'I Hate Life': What to Do If Nothing Makes You Happy

Woman sad looking out window.

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Do you find that nothing makes you happy anymore? Maybe you've stopped doing things you used to enjoy, can't get out of bed in the morning, or feel hopeless or lost about your future.

Whether these feelings are transient or a sign of a deeper underlying problem, it's important not to let them fester. What might start out as situational depression could turn into something long-lasting.

If you are finding that nothing makes you happy and wondering what to do about it, below are some ideas to help you pull yourself out of the state you are finding yourself in.

Change Your Mindset

It might sound too simplistic, but for some people with only transient feelings of a lack of enjoyment, changing your mindset might be all that is required.

If you feel that you are putting off feeling happy for some time in the future, it's important to stop using this as an excuse to avoid living your life now.

While bad things may have happened to you in the past, or you may not have everything that you want in your life right now, everyone has a story of some sort that weighs heavy on their heart.

How you think about your story and how you go out into the world and live with it is what will set you apart.

End Rumination and Engage in Problem Solving

Next, if you find that you are ready to change your mindset about how you are feeling, what are the concrete steps you can take to actually get there?

One of the things that people who are feeling down tend to do is to ruminate about how they are feeling. Is that you? Do you think a lot about how you don't enjoy things anymore?

Rumination is a habit that can worsen low mood or feelings of lack of enjoyment. Try to be aware of your thoughts and watch for times that you spiral into negative thinking.

Ask yourself, why am I upset? What do I need to acknowledge, evaluate, or change? While complaining about your situation or ruminating might feel like you are doing something, in reality, you are only making yourself feel worse.

Identify problems that you can solve, and take action on them. In taking action, you will start to feel better.

Get Some Exercise

Try to engage in exercise at least a few times a week, ideally for 30 minutes each time. Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, which will naturally make you feel more upbeat and happier.

Develop Healthy Habits

Similar to getting regular exercise, make sure that you are engaging in other healthy habits in your life.

Are you drinking enough water each day? Do you eat healthy food each day and take vitamins regularly? Junk food, caffeine, alcohol, etc. will serve to worsen a bad mood, make you feel sluggish, and keep you in a state of low mood.

On the other hand, healthy habits will give you a solid foundation on which to build back your joy in life. Give yourself a chance to feel better by making sure you are doing basic things to maintain your health and mental health.

Practice Meditation and Yoga

If you still find that you can't reconnect with joyful things in your life, try adding in a regular meditation and/or yoga practice along with breathing exercises.

Having a regular practice will help you to release negative emotions and stress, leading you to feel more peaceful, joyful, and ready for clarity in your life.

Reconnect With Joy

At this point, you might be ready to start adding back joyful activities into your life. What did you used to enjoy doing? Whether it was doing art projects, working in your garden, reading, watching movies, or other activities, make a point of dedicating a bit of time each day or week to the things that bring you joy.

While you may not immediately feel like doing these things, taking action to add them back into your life will eventually help to boost your mood and bring back the joy you once felt.

And, if there are barriers to you doing the things you used to enjoy, see if there are new activities that can take their place or other ways to go about doing what you used to do.

For example, if you used to enjoy lunch dates with friends, but no longer have the ability to meet with them, see if there's another social activity that you can take up and find enjoyable.

Press Play for Advice on Coping With Depression

Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares an exercise that can help you feel better when you feel depressed. Click below to listen now.

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Consider Professional Help

Finally, what do you do if you've tried all of the above and you still find that nothing makes you happy? At that point, you may wish to consider enlisting the help of your doctor or a mental health professional.

Loss of pleasure and motivation can be a sign of clinical depression, which can sometimes have a biological cause.

Depression can be treated with therapy and/or medication so that your mind has a chance to feel positive again (through the release of positive chemicals in your brain).

A Word From Verywell

If you find that nothing makes you happy anymore, start with your mindset, address your physical and mental health, restart activities that you previously found enjoyable, and then take stock of your situation.

If you still feel a lack of enjoyment or motivation, you may be living with clinical depression, which is not a problem you can solve on your own.

Remember that there is no shame in reaching out for help if you need it. Especially if you have tried all of the previous suggestions without any improvement, it's important to reach out to your doctor or a mental health professional for help.

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

By Arlin Cuncic, MA
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.