4 Ways to Recover from a Happiness Hangover

Today’s my last full day in Paris, and I just know that I’m going to be a little bummed when I get home. (Luckily for just a few days as I have trips to DC and Nantucket just around the corner!) Maxie is back, reading my mind per usual. I think we all experience the little letdown after a great time– and her tips for combatting that are worth noting.

Happiness Hangover

4 Ways to Recover from a Happiness Hangover

Guest post by Maxie McCoy

Have you ever been beyond overjoyed about a weekend spent with your best friends… or an amazing vacation that rocked your world… or simply a beautifully designed day doing things you love with people you love… So much so that you get really bummed it’s over?

I call these “happiness hangovers.” They happen when you’re SO happy an experience occurred, but you’re SO bummed it has ended. The last happiness hangover I experienced was after an amazing weekend with Carly at Create+Cultivate. It’s a day I always look forward to, but it was compounded by the fact she and I finally got to hang (and see each other in action! And braid each other’s hair! Just kidding, she only braided mine). I woke up in my hotel room Sunday morning feeling all the blues that it was over but simultaneously having endless gratitude that I even got to experience it.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t come down from an amazing trip, get together, or life-changing experience with at least a twinge of a happiness hangover– it’s a super normal part of this whole human experience thing… the highs and the lows and the every thing in between.

Stay present and don’t fight the feelings
If you’re feeling a happiness hangover coming on, first and foremost make sure that the experience is actually already over. So often, we start getting bummed about the close of an experience before it’s ended. This just means that we totally miss out on valuable, beautiful moments with our people because we’re worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet.

And when it is over… let yourself feel it. We’re not always meant to jump out of uncomfortable feelings immediately. ‘Negative’ feelings aren’t meant to be fixed; they’re meant to be felt. Often, sometimes the only way onward is through.

Learn from it
Reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth. And sometimes a happiness hangover is trying to tell you something. If you’ve ever known someone who has quit a job or radically changed their life after an epic vacation, it’s probably because that space and joy showed them a truth they needed to see. I made a big life choice to move to San Francisco after college because of what I saw by reflecting on a long weekend there with my best friend from school and the happiness hangover that followed.

Ask yourself: what you are the most bummed about (being with people you love? Having more freedom? Seeing the world? Working less?). Examine the feelings and see how you can incorporate a solution into your “normal” life. You only have this one to live, so it might as well be what you want.

Rehash the greatness
Some of my favorite text chains on the planet have been the jokes, pictures, and memories that have ensued on a fun weekend or trip with my #girlgang. When you rehash what you loved about your experience, you’re not only cataloging those memories, but you give yourself another chance to be grateful for all the joy. So scroll through your pictures, rewatch your stories, text your favorite moments to the chain, and feel free to stay in it a little longer to give the sweet memories even more weight.

Plan something (small) to look forward to
Once you’ve given yourself the space to feel, reflect and rehash… a good way to combat the ugh of getting back into your routine is to focus on a future moment that makes you excited. This can be something as small as meeting your bestie to catch up over your favorite coffee. Little things that bring us joy, and the people too, can help pull us out of the happiness hangover as quickly as it came on.

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Thank you! No one really addresses dealing with these “hangovers” (XD), so I’m glad you did. My last vacation taught me more about what I want out of the city live in. So many lessons can be learned if we listen to ourselves hard enough.


I am currently on vacation and I know I’m going to have a happiness hangover when I return. I’ll be sure to use these tips to help me through it!

Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

haha I’ve never thought of it as a “happiness hangover” before, but I remember in high school we had these huge competitions called APAC, and afterward, we’d always say, “I have post-APAC depression!” To cope with that, I focused on the new friendships that I had made, so I guess that’s the “rehash the greatness” part 🙂 Planning something small to look forward to is a great idea! This is something that I try to do once a week to keep me excited for life and not become a zombie during the school year. -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

Amanda Burrows

Thank you for bringing up this topic! It’s so sad when a fun event happens, but I like to think about how wonderful it is that it happened in the first place! That usually cheers me up. These tips are some that I will have to archive in my brain the next time I feel a “happiness hangover”.

Kate Boylan

This is exactly what I needed after graduating college with a really bad happiness hangover! I will definitely use these tips moving forward, thanks Maxie!


So helpful!! I just went on the best trip with my two best friends to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and I was SO sad when we left. Thanks for the tips 🙂

Shannon Mahaney

I just got back from visiting my family and I’m totally suffering from a Happiness Hangover! It happens each time I visit family since we live a few states away from them. But I enjoyed every single moment visiting them!


I appear to have a happiness hangover after every weekend, my partner of 10 months is a long distant lorry driver so I only see him weekends, starting to think that it doesnt feel like a real relationship, just a fling at the weekend. Also feel that the relationship will never progress. Really dont want it to end but not sure I can cope with these feelings ?