What are the sadness symbols?

This article will discuss what are the symbols of sadness in many aspects, such as literature, music, dreams, movies, and mental health. Aside from that, the article will explain how people can deal with sadness.

Popular symbols of sadness

Sadness is an emotion that can be represented by many symbols. They have been used as a way to communicate it through works of art, and pieces of history through time. The most common symbols of sadness are: 

  • Woods and forests
  • Thunderstorms
  • Heavy rain
  • Anything related to darkness and night
  • Sad music
  • Drawings of a broken heart
  • Abyss
  • Raven
  • Some flowers

Let’s discuss the symbols of sadness and many aspects of our culture.

Sadness symbols in the literature

In literature, there are many symbols of sadness. It can manifest through heavy rain, or when people are going through an awful drought. Ravens and crows are also used frequently as symbols of sadness in literature, an example of that is the Edgar Allan Poe poem called “Raven”.

Sadness symbols in music

Music is an area that is extremely used to express sadness and have symbols for it. Sad music is listened to not only by people dealing with depression. 

Music usually allows people to feel the emotions coming from it even if they don’t understand the language or the lyrics. It touches people by the way it is performed. Music can express sadness in its lyrics, or by the instruments on the tune. For example, violin and minor chords are usually used to symbolize sadness.

Sadness symbols in dreams

The symbols of dreams have been extensively studied in the work of Sigmund Freud. He wrote about the interpretation of the dream, in which everything in your dream was a symbol of something. Permitting the writer to understand the subconscious of the people he was treating. 

To understand the symbols that were present in their dreams, he would feel people keep a journal of their dreams, which is still used as a technique nowadays. Through his learning, he wrote one of his most famous works called “The Interpretation of Dreams”.

When people talk about how sadness appears in their dreams, it is usually related to people crying, or in grief because they lost someone. This can be related to their fear of attachment or fear of abandonment.  Sadness can also appear in dreams through darkness and blurriness.

Sadness symbols in visual arts and movies

Visual arts and movies have consistently shown symbols of sadness. Usually, when there is a dark color, in a mute scene, it can show despair. Or when lighter colors with stark contrast are also symbols of sadness. 

Many paintings as the one by Pablo Picasso’s blue period show a pastel blue as a symbol of sadness, and even melancholy.  

Sadness symbols in mental health

Symbols of sadness can also be a way to understand people’s emotional conditions. There are many tests, like the Rorschach Inkblot test, and another that is called the Thematic Apperception Test. In them, people will be exposed to many stimuli, and they create responses about each of them. 

Through these tests, people will answer about what they see in each stimulus, and even though some stimuli are connected to sadness, some people may perceive sadness in another stimulus, even when they are not there.

Sadness symbols in movies and videos

Movies and videos have many symbols of sadness. Who doesn’t remember the scene of someone crying in the shower, or a woman in a car with her head back against the window, watching the scenery passing by.

Seeing crows fly can also be a sign of sadness or scenes that are muted with people crying and screaming. Those symbols can all touch people, and make it easy for them to perceive the sadness that is going on.

Sadness symbols in nature

Many scenes in nature can show sadness. A symbol of sadness in nature can be water patterns, animals, and even plants. When it is related to climate, sadness is usually depicted by rain, thunder, or snowy weather. It shows how people may feel dark inside.

Rain is also a symbol of sadness because it is related to tears flowing when people cry. This one is often used in movies. 

Sadness symbols in ancient time

There are many ancient symbols of sadness. They were found in thumbs, through hieroglyphs, and in cave paintings. There have been many sadness symbols focused on flowers, plants, or animals that are connected to sadness.

A way to know those symbols are connected to sadness is through the colors that are used. When the drawing had colors, it was a way to know it was expressing sadness or other negative emotions. The color black depicts sadness, darkness, death, or the underworld.

Black is also an ancient symbol of sadness that can also convey submission. That is why priests use black, to show how they are submissive to God. But it can also be used as a symbol of negative power, such as the cape of Dracula.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are the popular symbols of sadness? 

What are the flower symbols? 

Millie’s are flowers that can symbolize sadness. It stands for a feeling of tranquility, and the innocence that people get back after death. Any form of lily can be given at a funeral, but the most common one is the regular white lily. 

Poppy, are the symbol of sleep. Canadians have the symbol of death and mourning. The white carnation symbolizes sorrow, sadness, and respect. And chrysanthemum are the symbols of goodbyes 

How can I cope with feeling sad?

When you experience something that makes you sad, it can be the end of a relationship, or that you are disappointed by the score you got on a test, it might be hard to know how to deal with the emotions that will come with it. 

But when you experience sadness, there are some things you can do to deal with this emotion. The first thing is to let your feelings out. You might do that by crying, yelling, screaming. But you mustn’t hold that feeling in. 

You might want to put your sadness out through some creative work. You can draw, paint, or sculpt. You can also put your sadness out through written words. Keeping a journal, or a sadness diary can be a great way for you to externalize your feelings. 

Aside from that, talking to your friends, loved ones, or even a therapist can help you vent and even get a new perspective of what is making you sad. And finally, you can let yourself loose. Dancing, singing, doing an exercise you love can be a great way for you to feel better about what is making you sad. 

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Is there a color that is best for depression?

Some research shows that blue light is usually beneficial to people with depression. They can improve the symptoms of depression. Blue light can be used as a form of light therapy, also known as phototherapy.

Phototherapy uses artificial light, sometimes bright white, others blues, to improve the mood of a person, and reduce their symptoms of depression. In a phototherapy session, a person is exposed to the light in sessions that can last between 30 and 60 minutes, as soon as they wake up. 

It is usually mostly used to treat a form of depression called a seasonal affective disorder. A form of depression that causes a person to develop its symptoms due to the changing of seasons, most commonly from summer to the fall and winter. 

Phototherapy can also be used to treat jet lag, sleep disorders, dementia, other forms of depression, and by people trying to adjust to a night shift at work.

What is sadness? 

Sadness is an emotion in which people feel sad and in a low mood. It is a basic human emotion and people will experience it many times in their lives. It is a common response to feel sad when you are going through something that upsets you, causes pain, or even disappoints you.

The intensity of sadness can vary. Depending on what you are experiencing, it can be mild, but sometimes, like when you lose someone you love, sadness can feel extremely intense. People nowadays have trouble differentiating between sadness and depression.

It is important to keep in mind that sadness is a temporary condition, and it is usually caused by a determined event. When you are sad, you might often make yourself feel better with the support of others, or even by distracting yourself from what is causing you to feel sad.

But depression is a persistent sadness, without a clear origin, and that doesn’t go away even if you try to distract yourself. Social support, or even watching a show will not improve your sadness. Knowing the difference between the two is key to understanding when you need to look for professional help.

While sadness will go away with time, even if you are dealing with grief, depression will most likely only get worse if you don’t look for ways to treat it.

What does color stand for?

Sad colors are usually colors that are dark and muted. Grey is usually the most used color to convey sadness. But also blue, green, brown, or beige can be used to show signs of sadness. In western cultures, when people are grieving, they usually use black to mark it, but in East Asian countries, people usually relate mourning to white.

Differently from that, some colors display happiness. Those are usually bright and warm colors. Examples of it are the colors yellow, orange, pink, or red. Pastel colors such as peach, light pink, and lilac can have an uplifting effect.

Usually the warmer and brighter the color, the more it is connected to a sense of happiness. Some colors can give a calming effect. Usually blue and green can make you feel calm, the same way as baby blue, lilac, and mint. Some neutral colors like beige, white, and grey can also be soothing. 

Some colors can make you feel more energized. Strong and bright colors and even neon colors can give you an energizing effect, causing you to feel more alert, such as bright red, bright yellow, and neon green. But sometimes those bright colors can have an irritating effect on your eyes.


This article discussed what are the most popular symbols of sadness, and what are the symbols of sadness in many aspects, such as music, ancient times, and mental health. Along with that, the article showed what are ways for people to deal with sadness.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.



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