How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them

What is Constructive Wallowing?

Constructive Wallowing U.S. book coverWhy should you wallow when you feel bad? Because your life will be on hold until you do. Constructive Wallowing is a book about becoming happier by letting yourself be sad. It’s counter-intuitive, but it works!

How Does It Work?

It takes energy to fight with your feelings. Whenever you:

  • force yourself to stop thinking about something painful…
  • try to look on the bright side of a dark situation…
  • tell yourself, “Just get over it already” …

You’re using up precious energy that would otherwise go toward pursuing your dreams. And you may be hurting your most important relationships, too.

Sharing emotions with others is how we bond. It’s emotions that make us human, and allow us to form solid relationships.

Are you ready to become emotionally available to the people you care about the most?

Would you like to be someone they can open up to?

The more comfortable you are with your own emotions, the better you’ll be as a companion, parent, or spouse.leaf-dividerYour life is waiting for you. To meet it with joy and enthusiasm, you need to allow your real feelings to move through you, whatever they are. Next time you feel bad, try using the T-R-U-T-H Technique:

T = Tell yourself the situation

R = Realize what you’re feeling

U = Uncover self-criticism

T = Try to understand yourself

H = Have the feeling

The secret ingredient is self-compassion. Details are fleshed out in Chapter 5.


One thoughtful reader posted the following review on

“This book has helped me more than any other self-help book I’ve read (and I’ve read dozens of them). In my lifelong struggle with social anxiety and depression, I’ve exhausted every psychological intervention imaginable…

“But none of it seemed to get right to the heart of my relationship with my own emotions like Gilbertson’s Constructive Wallowing has. Her approach is so simple, and her style so unassuming, you might mistake it for something far more trifling than it actually is.

“I really enjoyed Gilbertson’s writing style. I feel like she managed to convey what all those other authors were trying to say in much simpler, direct, and down-to-earth language. We are hearing more and more injunction to “treat yourself with compassion” nowadays, but this book actually teaches you how to implement that at the kitchen-sink level.

“Her prose is breezy, funny, and casual, but has a habit of laying down some life-changing wisdom on you without your even being aware of it. Reading it, I realized that the moments of most concentrated emotional healing I’ve ever had (whether spontaneously on my own or in formal therapy), were moments in which I was “constructively (w)allowing” in my emotions.

“The actual T-R-U-T-H process she describes is deceptively simple, but it has helped me get some movement in emotional scars that I thought were with me for life. It’s simplicity and pithiness is its chief virtue, because it’s easy to remember and put into practice. I’ve been recommending this nonstop since I’ve read it.”

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