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Low Mood

Commonly known as: down, low, fed up, depressed, sad

Low Mood

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What is low mood?

We all feel low or fed up from time to time. It’s normal for our mood to go up and down over time.  Feeling down can last from a few hours to a couple of days or weeks.  Our mood responds to the things we do and think and so usually our mood returns to ‘normal’ over time.  Low mood can be a response to a distressing life event or life change. However, it can happen for other reasons including:.

  • Tiredness
  • Lack of confidence or not feeling good enough
  • Being angry or upset, for example after having an argument with someone
  • Experiencing hormonal changes
  • Being worried about a situation, for example becoming a new parent
  • After effects of drugs or alcohol

When we feel low it affects how we think and what we do. We might find ourselves thinking more negatively about life or even about ourselves. It can impact on our energy levels, quality of sleep and even our eating habits. When we are experiencing low mood everyday tasks, like going out, can seem more difficult.


Self-help advice

If you have noticed a change in your mood and are struggling to cope with everyday life, there are things you can do to help you feel better.  If you think that your low mood could be due to physical things like poor sleep or alcohol, address these issues first.

  • Eat healthily, get plenty of sleep and be active. Visit our ‘looking after yourself’ section for more information and advice.
  • There are simple things we can all do to help look after our mental health and our moods. Try to do things you enjoy that you might have stopped doing e.g. hobbies / activities / meeting friends.  These may give you pleasure or a sense of achievement and help lift your mood.  Sometimes it is important to do these things even if it feels like hard work. Have a look at our ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ page for some ideas.
  • You may find it helpful to get involved in activities going on in your local area. Find out what’s going on in your area by visiting our ‘in your area’ page. 
  • Learn new skills to help you manage low mood.  See our self-help courses below.
  • It’s sometimes helpful to challenge your thinking. Try to understand why you are feeling low and challenge those feelings. Find out more about low mood, how you can challenge the way you think and/or how to manage your feelings. See our self-help resources below.
  • If these steps above are not enough, Research shows us that CBT and Mindfulness are the most effective skills to help with low mood.  Many people benefit from the self-help courses and resources listed below. 
  • You don’t need to experience these feelings alone. Talk to someone you trust or see our ‘helplines’ section below.
  • If you or someone you know need urgent help – go to our ‘urgent help’ page immediately.


If you need further help with low mood

If the information, advice, resources and courses on this page have not been helpful and/or you think you need more help, there are many free support services available.  

If you are worried about your general mental health, and live in Wales, phone NHS Mental Health 111 and choose Option 2 . This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free to call from a mobile (even when the caller has no credit left) or from a landline. The service will provide immediate support over the phone to help you cope with how you are feeling, and if needed, a referral to mental health services will be arranged.  

If you live in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) area, and are aged over 18, you can contact your GP surgery to make an appointment with a Psychological Health Practitioner (PHP)  or a GP.  PHPs are NHS mental health practitioners, that are available at most GP surgeries in the ABUHB area.  They provide a free service for people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems.  Appointments can be either face to face, or over the phone. 

 If you are under 18 or worried about someone aged under 18 and need advice/self-referral to local mental health and wellbeing services in the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, contact SPACE-Wellbeing.  

Or alternatively contact another approved helpline or service. Some services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  

If you are an unpaid carer for someone experiencing low mood, visit our Unpaid Carers page for more information and advice 

Last updated: 19.04.2024

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Self-help resources to help with low mood

Browse our free self-help resources for low mood, approved by mental health experts.

Type Title Related to… Provider
Reading Reading

Finding Your Way – A guide for anyone who is struggling to cope | Samaritans

Loneliness, Low Mood, Money, Self-Harm, Suicide mind
Web App Web App

Samaritans Self-Help App

Depression, Low Mood, Mindfulness, Self-Harm, Students' Mental Health, Suicide, Young Person's Mental Health mind
Websites Websites

Young Person’s Mental Health Toolkit – Low Mood

Children's Mental Wellbeing, Depression, Low Mood, Stress, Students' Mental Health, Young Person's Mental Health mind
Reading Reading

Reading Well – Free Books for Mental Health from your Local Library

Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Bereavement, Low Mood, Mindfulness, Self-Care, Self-Esteem, Self-Harm, Sleep, Social Anxiety, Stress mind
Apps (iOS) Apps (iOS)

Daylio Journal App: Self-Care Bullet Journal with Goals – Mood Diary & Happiness Tracker (iOS)

Learning Disabilities, Low Mood, Mental Wellbeing, Self-Care

Relaxio s.r.o.

Apps (Android) Apps (Android)

Daylio Journal App: Self-Care Bullet Journal with Goals – Mood Diary & Happiness Tracker (Android)

Learning Disabilities, Low Mood, Mental Wellbeing, Self-Care

Relaxio s.r.o.

Reading Reading

Depression and Low mood – NHS Self-help Guide

Depression, Low Mood mind
Reading Reading

Postnatal Depression- NHS Self-help Guide

Depression, Low Mood, Parents, Pregnancy mind
Reading Reading

Prisoner Depression and Low Mood – NHS Self-help Guide

Depression, Low Mood, Prisoners' Mental Health mind
Showing 9 out of 40 results View all

Need more help?

See below for helplines relevant to low mood. To see our full list of helplines, visit our helplines page.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Psychological Health Practitioners (PHP)

If you feel you need ongoing support to improve your mental health, then you may need professional support from the NHS. This is a free service and you will be able to access this help from within your GP surgery. Ask if there is a Psychological Health Practitioner based in your surgery. If not, then your GP can provide support.

Find out more ➝
Childline Logo

Childline – for children and young people under 19

Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. You can talk about anything. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you.

Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.

Call on 0800 1111 – the number will not show up on your phone bill. Support can be accessed online here by making an account.

Support available 24/7. BSL available Mon-Fri 8am-8pm and Sat 8am-1pm. Welsh speaker available on request, appointment will be scheduled.

Visit the Childline website ➝
Showing 2 out of 6 results View all

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