How I Feel

The “101”

Emotions are a person’s response to specific situations. Moods are a person’s deep-seated feelings or outlook. Our emotions and moods are influenced by a number of inputs, or “factors.” Some emotions and moods are your body’s physical response to signals from your brain. Some emotions and moods are triggered by events or situations that take place around you or happen to you. Some examples of these events are things like the death of someone important to you, being picked on, or teased by another person or group, or experiencing or witnessing violence.

Everyone has a “bad day” here and there. That’s normal. What’s not normal is when a person has negative emotions or moods that are long lasting or trigger unhealthy actions, like violence or self-harm.

There are treatments for negative emotions and moods (sometimes called “mental illness” or “emotional disturbance.”) So it’s important to know that if now or at some point in the future, you feel sad, anxious, stressed, irritable, depressed, or angry—either a lot of the time or as a sudden change to your usual mood—you are not alone; there are people who will want to and can help.

Reflect On It

Write in your journal (download journal) any thoughts you have as you think about this topic, using the questions below:

Learn More

Mental Health Information Get a run down on emotions, moods, and links to reliable information about mental health just for young people.

Take Action!

Get Treatment for Negative Emotions and Moods

If you are curious, anxious, or stressed about your emotions or moods, it’s important that you speak to a healthcare provider who can support you in learning more about your situation or disease and help you manage them. You can set an appointment with your family’s healthcare provider, or ask the adult responsible for you to set an appointment.

If you or your family do not have a regular healthcare provider or are uninsured, find free or low-cost mental health services by ZIP Code and type of service or reach the National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or online.

Get Help in a Physical Emergency

Call 911 if you are having any type of physical emergency, including being at immediate risk of harming yourself or another person or group of people.

Get Help in an Emotional Emergency

Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or initiate a confidential online chat with a trained counselor if you are considering harming yourself for any reason, including due to an emotion or mood.

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