40 Sad Writing Prompts

We all get sad. Sometimes it’s one thing and then the next it’s another, but undeniably, everyone is sad sometimes.

Explore the feelings that accompany sadness with these writing prompts. These are designed to stimulate the creative writing of students, but also to facilitate the emotional learning that is so important as well. And help figure out that it is okay to be a little sad. 

How to Use Prompts

These might be best utilized by pulling numbers from a hat.

You may also want to let them self-assign these particular prompts so that writers can choose what they are comfortable expressing about sadness since it is a very personal emotion.

The Prompts

  1. Is there something that always makes you sad? Describe why.
  2. Do you think it is sometimes okay to not be sad when you should be?
  3. What does being sad make you feel like?
  4. Write a story about the main character who is always sad.
  5. Can you describe when being sad led you to make a bad choice?
  6. What do you do to help your friends stop feeling sad?
  7. Is sadness ever important? When?
  8. Write a story leading to the point that sadness is not always a bad thing.
  9. Describe the way it feels to be sad for you.
  10. What do you do to cheer yourself up when you are sad?
  11. Describe how it feels to make someone else sad.
  12. Have you ever been sad over something but didn’t understand why?
  13. Write an alternate ending to a story that is sad.
  14. Write about a society where being sad is expected.
  15. What is the strategy you could use to be less sad?
  16. Do you think that there is a thing that everyone gets sad about?
  17. Describe the time you think you felt the saddest ever.
  18. Do you believe animals get sad too? Why or why not?
  19. Is there a certain day of the year that makes you sad?
  20. What do you think the saddest thing in the world is?
  21. Do you have a go-to activity that you do when you feel sad in order to feel better?
  22. What is the one food that always makes you feel better when you are sad?
  23. What do you do if you see someone else around you sad?
  24. What is the importance of feeling sadness?
  25. Write a story that takes place in a world where sadness is a crime.
  26. Are there different kinds of sadness? Describe as many as you are aware of.
  27. What do you do for someone you don’t know that well who is feeling sad?
  28. Write a story about someone whose job is to help others eradicate the sadness they see.
  29. Describe a world where people get angry instead of sad. What are the pros and cons of this situation?
  30. Why do you not like being sad? Explain in detail, please.
  31. Is there anything you’re hesitant to admit that makes you sad? Use a character and write a story about this thing.
  32. Do you ever feel like you cannot get rid of being sad? Explain in what ways this is happening.
  33. Use a real-world example of someone who’s sad and explain what you would have done differently. 
  34. Is there a person, or celebrity, who you believe exudes sadness all the time? Why do you think that?
  35. Would you rather be sad or angry? Or sad or hungry? Why?
  36. Can you describe what feeling sad looks like either on you or someone else?
  37. Usually, we can look at someone and see that something is wrong, and write a story about this idea.
  38. If you have X-ray vision, do you think you would try and figure out what makes people sad using this?
  39. Do you believe that everything gets sad? Write about what you imagine the feelings to be like in that instance.
  40. Write about the importance of taking the time to deal with sadness. Explain how you help someone you see who was obviously sad.

Looking for Something More?

Make sure you take some time to browse around the rest of our website if you are looking for other great resources to challenge your students, or to help them focus on one skill or another.

We are always happy to hear your suggestions on anything we may have left out or missed as well. Don’t be shy! Let us know what you think.