Life comes with having to experience bad, unexpected news. People react to them differently whether they cry, experience a headache, tremble, or even faint. While we will always experience some kind of physical or emotional pain as a result of bad news, it is important to learn healthy ways to cope with it to take care of your mental health. 

Breathe Slowly

When you hear about bad, unexpected news, you feel like everything that you have cared about has been erased from your life or you can imagine future catastrophes. Your heart races, your stomach drops, and you may even feel faint. Do not feel like you need to say anything right away. Take a moment to breathe and focus on your breath. By focusing on your breath, you can keep yourself safe and allow yourself to slow down. 

Ground Yourself

The reason that people tell you to sit down before delivering bad news to you is that they are afraid that you will hurt yourself if you faint. Another reason why it is important to sit down is to help yourself stay grounded. If you feel detached from the situation or you feel like you are seeing things that are not real, pick four things in the room to look at. It may even help to name those items. This will help show you where you are and what is real. You can also focus on how your feet are touching the ground or how your clothes feel on you. This will help you be more aware of your surroundings and stay grounded at the moment.

Speak to Someone

As soon as you hear of this news, do not spend time alone in your room and alone in your thoughts. Speak to someone who will be understanding of your sadness towards this sad news. It can be a close friend of yours that you have known for a long time or even someone you may not be close with but has dealt with this kind of tragedy before. You should also consider seeking professional help. Needing to see a therapist does not mean that there is something “wrong” with you. It just means that you want to speak to someone who is trained to help those in troubled times. By being cautious of your surroundings and talking to someone, you should be able to receive bad news more easily.


Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.