A close-up of a girl looking straight ahead. Her mascara and make-up is smudged under her eyes. It looks like she was crying. She is holding a white piece of paper with a smile drawn on it under her nose in front of her mouth.

Being a young person can be an emotional rollercoaster and mood swings can make this time of life feel like an extra bumpy ride!

Going from feeling happy to sad or angry in a short space of time can make us feel out of control. However, most mood swings are a normal part of growing up.

If you are struggling with ever-changing emotions, here are a few tips on how to cope:

Take a deep breath

Before immediately acting on how you feel, take a moment to gather your thoughts. If something makes you angry, inhale deeply, think before you react and try to see it from the other person’s point of view.

Know that you are not alone

Mood swings are common among young people, and experiencing them doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, your friends may be going through them too!

Talk to others

Sometimes, we might try to hide our emotions from our friends and family.

Instead of keeping your feelings inside, talk to a parent, carer, good friend or another person you trust. The simple act of confiding in someone can make a huge difference to your mood.

Get some fresh air

Exercise can work wonders for our mental health and can be particularly helpful when dealing with mood swings.

Whether it’s a game of football with your friends or a 20-minute walk near your home, getting active can help control stress and improve your mood.

Eat healthily

It can be tempting to reach for junk food when we’re feeling low, but try to eat balanced meals with plenty of fruit, vegetables and protein to improve mood and stay healthy.

Do something you love

Whether it’s through baking, writing, music, painting or another art form, expressing yourself creatively can be particularly beneficial when coping with difficult emotions. 

Try to get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial when you’re growing up, especially if tiredness makes you sad or irritable. Try to get between eight to ten hours of sleep every night to prevent mood swings.

Remember, it's okay to cry

Crying isn’t a sign of weakness – in fact, it can help us deal with difficult feelings or experiences. However, if you find yourself feeling sad all the time, you might need help from a guidance counsellor, a therapist or a doctor.

When to seek help

Mood swings can feel intense, especially in your early teens. However, if the above tips aren’t making a difference, it may be helpful to talk to a guidance counsellor, therapist or another trusted adult. 

You should ask for help in the following situations: 

  • You frequently experience severe mood swings that last for a long time


  • You experience mood swings that interfere with important aspects of your life, such as school, friendships, relationships and your home life

Whenever you need to talk, Childline is ready to listen. Call 1800 66 66 66, send a text to 50101 or chat online at Childline.ie, 24 hours a day, every day.

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