S5E12: How to Comfort Someone When They’re Feeling Sad

Learn why it’s important to just to “reach out and touch somebody’s hand,” and tips to make this world a better place, because you can!

Meh is a Yiddish word that has been adopted into English that expresses apathy or indifference. In the first half Charlie shares a resource to take your own emotional temperature along with changes to consider to manage your own Meh. But what can we do to have a positive effect on other people’s emotions when they are sad? There is an increasing body of evidence that supports the ‘social regulation of emotion’, which is how people help adjust each other’s emotions, meaning that our social community can impact our Meh.

A sad person with the words Meh.

In this Episode:

  • 04:32 – How Are You, Really? New York Time’s self-guided check-in
  • 06:32 – Recipe of the Week: Browned butter chocolate chip cookies
  • 08:14 – How to Help Someone Who is Sad
  • 21:43 – “If” – Poem by Rudyard Kipling
  • 24:04 – Outro

Related Content:


  • Reeck, C., Ames, D. R., & Ochsner, K. N. (2016). The Social Regulation of Emotion: An Integrative, Cross-Disciplinary Model. Trends in cognitive sciences, 20(1), 47–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.09.003
  • Sahi, R. S., He, Z., Silvers, J. A., & Eisenberger, N. I. (2023). One size does not fit all: Decomposing the implementation and differential benefits of social emotion regulation strategies. Emotion, 23(6), 1522–1535. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0001194
  • Sahi, R. S., Gaines, E. M., Nussbaum, S. G., Lee, D., Lieberman, M. D., Eisenberger, N. I., & Silvers, J. A. (2023). You changed my mind: Immediate and enduring impacts of social emotion regulation. Emotion. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0001284
  • Nils, F., & Rimé, B. (2012). Beyond the myth of venting: Social sharing modes determine the benefits of emotional disclosure. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42(6), 672–681. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.1880
  • Little, L.M., Kluemper, D., Nelson, D.L. and Ward, A. (2013), More Than Happy to Help? Customer-Focused Emotion Management Strategies. Personnel Psychology, 66: 261-286. https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12010
  • Horowitz, L. M., Krasnoperova, E. N., Tatar, D. G., Hansen, M. B., Person, E. A., Galvin, K. L., & Nelson, K. L. (2001). The Way to Console May Depend on the Goal: Experimental Studies of Social Support. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 37(1), 49-61. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1006/jesp.2000.1435
  • Dungan, J. A., Munguia Gomez, D. M., & Epley, N. (2022). Too Reluctant to Reach Out: Receiving Social Support Is More Positive Than Expressers Expect. Psychological science, 33(8), 1300–1312. https://doi.org/10.1177/09567976221082942
  • How to Help Someone When They’re Sad – The New York Times (nytimes.com)



Charlie shared a poem written by Rudyard Kipling that was published in Kipling’s volume of short stories and poems, Rewards and Fairies, in 1910. It has become one of Kipling’s best-known poems. As a bonus, see the video below with a recitation by Sir Michael Caine.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
– Rudyard Kipling

Recipe of the Week

Are you or a friend feeling sad? What can lift spirits more than chocolate chip cookies, or even better, a special version?

A picture of chocolate chip cookies from featured recipe by In Fine Taste. Are you or a friend feeling sad? These cookies might be just what is needed!
Bored with regular chocolate chip cookies? Give this upgrade a try! Visit In Fine Taste for the recipe and secret to making brown butter!

Ever heard of brown butter? You can learn the secret in this tutorial to create brown butter chocolate chip cookies. The brown butter offers a subtle nutty flavor that blends perfectly with the molasses in the brown sugar to give the cookie that amazing rich slightly smoky and nutty toffee flavor. Visit In Fine Taste for the recipe and secret to this amazing flavor! It is the perfect thing to bring to a friend who is feeling sad.

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