Six Tools to turn Melancholy to Joy

It appeared that Melissa had a wonderful marriage and six of the sweetest children. She homeschooled them and was content with her life.

One day she accidentally discovered that her husband was defiling some of her older girls and her whole world was shattered. There was no repentance from her husband and she had every reason to be deeply bitter and depressed. She was devastated yet able to live joyfully and in the strength of the Lord.


I met Melissa a number of years ago and found her to be one of the most joyful people despite her circumstances.

You see,  JOY is not dependent upon our feelings but on our relationship with Jesus and keeping our eyes on Him.

The verse that Melissa shared with me is one I found recently while reading through Nehemiah.

 “For this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.~Nehemiah 8:10~ 

When quoting this verse we usually leave off the first part that says, “neither be ye sorry.”

Melissa had good reason to be ‘sorry’ or melancholy.

Have you ever had a heavy feeling when you woke up in the morning? Maybe you have considerable stress in your life? You might have good reason for the heaviness you carry.

Melissa wasn’t able to shake the sadness on her own. She relied entirely upon her relationship with God to give her Joy which in turn gave her strength.

But what if you cannot put a finger on that deep long-lasting heaviness you wake with each morning? It happens. Whether it is something in your past or present that you are not aware of, or changing monthly hormones, God knows and loves you with an everlasting love and  has an answer for you.

I know what it is like to carry that heaviness each morning. For me, there were some real reasons but often that feeling remained when there was nothing that day to be causing the mully-grubs.

Whether you have a trauma in your life like Melissa, or some situation that is weighing with heaviness on your heart, or nothing at all other than the changes a woman goes through each month or at the ending of her cycling years, I found that it leaves opportunity wide open for Satan.

Here is a quote from Jonathan Edwards who was a godly New England minister and theologian.edwards

 “So that it must be only by the imagination that Satan has access to the soul, to tempt and delude it, or suggest anything to it. And this seems to be the reason why persons that are under the disease of melancholy are commonly so visibly and remarkably subject to the suggestions and temptations of Satan… Innumerable are the ways by which the mind may be led on to all kind of evil thoughts, by the exciting of external ideas in the imagination.”  Jonathan EdwardsReligious Affections

When a person is melancholy, she leaves herself wide open for Satan to work.

I want to do my best to overcome any feelings of melancholy and turn it over to the great Healer. What follows are six ‘Tools’ I have found that turn melancholy spirit into joy.

Six Tools to turn Melancholy to Joy

  1. Exercise/move 15 minutes daily when you first get out of bed.
  2. Quiet Time each morning (whether you feel like it or not) with prayer and praise (be thankful)
  3. Drink plenty of water (like 1/2 your body weight)
  4. Make a list for your Morning Routine and do it each day (cleaning your home is a good thing)
  5. Start a personal blog and write as a ministry to others
  6. Find a hobby and be passionate about it. Something you are very interested in (you will soon be too busy to be blue)


In Christ Alone,



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Judith lives in the beautiful Pocono Mountains with the most amazing husband for the past thirty-five fleeting years. She has been blessed with seven wonderful children through birth, adoption, and tubal reversal. When her oldest was five, she quit her job on the night shift and homeschooled for over twenty-five years. God has taken the imperfections of her life and keeps turning them into something that can be used for His glory. She writes in her spare time over at WholeHearted Home to inspire and equip women for holy living with joyfilled hearts. She writes for Missional Call and may also show up over on Twitter, Google +, Facebook , or Pinterest.

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18 Responses

  1. becca banana says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I came here from Heavenly Homemakers. Your list seems like a good balance of putting one foot in front of the other & creativity/ministry and growth in the Lord. Wonderful!

  2. Dottie says:

    I love this! Thank you for sharing. I battle this more often than I’d care to admit and your suggestions are right on target.

  3. hsmominmo says:

    Thank you, Judith, for this wonderful post. I have a tendency toward melancholy and I know well that heavy feeling you mentioned. Melissa’s story touched me. I am still learning the lesson of choosing joy over sorry – and there it is in Nehemiah!
    You’ve encouraged me today!

    • Judith says:

      I am a recovering melancholy person. At least I was for about 7 years. Of course, her name really isn’t Melissa but the story is true. I am so glad that it encouraged you!!

  4. momstheword says:

    Great tips, my friend. Love what you said here: “You see, JOY is not dependent upon our feelings but on our relationship with Jesus and keeping our eyes on Him.” Amen! Thanks for linking up to the “Making Your Home Sing Monday” linky party today! :)

  5. Learning not to focus on feeling sorry for ourselves but finding Him and His joy – yes, that is it!

  6. Jo Lynn says:

    I’ve been dealing with a lack of joy due to circumstances lately. I’ve been trying to will myself to be more joyful, but its not happening. I know the things I need to do but haven’t been doing them. Many were on your tool list, which is just the reminder/confirmation that I need to make some changes in my journey towards having joy.

    • Judith says:

      I had circumstances for about 7 years that robbed me of my joy most days. It shouldn’t have been that way. I can’t conjure up joy all on my own but through the Holy Spirit living through me. That doesn’t mean I don’t take some action on my part. After all staying in the mully grubs is taking action of the opposite sort. Seeing the things around us that we can be thankful for sure helps to bring us to a place where we can experience true joy. I hope, JoLynn, that this will continue to encourage you. When circumstances and even hormones are out-of-control it can be hard, though not impossible. Sometimes an essential oil can completely elevate our feelings. God gave us some of these things to help us along the way.

  7. Eydie says:

    Thank you for sharing. I will be sharing this with a friend whose world was recently uprooted.

  8. I wrote a post called “Melancholy” too!

    I find that talking to a Christian counselor is a real help. If you don’t think you can afford it, ask around for one who offers discounts or who can find need-based funding. Seminaries often have intern counselor programs.

    • Judith says:

      Thank you so much Virginia for your sweet advice. The friend I wrote about doesn’t need a counselor as she is such an example and encouragement to those she meets. Give me my Bible, some old hymns, a blog post to write, and a couple babies to hold and I am good to go!!

  9. What a WONDERFUL post!!! And what a tremendous testimony!! I was deeply affected while reading this – I am so glad you linked this one up!!

    • Judith says:

      Of course her name isn’t really Melissa, but if you had the opportunity to meet her, you would have been more blessed than reading my post. Thank you Rosilind.

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