99 Uplifting Quotes to Spark Your Soul and See You Through Hard Times


Let’s face it: Life can feel really tough sometimes.

Whether you’re reeling from the surreality and stress of this year’s presidential race, concerned about what’s happening at Standing Rock, troubled by strife in your most intimate relationships, struggling with juggling work and the tough daily demands of adulting, or maybe even having a hard time managing your chronic mental or physical health challenges, for many of us there are times in life that can simply feel really hard, really draining and where it’s almost impossible to imagine things will ever get better again.

If you’re experiencing one of these tough times yourself, today’s blog post is meant simply to provide you with a boost of spirit-strengthening nourishment, uplifting emotional support, and hearty mental inspiration in the form of 99 handpicked, curated quotes on overcoming adversity, finding hope, and practicing resilience in the face of this mysterious thing called Life.

Bookmark this one for a tough day and share it widely for those who may need this support, too. Because, after all, who among us doesn’t go through hard times and require a little extra support, an extra spark for our soul?

And P.S. Leave me a message in the comments below to let me know what one favorite quote you would add to this list — the 100th quote of the list.

99 Uplifting Quotes to Spark Your Soul and See You Through Hard Times

  1. “She could never go back and make some of the details pretty. All she could do was move forward and make the whole beautiful.” ― Terri St. Cloud

  2. “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
  3. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” ― J. K. Rowling

  4. “You are not supposed to be happy all the time. Life hurts and it’s hard. Not because you’re doing it wrong, but because it hurts for everybody. Don’t avoid the pain. You need it. It’s meant for you. Be still with it, let it come, let it go, let it leave you with the fuel you’ll burn to get your work done on this earth.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  5. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ― Haruki Murakami

  6. “If you are going through hell, keep going.” ― Winston S. Churchill

  7. “You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” ― Anne Lamott

  8. “Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient.” ― Steve Maraboli

  9. “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.” ― Mary Oliver

  10. “Though fairy tales end after ten pages, our lives do not. We are multi-volume sets. In our lives, even though one episode amounts to a crash and burn, there is always another episode awaiting us and then another. There are always more opportunities to get it right, to fashion our lives in the ways we deserve to have them. Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

  11. “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” ― Elizabeth Edwards

  12. “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

  13. “I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.” ― Malala Yousafzai

  14. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ― Albus Dumbledore

  15. “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ― Brené Brown

  16. “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Jalaluddin Rumi

  17. “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” ― Helen Keller

  18. “For me, it’s not necessarily interesting to play a strong, fearless woman. It’s interesting to play a woman who is terrified and then overcomes that fear. It’s about the journey. Courage is not the absence of fear, it’s overcoming it.” ― Natalie Dormer

  19. Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved. Grief is the receipt we wave in the air that says to the world: Look! Love was once mine. I love well. Here is my proof that I paid the price.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  20. “Rest when you’re weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” ― Ralph Marston

  21. “And I felt like my heart had been so thoroughly and irreparably broken that there could be no real joy again, that at best there might eventually be a little contentment. Everyone wanted me to get help and rejoin life, pick up the pieces and move on, and I tried to, I wanted to, but I just had to lie in the mud with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, grieving, until I didn’t have to anymore.” ― Anne Lamott

  22. “Yeah, there were regrets – but mostly there was an understanding – it had all brought her to here. To now. To who she was this moment. And she understood the power in that. The good in that. And the need to keep moving forward to create all she could with her life.” ― Terri St. Cloud

  23. “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” ― J. K. Rowling

  24. “If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” ― Fred Rogers

  25. “You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” ― Brené Brown

  26. “to live in this world / you must be able / to do three things / to love what is mortal; / to hold it / against your bones knowing / your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, / to let it go” ― Mary Oliver

  27. “If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces.” ― Shane Koyczan

  28. “Healing depends on listening with the inner ear – stopping the incessant blather, and listening. Fear keeps us chattering – fear that wells up from the past, fear of blurting out what we really fear, fear of future repercussions. It is our very fear of the future that distorts the now  that could lead to a different future if we dared to be whole in the present.” ― Marion Woodman

  29. “Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” ― David Richo

  30. “Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived…Tidiness makes me think of held breath, of suspended animation… Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.” ― Anne Lamott

  31. “I can tell you that it takes great strength to surrender. You have to know that you are not going to collapse. Instead, you are going to open to a power that you don’t even know, and it is going to come to meet you. In the process of healing, this is one of the huge things that I have discovered. People recognized the energy coming to meet them. When they opened to another energy, a love, a divine love, came through to meet them. That is what is known as grace. We all sing about amazing grace. It is a gift. I think that it comes through the work that we do. For some people, it can come out of the blue, but I know that in my own situation, the grace came through incredible vigilance.” ― Marion Woodman

  32. “You have been offered ‘the gift of crisis.’ As Kathleen Norris reminds us, the Greek root of the word crisis is “to sift”, as in, to shake out the excesses and leave only what’s important. That’s what crises do. They shake things up until we are forced to hold on to only what matters most. The rest falls away.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  33. “People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  34. “I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” ― Anne Lamott

  35. “What shames us, what we most fear to tell, does not set us apart from others; it binds us together if only we can take the risk to speak it.” ― Starhawk

  36. “I’m here. I love you. I don’t care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it—I will love you through that, as well. If you don’t need the medication, I will love you, too. There’s nothing you can ever do to lose my love. I will protect you until you die, and after your death I will still protect you. I am stronger than Depression and I am braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

  37. “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” ― José N. Harris

  38. “You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it. ” ― Mary Oliver

  39. “A Prayer: Refuse to fall down / If you cannot refuse to fall down / refuse to stay down / If you cannot refuse to stay down / lift your heart toward heaven / and like a hungry beggar / ask that it be filled. / You may be pushed down. / You may be kept from rising. / But no one can keep you from lifting your heart toward heaven only you. / It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear. / The one who says nothing good came of this, is not yet listening. ” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

  40. “I would like to be remembered as someone who did the best she could with the talent she had.” ― J. K. Rowling

  41. “My life was my life; I would have to stare it down, somehow, and make it work for me.” ― Paula McLain

  42. “She had fouled off of the curves that life had thrown at her.” ― W.P. Kinsella

  43. “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” ― Fred Rogers

  44. “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ―Joseph Campbell

  45. “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  46. “Your problem is how you are going to spend this one and precious life you have been issued. Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.” ― Anne Lamott

  47. “We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” ― Brené Brown

  48. “…grit grows as we figure out our life philosophy, learn to dust ourselves off after rejection and disappointment, and learn to tell the difference between low-level goals that should be abandoned quickly and higher-level goals that demand more tenacity. The maturation story is that we develop the capacity for long-term passion and perseverance as we get older.” ― Angela Duckworth

  49. “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ― Joseph Campbell

  50. “The sun shows up every morning, no matter how bad you’ve been the night before. It shines without judgment. It never withholds. It warms the sinners, the saints, the druggies, the cheerleaders- the saved and the heathens alike. You can hide from the sun, but it won’t take you personally. It´ll never, ever punish your for hiding. You can stay in the dark for years or decades, and when you finally step outside, it´ll be there.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  51. “Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” ― J. K. Rowling

  52. “When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

  53. “Learning lessons is a little like reaching maturity. You’re not suddenly more happy, wealthy, or powerful, but you understand the world around you better, and you’re at peace with yourself. Learning life’s lessons is not about making your life perfect, but about seeing life as it was meant to be.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  54. “There’s no such thing as ruining your life. Life’s a pretty resilient thing, it turns out.” ― Sophie Kinsella

  55. “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” ― Joseph Campbell

  56. “The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” ― Brené Brown

  57. “As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  58. “It’s not a competition, it’s a doorway.” ― Mary Oliver

  59. “Only time can heal your broken heart. Just as only time can heal his broken arms and legs.” ― Jim Henson

  60. “The opinion which other people have of you is their problem, not yours.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  61. “Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

  62. “Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.” ― John Ortberg

  63. “Hope is not about proving anything. It’s about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.” ― Anne Lamott

  64. “Anyone can be tough for a season. It takes a special kind of human to rise to life’s challenges for a lifetime.” ― Chris Matakas

  65. “When her pain is fresh and new, let her have it. Don’t try to take it away. Forgive yourself for not having that power. Grief and pain are like joy and peace; they are not things we should try to snatch from each other. They’re sacred. they are part of each person’s journey. All we can do is offer relief from this fear: I am all alone. That’s the one fear you can alleviate.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  66. “The Bhagavad Gita–that ancient Indian Yogic text–says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

  67. “The best relationships in our lives are the best not because they have been the happiest ones, they are that way because they have stayed strong through the most tormentful of storms.” ― Pandora Poikilos

  68. “One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.” ― Osho

  69. “I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” ― Wm. Paul Young

  70. “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

  71. “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.” ― Fred Rogers

  72. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou

  73. “Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

  74. “It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight training for life.” ― Anne Lamott

  75. “Stop messin’ around. Be the person you are meant to be. Remember that somewhere someone is rooting for you to succeed! Don’t worry about the others. They’re too busy riding coattails, being unhappy and making excuses as to why they gave up on their own dreams. You’ve got this. And if today you were wondering if you could do it? Consider this your pep talk.” ― Dawn Garcia

  76. “Since brokenness is the way of folks, the only way to live peacefully is to forgive everyone constantly, including yourself.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  77. “The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it’s been broken into a million pieces.” ― Robert James Waller

  78. “In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” ― Brennan Manning

  79. “As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.” ― Maya Angelou

  80. “Live, so you do not have to look back and say: ‘God, how I have wasted my life.’” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  81. “Un-winged and naked, sorrow surrenders its crown to a throne called grace.” ― Aberjhani

  82. “What is that which can never die? It is that faithful force that is born into us that one that is greater than us that calls new seed to the open and battered and barren places so that we can be resown. It is this force in its insistence in its loyalty to us in its love of us in its most often mysterious ways that is far greater far more majestic and far more ancient than any heretofore ever known.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

  83. “I think one of the keys to happiness is accepting that I am never going to be perfectly happy. Life is uncomfortable. So I might as well get busy loving the people around me. I’m going to stop trying so hard to decide whether they are the “right people” for me and just take deep breaths and love my neighbors. I’m going to take care of my friends. I’m going to find peace in the ’burbs. I’m going to quit chasing happiness long enough to notice it smiling right at me.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  84. “There’s a crack (or cracks) in everyone…that’s how the light of God gets in.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

  85. “Pain is a pesky part of being human, I’ve learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.” ― C. JoyBell C.

  86. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ― Confucius

  87. “What ultimately got me through was my single-minded determination, voiced aloud to myself and recorded in my diary, to discover the causes of my blindness and never to repeat them. Fearlessly pursuing insight was my badge of honor, my route back to self-respect.” ― Jeanne Safer

  88. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ― Nelson Mandela

  89. “I am the master of my fate / I am the captain of my soul.” ― William Ernest Henley

  90.  “It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.” ― Anne Lamott

  91. “It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.” ― Fred Rogers

  92. “‎Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning… Anyone can start over and make a new ending.” ― Chico Xavier

  93. “This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died.” ― Kelly Cutrone

  94. “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” ― Anne Lamott

  95. “What if pain – like love – is just a place brave people visit?” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  96. “Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.” ― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  97. “Nature does not ask permission. Blossom and birth whenever you feel like it.” ― Clarissa Pinkola Estés

  98. “So what is it in a human life that creates bravery, kindness, wisdom, and resilience? What if it’s pain? What if it’s the struggle?” ― Glennon Doyle Melton

  99. “Instructions for living a life. / Pay attention. / Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

I sincerely hope you enjoyed this list of uplifting quotes hand-picked and curated to spark your soul and see you through tough times.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments below: What is the 100th quote you would add to this list? Leave it below so our community of blog readers can enjoy it.

And until next time, take very good care of yourself.

Warmly, Annie

Author’s note: This article and accompanying content (links, etc.) is for informational and discussion purposes only and should not be construed as psychotherapy or psychotherapeutic advice of any kind. Annie Wright Psychotherapy assumes no liability for use or interpretation of any information contained in this post. The information contained in this post is intended for discussion purposes only and should not be an alternative to obtaining professional consult from a licensed mental health professional in your state based on the specific facts of your clinical matter. Annie Wright is licensed to practice psychotherapy in the State of California only.

This post originally appeared on Annie Wright Psychotherapy.

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99 Uplifting Quotes to Spark Your Soul and See You Through Hard Times


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