In today’s fast-paced society, mental wellness can be a complex topic to talk about. For this reason, many people are turning to poetry for an outlet. Poetry is a therapeutic way of expressing oneself and opening up to others to better one’s mental well-being. 

This article will explore 100 quotes from poets that all speak on the theme of mental wellness with great depth and insight!

100 Poetry Quotes About Mental Wellness

"Soon I'll have nothing to feed my soul
It'll chew my thoughts and spit sadness
Like it had done before."

~Angela Bontle Ditumiso
Kelsey Tlhosane
Kelsey Tlhosane

"In our home silence is worshipped,
We beg our eyelids to blink, it is the only sign that we are still alive.
No one speaks of pain yet it fills our orifices with adhesive dust."

~ Kelsey Tlhosane

"I know a girl who told me that
Recovery is important and
That healing is more interesting Than suffering."

~Blythe Baird

"Some days feels like the only thing standing
between me and a relapse
is knowing that it is impossible to change the world on an empty stomach."

~ Blythe Baird

"Maybe pain are homeless spirits looking for a warm heart to stay in,
maybe depression and anxiety is what she calls her kids.
I think pain is like a virus, wanting to live and reproduce."

~ Choenyane Thebe

"But why does it feel like I belong here?
Voids filled. Pain dissolved. Numb.
Identity reclaimed. My life.
Nothingness. Like darkness."

~ Musa Gift Masombuka

"Let's fly our kites in the wind and learn
To befriend the pain, but not for long
Not for long, for all storms come to pave a way
for a clear day."

~ Siphenathi Yandisa

"Let the past burn
and the future bloom
then in between the chemistry
Let me be born again
Allow me to live."

~ Kgopotso Soopela

"Sunday morning:
Happiness hangs over your face once again
but you do not beg this time.
Like a one night stand she walks her walk of shame.
Once again you meet with your demons
and you dance to their music."

~ Noel Diketane

"Depression is an abusive lover
you can't break ties with.
Once, I fled during the night,
went as far as my feet could take me.
In the morning we were spooning in a hotel room."

~ Angela Bontle Ditumiso

"There are places of worship in our house My mother’s room is a home of memories of
candles that gave their life for my depression to see the light,
and my mother’s faith to keep the fight."

~ Tshediso Seroki

“The broken will always know how to love because once you've been
in the dark you learn to appreciate everything that shines.”

~ Unknown.

"I have whisperers that tap on my shoulder
And say, it's okay to walk into red traffic lights,
Numb and absent minded,
The hooting cars and angry voices
Will yank me back to reality."

~ Tshediso Seroki

"The rain drums down like red ants,
each bouncing off my window.
The ants are in great pain
and they cry out as they hit
as if their little legs were only
stitched on and their heads pasted.
And oh they bring to mind the grave,
so humble, so willing to be beat upon
with its awful lettering and
the body lying underneath
without an umbrella.
Depression is boring, I think
and I would do better to make
some soup and light up the cave."

~ Anne Sexton
Alex Elle
Alex Elle

"look at you.
still dancing
and singing
after being
defeated and disassembled.
look at you, love.
still here and hopeful
after it all."

~ Alex Elle

"Pain is to me
metaphors in enjambment"

~ Musa Gift Masombuka

"I've been in the shadows,
Listening to voices from the ether.
I've been a visitor,
to a realm that is timeless.
Seeking me. Finding me."

~ Kelsey Tlhosane

“Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”

~ Arthur Somers Roche

"My mommy's church would rather blame depression on the devil as if they don't teach the story of Job, where God gambled a man's soul collected the winnings when he was done"

~ Rachel "Raych" Jackson

“No amount of anxiety can change the future. No amount of regret can change the past.”

~ Karen Salmansohn

"It has been raining a lot The skies sombre with God's melancholy
I hear it runs over
I guess being made in his likeness might just mean perhaps he too falls into depression
Or perhaps he can't bear the loaf anymore
I can imagine what he's thinking
Although I know gods can't take their own lives."

~ m_thethird

"It has been raining a lot
The skies sombre with God's melancholy
I hear it runs over
I guess being made in his likeness might just mean perhaps he too falls into depression
Or perhaps he can't bear the loaf anymore
I can imagine what he's thinking
Although I know God's can't take their own lives."

~ m_thethird

“The humanity we all share is more important than the mental illnesses we may not.”

~ Elyn R. Saks

“If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, and our shortcomings instead of pretending they don’t exist, then maybe we’ll leave the world a better place than we found it.”

~ Russell Wilson

"You have been living for this depression,
And you turned it into a home
You should be leaving depression not live for it."

~ The Unnatural

“What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it if it comes.”

~ Raymond L. Cramer
Rupi Kaur
Rupi Kaur

“I fight for my health every day in ways most people don’t understand. I’m not lazy. I’m a warrior.”

~ Unknown

"I'm locked in a cell with depression
Who happens to be an extrovert
He talks very loudly to torture me mentally
With his unending stories
Of self-inflected pain and self-pity."

~ Michael Tembo

“The strongest people are those who win battles we know nothing about.”

~ Unknown

“Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.”

~ Astrid Alauda

"I was too black to call it depression.
So I tried explaining it to her, like this:
My body is a house furnished with emotions
and guess what, my happiness had no room."

~ Thabelo Mphaka II

"People empty me. I have to get away to refill."

~ Charles Bukowski

"I bleed every month but do not die, how am i not magic."

~ Nayyirah Waheed

“In the middle of winter I, at last, discovered that there was in me an invincible summer.”

~ Albert Camus

"Sadness has been the only friend I have known
Every day she comes by to tell me of how painful I feel."

~ Sabrina Benaim

"May you tell the story of the mountains you climbed.
May the wisdom you gather help others survive."

~ M.Harper

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”

~ Charles Bukowski
Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

~Amy March, from Little Women

“Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.”

~ Ovid

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”

~ Henry David Thoreau

“You don’t need to find a lesson in your trauma.”

~ Jordan Pickell

"I want to say,
my depression is an angry deity, a jealous god
a thirsty shadow that wrings my joy like a dishrag
and makes juice out of my smile."

~ Rudy Francisco

“Increasing the strength of our minds is the only way to reduce the difficulty of life.”

~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana

"If you don't lock your windows at night
Sadness can creep in and lay next to you."

~ Rachel "Raych" Jackson

"But when depression
swiftly falls/in haste from heaven,
like breaking storm/that bends as broken,
sharpshooting light/and hides the good,
In winter's shroud/and crown with sorrows,
good rose of morn/plant thy feet,
as willow be/and bend unbroken,
this brooding shame/and claim your light,
as unconquered sun/who curves a fool,
from the scheming night."

~ Sifiso Mtshali

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

~ Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter

"Anxiety and depression robbed me of the tears I put in the depths of my soul that I saved for my graduation and used them for a boy that didn't love me back."

~ Thabelo Mphaka

"Choice is a difficult thing with anxiety
I'm always choosing between the lesser of two evils"

~ Bianca Phipps

“Life is like a piano; the white keys represent happiness and the black show sadness. But as you go through life’s journey, remember that the black keys also create music.”

~ Ehssan

"This anxiety is not free.
It has cost me more than I know how to give.
These days.
It's the most expensive thing I own."

~ Blake Auden

“Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me.”

~ Vincent van Gogh

"What shape does this anxiety take inside you?"

~ George Abraham

“Pay careful attention to anything you try to hide.”

~ Gretchen Rubin

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”

~ Carl Jung
Hanif Abdurraqib
Hanif Abdurraqib

"We got kicked out of the only bar that could fit us and all of the sadness we latched to our backs."

~ Hanif Abdurraqib

“The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.”

~ Mama Indigo

“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

“My anxiety doesn’t come from thinking about the future but from wanting to control it.”

~ Hugh Prather

“[Slow breathing] is like an anchor in the midst of an emotional storm: the anchor won’t make the storm goes away, but it will hold you steady until it passes.

~ Russ Harris

“Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t so.”

~ Lemony Snicket

“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”

~ Glenn Close

"It is not the the bruises on the body that hurt. It is the wounds of the heart and the scars on the mind."

~ Aisha Mirza

"It is as if my life were magically run by two electric currents: joyous positive and despairing negative-- which ever is running at the moment dominates my life, floods it."

~ Silvia Plath

"Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others."

~ Jasmine Warga

“Deep breathing is our nervous system’s love language.”

~ Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy

"if you would search through darkness
you would find my skeletons laid to rest.
darkness knows all the secrets
darkness is aloof, rarely smiles
knows the taste of the medicine
I administer is suicidal
darkness my true friend
never spill beans, all heart’s lacerations are contained."

~ Sizwe Martins

“ Positive vibes only’ isn’t a thing. Humans have a wide range of emotions and that’s OK.”

~ Molly Bahr

"Over a glass of wine with myself. I acknowledge that I'm not as photogenic, I'm an image of God with poor lighting but I will not photoshop myself into perfection this time, I will not neat leaves into a garment when God summons me this time."

~ Noel Diketane

“In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”

~ Abraham Maslow

“Mental health needs a great deal of attention. It’s the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with.”

~ Adam Ant

"Ignorance pumping up mortality rates,
Ropes booming for the doom of the colour of my skin,
While I flex flashiness with my mental health checked on like spam mail."

~ Prince Views

"Corner cry, I inhale my mucus
And hail,
Conclusively told I exaggerate my illnesses
As the neighbourhood elicits responses
Implying I'm cursed to a deathbed,
That I should do stand-up,
Or knit words rhyming with dementia for entertainment."

~ Prince Views

"Sometimes the walls of my heart have more loud cries, hence I beat my chest to calm the storm I swallowed in silence.
Out of body experience is when you pray with your mouth closed, God sometimes is as silent as my storm."

~ Tshediso Seroki

“Anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house, inside of my head.
Mom says, “Where did anxiety come from?”
Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out-of-town depression felt obligated to bring to the party.
Mom, I am the party.
Only I am a party I don’t want to be at."

~ Sabrina Benaim

Hopefully, you were able to find a quote or two that resonated with your experience. If not, keep scrolling, and maybe one will pop out at you. Regardless of what is going on in your life right now, know that it will pass, and others have felt the same way as you do. You’re doing great!

Thank you for reading this article about mental wellness. If you enjoyed it, please share the light with a friend, family or colleague. We recently published a mental wellness anthology called Letting In The Light. Click this link to find out more!

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