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Sometimes life can be a bit bumpy. We are going along quite happily and then something happens that makes us feel unhappy. It is important to remember that this is a bump in the road, and we will feel better as we travel further down the track. If you are feeling gloomy you could try these activities to help you feel better.

If you are feeling a bit low listening to some upbeat music can be helpful. We also know that listening to music (especially if we sing and dance along) has lots of positive benefits. Music can improve both our physical health and our happiness levels. For example, listening to the music we love can boost our immune system, making it easier to fight off coughs and colds. Music is also known to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. This is because music can increase levels of the pleasure reward hormone, dopamine and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Upbeat music can also help us to feel happier by releasing endorphins. One superhero who uses music to help him feel better is Peter Quill aka Star Lord. Star Lord has a mixtape of music given to him by his mother, shortly before she died, and Peter was abducted by Yondu Udonta. Peter uses the music on the tape to help him relax as well as to connect with his past life on Earth and his mum.

Doing a good turn for someone else has been shown to make us happier and to increase our self-esteem. Volunteering does not have to be a big commitment. You could do a small task to help your caregivers around the house or run an errand for a neighbour. Helping others is really what defines superheroes. However, superheroes do more to help others than fight villains or rescue people. For example, at the start of Avengers: Endgame, we see Captain America leading a support group to help people who have been affected by the Snap (when Thanos removed half of all living things from the universe). And Tony Stark aka Iron Man gives funding to support promising MIT students via his September Foundation. 

One of the most important ways to help yourself feel better is to talk to someone.  It can be a challenge to cope when things go wrong. Therefore, it is important to remember that you can ask for help and support if you are struggling to deal with things. Talking to your friends and family can be a good place to start. However, if that is not possible then you can talk to a teacher or another trusted adult. Even superheroes need to turn to their friends, family and professionals for help. For example, Hulk frequently relies on Black Widow, and Batman often turns to Alfred for support. Dr Strange needed a lot of help from the Ancient One after he was injured in a car crash. He continues to need the support of his mentor and friend, Wong.

“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” –Superman

Sometimes it can be hard to talk to family and friends if someone is ill or has died. We might not want to talk about what has happened because we don’t want to upset other people. This can make us feel sad and lonely. Many superheroes have lost loved ones. For example, the Avengers have difficulty coping after Natasha aka Black Widow sacrifices herself in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. And Wanda retreats into a fantasy world after she loses Vision. It is important to remember that even if you are not able to talk to family and friends there are helplines you can phone or contact via chat. Sometimes we just need to tell someone about what is going on to help us feel better.

If you have lost someone, further help and support can be found at the #help2makesense website:

SOS – If you need urgent help because you are worried that your life, or someone’s life is in danger please call 999 and ask for help.