Sadness is a subjective experience. People succumb to it for different reasons and at different times. It is contagious, so if you are around sad people or constantly exposed to sad news, it can be hard to shake. Sadness is not the same thing as depression (for which you probably need professional help), but it can still surprise, unsettle, and shake us to our core.

Spiritual teachers usually recommend that we not run away from a dark emotion like sadness, but that we work with it, unmask it, face it, and find ways to transform it. Here are 50 ways to work with sadness, listed in no particular order. We hope you find them useful.

1. Tap into Divine Energy as a way of working with sadness.

2. Restore the energy depleted by sadness by singing loudly.

3. Laugh early in the day to give your system a boost.

4. Try applying or diffusing the essential oil of orange, which is associated with a feeling of joy.

5. Use affirmations to take the edge off sadness.

6. Watch a sad movie to see how the characters deal with sadness.

7. Have a foot massage to energize your body for a new start.

8. Take a trip down memory lane and relive a magic moment from your past.

9. Escape from the isolation of sadness through an actual or virtual hug.

10. Take a shower holding the intention that it will be a spiritual rebirth.

11. Open your heart to others through intercessory prayer.

12. Make your evenings peaceful and relaxing and maintain a regular sleep schedule.

13. Abandon the habit of having high expectations.

14. Accept impermanence and see sadness as a temporary thing. Remember, "this too shall pass."

15. Observe and interact with animal companions as a way of moving beyond the isolation of sadness.

16. Do not hold back your tears. Cry freely and with feeling.

17. Let sadness slow you down so you can really savor your feelings.

18. Turn off the inner critic who wants to organize a pity party.

19. Learn something new; a new passion can counteract sadness.

20. Carry the gemstone amazonite, associated with dispelling sadness.

21. Find a yoga teacher who can work with you on poses which unlock sadness.

22. Massage your chest in order to activate your heart chakra which is the locus of sadness.

23. In order to dispel disappointment or envy, which can fuel sadness, try the spiritual practice of rejoicing in the joy and success of others.

24. Count your blessings every evening; write some of them down in a gratitude journal.

25. When you are overcome with sadness, imagine that you are resting in God's lap and experiencing peace and happiness.

26. Reframe your sadness and see it as a spiritual teacher that has much to tell you about loss, grief, letting go, and transformation.

27. Immerse yourself in fear and sadness and then use these two as fuel for doing sacred activism in your community.

28. Rely upon a mantra, such as "Come, Lord," "Glory be to God," or "Let It Be," to carry you through any bouts of sadness.

29. Don't get too caught up in your role of being a sad person.

30. Instead of looking at sadness and joy as conflicting emotions, hold them close together in your heart.

31. Give up your director's chair and surrender to the Divine.

32. Honor the vulnerability and fragility that accompany sadness and grief.

33. Rely upon gathas (short verses that you can recite during the day) to help you attend to the present moment.

34. Take brief and brisk walks; being in nature can shift your focus from your sadness.

35. Lift your spirit by listening to music that moves you.

36. Surround yourself with positive and enthusiastic people.

37. Do something you love, like reading a book, dancing, or going for a drive.

38. Don't listen to those who grow impatient with your sadness and counsel you to "get a grip" or to "buck up."

39. Part of our sadness comes from witnessing the pain and the suffering of the world. Use this sadness as a gateway to empathizing with others.

40. Confront and embrace your feelings of sadness when writing in your journal.

41. Try the spiritual practice of meditation as a means of staying with your sadness and not fleeing from it or treating it like an enemy.

42. Sunlight is healing for the body during sadness: get out in the sunshine, welcoming it as a way to brighten your day.

43. Get a new plant and let caring for it work wonders on your body, mind, and soul.

44. Bring new people into your life to join you in a new experience.

45. Cultivate fearlessness as you sit with sadness.

46. Stay away from refined sugar and don't use it as an excuse to binge on bad food.

47. See a therapist who can show you how cognitive behavioral therapy can help you change the thinking patterns that are making you feel sad.

48. Turn to your spiritual director for guidance and spiritual resources to cope with sadness.

49. Be alert to the fact that sadness can evolve into depression; if you feel it has, seek out professional help.

50. Accept the mystery of both the arrival and the departure of sadness. Live with the "I don't know" dimensions of the experience.