Book Recommendations, Pop Culture

17 uplifting literary quotes for when you’ve had a bad day


Have you had a bad day?  Are you feeling grumpy?  Well, feel that way no more, because here are some book quotes to remind you about the good stuff.  We’ve got famous authors, poets and not so famous authors here to cheer you up.

1. “Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

Ray BradburyFahrenheit 451 

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2. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

Neil Gaiman, Coraline

3. “You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; everything else is grandiose romanticism or politics.”

Charles Bukowski, Tales of Ordinary Madness

4. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

5. “She could walk through a lightning storm without being touched; grab a bolt of lightning in the palm of her hand; use the heat of lightning to start the kindling going under her medicine pot. She turned the moon into salve, the stars into swaddling cloth, and healed the wounds of every creature walking up on two or down on four.”

Gloria Naylor, Mama Day

6. “There is always something left to love.”

Gabriel García MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude

7. “Each moment is a place you’ve never been.”

Mark StrandNew Selected Poems

8. “Feel, he told himself, feel, feel, feel. Even if what you feel is pain, only let yourself feel.”

P.D. JamesThe Children of Men

9. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

Oscar WildeLady Windermere’s Fan

10. “I remember I wanted to get away; I wanted to run. I couldn’t stand any more. But I didn’t want to run. I wanted everything to be perfect; everything was going to be great – I just had to be careful. I was responsible for it all. The clouds coming, I was dragging them towards us; my thoughts were doing it. I was ruining everything. It was up to me. I could control the whole day. All I had to do was make sure that I made no stupid mistakes. Don’t walk on the cracks. Don’t look at the clouds. It’s up to you.”

Roddy Doyle, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

11. “This above all: to thine own self be true.”

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

12. “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”

Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon

13. “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

Carl Sagan, Cosmos

14. “So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

15. “The world spins. We stumble on. It is enough.”

Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

16. “Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”

George Orwell1984

1984 by [Orwell, George]

17. “Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers.”

Salman Rushdie, Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991

  • Meagan Foy

    As the Senior Life Editor, Meagan is proud to help showcase women's voices on issues that matter.