Why Do I Feel Empty: Concepts, Symptoms, Causes, Contexts, Tips, And Therapies

feelings of emptiness

Do you ever feel like something is missing? That life doesn’t quite have the same meaning it used to? Do you sometimes wonder, why do I feel empty? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience feelings of emptiness at some point in their lives. This can be a very difficult feeling to deal with, but with the right information and support, it is possible to overcome it. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of feeling empty and discuss why so many people feel this way. We will also provide tips for dealing with these feelings and suggest ways to get help if necessary.

Understanding Feelings of Emptiness

why do you feel empty 1

The first step in dealing with feelings of emptiness (why do I feel empty) is to understand what they are. Emptiness can be described as a feeling of emptiness, hollowness, or lack of purpose in life. It often stems from a sense that something is missing in our lives and can leave us feeling lost, alone, and devoid of meaning.

Types of Feelings of Emptiness

There are many different types of emptiness, and the feeling can vary from person to person. Some common types of emptiness include:

  • Emotional emptiness: This occurs when we lack strong emotional connections with others.
  • Intellectual emptiness: This happens when we feel like we don’t have any intellectual interests or pursuits.
  • Spiritual emptiness: This is when we feel like there’s no point in our lives because nothing matters.
  • Psychological emptiness: This happens when our minds are empty of thoughts or feelings; this can lead to depression and other mental health problems.
  • Creative Emptiness: Creative people often feel a sense of emptiness when they aren’t being creative. It can be difficult to create something new, but it’s not impossible!

Symptoms of Feeling of Emptiness

There are many symptoms of feeling emptiness (why do I feel empty), and they can vary from person to person. common symptoms include:

Feeling lost or directionless: This is when you feel like you don’t know where to go or what to do with your life. You might experience feelings of aimlessness and a lack of motivation.

Feeling disconnected from others: If you have been feeling empty, relationships with friends family members may seem less important than they used to be. You also may feel like you don’t know who you are and what you want in life.

Lack of purpose or meaning: One of the most common symptoms of emptiness is a feeling that your life lacks purpose or meaning. You may feel like you’re just going through the motions without any real sense of why you’re doing it.

Anger, sadness, or other negative emotions: Some people who are experiencing feelings of emptiness may experience anger and frustration because they don’t know how to deal with their situation. Others might feel sad about the loss of meaning in their lives.

Feeling overwhelmed by life: If you’ve been feeling empty for a while now, your life may have become too much for you to handle. You might feel like there’s just no way out of this situation, or that everything seems hopeless and nothing can change it.

Causes of Feeling of Emptiness

There can be many different causes of feeling emptiness. Some common ones include:

Boredom: If you’re not doing anything interesting with your life, you may start to feel empty and unfulfilled.

Depression or anxiety: These mental health conditions can often lead to feelings of emptiness. If you think that this might be the case for you, please seek professional help.

Loneliness or isolation: When we feel isolated from others, it can leave us feeling lonely and disconnected. This can be especially true if we don’t have many friends or if our relationships are strained.

Loss or a change in life direction: This is one of the most common reasons for feelings of emptiness. When something major happens in our lives (such as losing a job, getting divorced, etc.), it can leave us feeling lost and without a sense of purpose.

Feeling trapped: If you’re stuck in a situation that feels hopeless or impossible, it can be hard not to feel depressed and empty. For example, if your job is making you unhappy but quitting would mean losing all of your income/healthcare benefits, then staying might seem like the only option, even if you’re not happy.

Existential Crisis: This is a term used to describe a time when someone questions the meaning and purpose of life. It usually happens during a period of personal development and self-reflection, often provoked by reading philosophical texts or experiencing major changes in one’s life (such as leaving home for the first time).

Evaluating Emptiness In Different Realms


There are many different realms where you might experience feelings of emptiness (why do I feel empty), including but not limited to: relationships (with your partner, children, friends), work, social life (with family members or coworkers), and even spiritual practices such as religion.

Feeling empty in relationships

If you are feeling unfulfilled by your relationship with someone else, then it could be because they aren’t fulfilling their end of the bargain. This means that they aren’t meeting your needs or desires which can lead to feelings of loneliness and dissatisfaction.

  • In Family: Feelings of emptiness within families are common when there’s a conflict between siblings or parents, so try talking to them about what’s going on. It might help to express your feelings and hear theirs as well.
  • In Friendships: If you feel like your friendships aren’t fulfilling, it might be because they’re too one-sided. You may need to find new friends who are more interested in what you have to offer and less focused on themselves.
  • In Parenthood: Parenthood can be a wonderful experience but it’s also very challenging. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and like you’re not doing a good job, it’s normal to feel this way. Just know that you are not alone in this and some people will support you.

Feeling empty at work

If you’re having trouble focusing on your job, or if it feels like no one appreciates your efforts there then that could be a sign that something is wrong in the workplace. Maybe there’s been some sort of change within the company recently (such as downsizing) that’s left you feeling uncertain about the future.

Feeling empty in social life

It’s normal to feel a little lonely sometimes, but if you’re feeling consistently isolated from those around you then there might be a problem. This could be because of difficult family relationships, an unsupportive group of friends, or simply not having enough social activities.

Exploring Emptiness From Different Perspectives

why do i feel empty1

When it comes to feelings of emptiness (why do I feel empty), there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. What might work for someone else might not work for you and vice versa. That being said, here are a few different contexts in which you could explore your emptiness:

Spiritual Exploration 

If you’re feeling spiritually lost, then it might be helpful to explore different religious texts or practices. This can help you find meaning and purpose in life again.

Creative Exploration 

If you’re someone who typically relies on creative outlets for self-expression, then you might want to explore ways of dealing with emptiness through art or writing. This can be a great way to understand and process your feelings.

Therapeutic Exploration

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your feelings of emptiness, it might be helpful to talk to a therapist about them. They will be able to help you understand and manage your feelings healthily.

Existentialism And Feeling of Emptiness

Existentialism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes the existence of the individual self and the subjective experience of life. If you’re feeling empty, reading about existentialist thinkers could help you make sense of your feelings.

Mental Health And Feeling of Emptiness

Emptiness can be a symptom of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. If you’re feeling this way, it’s important to talk with someone who will listen without judgment or criticism. You shouldn’t feel alone in your struggle so try reaching out for support from friends and family members or even see if there are any therapists available through work or your health insurance.

NOTE: There are many different ways to explore the feeling of emptiness so don’t be afraid to try something that might seem outside of your comfort zone. Just remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. And most importantly, be patient with yourself – this process takes time.

Dealing With Feelings of Emptiness

Now that we’ve explored some different concepts and contexts around emptiness, here are a few practical tips for dealing with these feelings:

Practical Tips

Exercising Regularly: Physical activity has many benefits, including helping you work out your emotions and tension in a healthy way (such as going for a run or doing yoga).

Eating Healthy Foods: Eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables will help you feel better about yourself. They are also full of nutrients that can improve your mental health!

Getting Enough Sleep At Night: Getting enough sleep is essential to feeling good during the day, so try making sure that you’re sleeping for at least seven hours each night.

Having a Support System: It’s important to have people in your life who you can rely on and talk to when things get tough. These could be friends, family members, or even professionals!

Talking to a Professional: Having someone to talk with about your emptiness can be very helpful. This could be in the form of therapy or just talking with friends who are going through similar issues themselves.

Diet Tips

When you’re feeling empty, it can be difficult to eat healthily. You may find yourself wanting comfort food or foods that make you feel good at the moment but don’t have lasting effects.

Here are a few tips for eating healthy when you’re feeling down:

  • Try to eat regularly and keep your blood sugar stable. This will help prevent mood swings and feelings of emptiness.
  • Eat protein and fiber-rich foods. Protein helps keep you feeling full for longer, while fiber can help improve your mood.
  • Avoid processed foods and eat whole foods instead. Processed foods are often high in sugar and unhealthy fats, which can make you feel worse.
  • Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can often cause feelings of fatigue and emptiness.
  • Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of emptiness and sadness.

Exercise Tips

When you’re feeling down, it’s often hard to find the motivation to exercise. However, exercise is a great way to improve your mood and make yourself feel better.

Here are a few tips for getting motivated to exercise:

  • Find an activity that you enjoy. This will make it easier to stick with it in the long run.
  • Join a group or class. This can help you feel more accountable and less likely to skip workouts.
  • Set goals for yourself and reward yourself when you reach them. For example, if your goal is to run a mile in under 30 minutes then set aside some time each day to work toward that goal.
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of emptiness and sadness.

NOTE: There are many different ways to deal with feelings of emptiness. These are just a few examples. If you find that none of these tips work for you, then please reach out for help! You don’t have to suffer alone.

Reaching Out For Help

why do i feel empty 2

If you’re feeling empty and don’t know how to deal with it, talking to a professional can be very helpful. This could be in the form of therapy or just talking with friends who are going through similar issues themselves.

Therapy is a process where you talk with a therapist about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This can help you understand yourself better and figure out how to deal with difficult emotions.

There are many different forms of therapy available, so it’s important to find one that works best for you. If you’re feeling lost and don’t know where to start, talking to a professional can be a great place to begin.


Psychotherapy: This is a type of therapy that involves talking about your thoughts and feelings with a trained professional. It’s often used to help people who are experiencing depression or anxiety, but it can also be helpful for those experiencing existential crises.

Psychoanalysis: This is a type of therapy that involves talking about your thoughts and feelings with a trained professional to explore your unconscious mind. It’s an effective way to overcome psychological problems because it helps you understand why you feel the way that you do.

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy is used to help people who have experienced trauma (such as sexual abuse, natural disasters) and want to change their beliefs or behaviors around these experiences so they no longer impact their lives negatively. It works by changing negative thoughts about oneself into positive ones.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This type of therapy works by helping you change your thinking patterns so that they are more helpful and less harmful to your life. For example, if someone is feeling depressed because they have low self-esteem then this kind of treatment would help them identify these feelings as irrational while also teaching them how to better deal with them.

Art Therapy: This type of therapy uses different forms of art (such as painting, sculpting, drawing) to help people express their thoughts and feelings. It can be helpful for those who find it difficult to talk about their emotions or who want to explore their creativity.

NOTE: If you don’t feel like therapy is right for you, talking to friends can also be helpful. Friends are a great resource because they can relate to what you’re going through and offer support. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone to talk to!

Experts’ Opinion About Feelings of Emptiness

There is a range of experts that approach emptiness from their respective standpoints. Here are a few:

Philosophers On Feelings of Emptiness

“If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new.”

― Voltaire

Voltaire believed that trying out new things can bring us happiness when everything else feels empty. This is a positive way to look at life and it’s good advice for those who are feeling lost or unmotivated.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

― Aristotle

Aristotle believed that having an open mind will help us think more clearly and objectively about things, which can lead to better decisions in life as well as greater happiness overall. He also said, “It is not enough to conquer; one must know how to seduce.”

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

― Albert Einstein

Einstein’s quote is a great reminder that we should all try to be more curious about the world around us because this will help keep our minds occupied with stimulating ideas and activities instead of focusing on feelings of emptiness or boredom that can lead to negative thoughts and emotions.

Existential Therapists On Feelings of Emptiness

“Existential angst is the experience of being alive, aware, and conscious in a universe that seems to offer no inherent meaning or purpose.”

“If we refuse to confront our feelings of emptiness, we will suffer; but if we embrace them and work through them with courage and honesty, then we can find meaning in life again. We are not powerless when faced with existential angst- there are ways out of this dark tunnel.”

― Dr. Clay Routledge

Dr. Clay Routledge defines existential angst as the feeling of being lost in a universe with no clear meaning or purpose. This definition captures the essence of what it means to feel empty, which is why he has written extensively about this topic.

Dr. Clay Routledge believes that facing our feelings of emptiness is the first step towards healing, finding meaning in life again, and living a happier existence overall. He also says we can overcome existential angst by being courageous enough to work through it with honesty and courage.

Brain Activity During Feelings of Emptiness

The brain activity during the feeling of emptiness is very similar to what happens when we experience depression or anxiety.

In one study from 2014, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans on subjects who were feeling empty and found that patients with this symptom had lower activation in their medial prefrontal cortex, ventromedial PFC for short. This area of the brain is responsible for things like self-reflection, emotional regulation, and empathy.

This study provides some insight into why people who feel empty often struggle with things like depression and anxiety. It also shows that there is a biological component to feeling emptiness, which can make it more difficult to overcome.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible! There are many ways we can help ourselves when feeling empty, such as eating well and exercising regularly.

Books About Feelings of Emptiness

‘When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens’, by Bev Cobain (1997)

This book is written specifically for teenagers who are feeling empty or unmotivated. It offers practical advice on how they can get through their depression without hurting themselves or those around them, and it also provides a few tips for parents who may be concerned about their child’s mental health.

‘The Empty Room: Understanding and Recovering from Depression’, by Dorothy Rowe (2005)

This book is written for adults who are struggling with depression and feelings of emptiness. It provides an in-depth look at the causes of these symptoms, as well as advice on how to overcome them.

‘Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up’, by James Hollis (2007)

This book is about finding meaning and purpose in life after reaching middle age. It discusses the common midlife crises that many people experience, as well as the ways we can overcome them and find new happiness in our later years.

‘The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness’, by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn (2007)

This book is about using mindfulness to overcome feelings of emptiness or loneliness. It includes exercises that can help you focus on the present moment instead of ruminating over past mistakes or worrying about future events beyond your control.

Movies About Feelings of Emptiness

‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower, directed by Stephen Chbosky (2012)

This movie is about a teenage boy who is struggling with feelings of emptiness and loneliness. He finds comfort in the friendship of two older students, who help him to navigate his way through high school and start to accept himself for who he is.

‘American Beauty, directed by Sam Mendes (1999)

This movie is about an older man who feels like his life has lost all meaning and purpose, so he decides to make drastic changes to find new happiness again. Unfortunately, these changes don’t go according to plan… but then again nothing ever does!

‘The Shawshank Redemption, directed by Frank Darabont (1994)

This movie is about a man serving time in prison for murder who has lost all hope of ever getting out or finding meaning in his life again. He meets another inmate nicknamed “Red” and they become friends over their shared experiences behind bars – but when Red gets paroled, he finds himself struggling with feelings of emptiness again.



Feeling empty can be a very difficult experience, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many books, movies, and other resources available to help you understand and overcome this feeling. Try to focus on the present moment as much as possible, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you. You can get through this!

A Word From Therapy Mantra

Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.