Happy Thoughts to Help on Hard Days

Last updated: February 2019

Everyone on the planet has good days and bad, but those of you living with Parkinson’s disease seem to get more than your share of bad days. From physical symptoms to emotional ones, it’s a lot to contend with.

Fortunately, the active community on ParkinsonsDisease.net had a lot to share when it comes to handling the bad days. We posed the question: “What happy thoughts help you on hard days?” and nearly 30 of you answered. Here’s what you had to say.


For some of you, the thought that brings you the most joy is family. Several of you named your spouse as your greatest source of joy, and some of you also named kids and grandkids. Whoever your loved ones are, keep them close in mind with photos near the bed or on the fridge, and, if you can, phone or video calls always work wonders to lift the spirits.

  • “I am so grateful that my dear husband is still here.”
  • “My husband and my kids.”
  • “My grandkids!”

Memories with family and friends

Others of you said that thinking about the past brought you joy. So many of you have a collection of happy, cheerful memories from your favorite times in life that you call on when you need the comfort of a happier time.

  • “Thinking about my early years in Chicago.”
  • “Memories with family and friends.”
  • “Memories of beautiful canoe trips and wilderness hiking and camping.”


Music is one of the quickest ways to change a mood, especially from sad or worrying to hopeful and happy. Anyone can access that shift by putting some music on, or by singing. If you sing along, know that you gain the added benefit of activating your vagus nerve, which has a calming effect by helping the body switch over to the parasympathetic state.

  • “I start singing my favorite songs that I’ve sung with a choir. I have always used music as a source of joy, comfort, and growth throughout my life.”
  • “Listen to gospel music.”

Attitude of gratitude

Several of you cited gratitude as a key component to getting through the day. Your entire outlook changes when you start naming the things, people and events that you are grateful for. It doesn’t take much to switch to a grateful mindset! If you’re struggling to think of something, head outside where you might be thankful for the beauty of the trees in your yard or the birds singing.

  • “Just count my blessings every day!”
  • “Waking up refreshed and knowing that if there are down periods, they’re just a reminder to slow down, and not overreact. It’s just the way it is. Adjust and be thankful.”
  • “Prayers for other people.”

Others of you turn to acts of service, including praying for others. This is such a time-tested way to get out of your own self-concern and attain peace and comfort by focusing your energy and love for those in your life. For most people, prayer can be both calming and invigorating.

  • “Prayers for other people going through this.”
  • “I bless my neighbor and pray for her to get better!”

We want to say thank you to everyone who shared their hope and experience in dealing with Parkinson’s. It is our hope that these shared experiences bring healing to everyone in the community.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Have you or your loved one had issues with medication timing?