Try for freeTry for free
MeditationProcessing Tragedy

Processing Tragedy

A tragedy in the news or in our own lives can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Take a moment to care for yourself while offering compassion to others.

Try 14 days free

Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

Try 14 days free
Better mental health starts with Headspace

Hi, it's Eve here. Welcome to this guided exercise that has been created to help you take care of yourself when you've experienced or witnessed a challenging event. First thing I'm sorry that you are experiencing any pain. But I am here with you and we're going to do this exercise together. The world we live in can be a very difficult and scary place to be. We are sadly exposed to multiple types of tragedies every day, and it can naturally leave us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. The word tragedy, refers to an event that causes great suffering, distress and destruction. And I think it's important to highlight that because our own individual suffering is unique to us. So please know that you are not alone. And a tragedy is not only reserved for the news headlines, but it is whatever has caused you to feel a great deal of suffering and distress; whether it is you directly or someone you are supporting. So however you are feeling is valid. And together today, we will spend some time gently taking care of ourselves whilst offering compassion to those around us. One of the first things we may experience in times of tragedy, is a feeling of hopelessness. And this especially might be the case when it comes to natural disasters, or where violence takes place on a really large scale. That is not to say that you won't feel helpless in other instances; but when we witness events from afar, where physically there is nothing we can do, it can leave that feeling of not knowing how we can help. I know I have definitely experienced that. And anger may also be an emotion that is present. And anger is often mixed with fear. And to experience anger and fear is very normal. It's a very normal human response; especially if we are witnessing an act of violence; and we actually don't want to try to get rid of these emotions. They are there for a reason. But what we do with them matters. And when we're perhaps feeling threatened or scared, it can be tempting to lash out to others. Our natural response is to try to keep ourselves and those we love safe. We may also feel in need to retreat completely to shut down. And these are all normal responses. But they don't have to be the only way we deal with these bigger emotions. And these emotions are an entity; and nurtured in the right way, can actually lead us to take compassionate action, both towards yourself and others. So let's take a moment to settle into this practice. Either sitting in a chair or lying down, taking this time for yourself is really important to help you process and to take care of yourself. It can be hard to focus on ourselves in times of difficulty. So be gentle with yourself, go at your own pace, as always you can let go of my...


Duration16 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

    More about Andy
  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

    More about Eve
  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

    More about Dora
  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

    More about Kessonga
  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

    More about Rosie
Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Your lifelong guide to better mental health

Stress, sleep, and all the challenging emotions — care for your mind with the everyday mental health app that's shown to make a difference.

Try 14 days free
Look After Your Mind

Look after your mind

Proven guided meditations and programs to help you stress less, sleep more soundly, and better navigate life’s challenges

Science Backed


Studies show that using Headspace for 30 days can reduce stress, increase resilience, and improve overall well-being

Explore Content

Explore 1000+ 
expert-led exercises

Access our library of meditations, breathing exercises, and guidance videos for stress, sleep, focus, everyday anxiety , parenting, and more.

Member reviews

Hear from some of our members

Your app brings so much peace and tolerance to our home.




Changing my thoughts has allowed me to change my life.




The stress and loneliness courses … taught me how to comfort myself.




Headspace provides me with … a connection to myself, and a disconnection from negative thoughts, feelings, and sensations.




More to explore

Beginning Meditation


Reframe Stress and Relax


New and Popular


Becoming a Mindful Parent

    • Terms & conditions
    • Privacy policy
    • Consumer Health Data
    • Your privacy choices
      Privacy Choices Icon
    • CA Privacy Notice
  • © 2024 Headspace Inc.
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy policy
  • Consumer Health Data
  • Your privacy choices
    Privacy Choices Icon
  • CA Privacy Notice