How to Talk About Feeling Sad in English

In January you might hear a lot of people complaining about having the January Blues. This is very common due to the cold weather and dark evenings making people feel glum.

In English, blue is often seen as a cold color and is associated with feeling unhappy or depressed.

As with many other languages, English uses many idioms related to the word down that are also thought of as negative or sad. For example, if you are unhappy then you can say that you are feeling down. Can you guess what idioms containing the word up might mean...?

Here are some other great ways to help you express your blues in English:

down in the dumps – To feel depressed or gloomy
I have been down in the dumps since failing my exam

cry one’s eyes out – To cry a lot and for a long time. So much, in fact, that it might wash your eyes away…
She cried her eyes out when she thought she had lost her mom.

sinking feeling – A bad feeling that you get due to uneasy or apprehensive about something
I had a sinking feeling that I’d forgotten my wallet.

to be beside yourself - To be completely overcome with worry, sadness or anger.
She was beside herself with grief when her pet died.

Feeling under the weather
Feeling under the weather

your heart sinks – Another sinking one  here (are you spotting a trend yet?), your heart sinks upon finding out something bad.
My heart sank when I saw the pile of homework I had to do for school.

under the weather - To feel ill or unwell
I don't think I'll be able to make it work today. I'm feeling under the weather.

(You can check out our post on weather idioms here!)

reduced to tears - When someone or something reduces you to tears, they make you feel so unhappy that you cry.
The teacher shouted at her so much that she was reduced to tears

Hopefully now you have a variety of ways to express yourself when you are feeling the January Blues. Don't get too glum though - Spring is just around the corner!

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