inspired by the lessons he learned as a young person who was constantly involved in volunteer work and community service projects. “The more I helped others, the more I realized I was helping myself. As I got older, I realized that if I chose a career that would allow me to touch the lives of others, then I would be continually touching myself as well,” Peter Grabber stated.

After discussing his dedication to counseling, Peter Grabber further described his passion for the World of Education by saying that it was his goal to touch the lives and minds of young learners by leading and inspiring them to become self-aware, critical thinkers as well as productive citizens. “I just want to touch young people,” Mr. Grabber insisted. 

Longwood High School stands erect in its decision to hire Mr. Peter Grabber as the new school counselor. Because the counseling program is so large, he will be assisted by one of the teachers from the Social Studies Department, Mr. Johnson Rydehard, who said he would be more than happy to grab a firm hold of the bulk of his additional responsibilities. 

Principle Rod Whitestain told reporters that he knew replacing Mr. Bendem Overfast would be a stiff and lengthy road, but that he maintained throbbing hope that the counseling program would be a bulging success for the new school year.  “I think we can do a real reach-around here as we try to touch the lives of our students,” he further added. With that he wished to extend a solid yet warm welcome to Mr. Peter Grabber.    

Longwood High School is located next to the Dickland Recreational Center on the curvy end of Head Street, which is perpendicular to Hymen Avenue.

8. On second thought, reading the local news might be a bad idea. It's a rather disturbing world out there. It would probably be better to just listen to someone else tell a really positive story.

I once knew a young man named Jeremy who was in a horrible state of sadness and despair because his long-term relationship with a girl named Melissa had recently ended. He was in tears all the time. He couldn't eat or sleep, and he simply thought that life would never get better again.

When he least expected it, he met another girl named Sarah who was in the same condition that he was in. She had also recently ended a long-term relationship, and she had trouble believing that the future could be bright again. The two hit it off immediately and found true comfort in each other's arms.

Jeremy had never been happier in his life. He forgot about Melissa completely, and he looked forward to his new life with Sarah. The two even planned to get married and move into a nice little house together.

As time went on, Jeremy noticed that Sarah was acting a little bit strange and distant. He couldn't figure out what was wrong, so he just ignored it for a while and went to work every day at the local factory that had recently employed him.

One day he came home early and saw Sarah's cell phone sitting on the kitchen table, so he decided to look through it. After reading numerous messages, he found out that Sarah had been cheating on him….with Melissa.

Jeremy was shocked, devastated, and speechless. He simply didn't know what to do. The next day at work, his sadness and despair were so incredibly profound that he became dizzy and accidentally fell into an extremely powerful and fast moving conveyor belt. His body was chewed up, ripped apart, and torn to pieces by the machinery. When Jeremy came out on the other end, he basically splattered all over his co-workers.

Oh wait, maybe that story wasn't such a good example.