Try for freeTry for free
VideoFeeling Powerless

Feeling Powerless

From overwhelming current events to our own daily stressors, it's easy to feel stuck when these things start to stack up. Kessonga explains this common feeling of powerlessness, and lets you know you're not alone.

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

Greetings. Let's take a moment to talk a bit about feeling powerless. Today, in every country of the world, there are current events that can be extremely stressful. Oppression, discrimination, and injustice is present and amplified on the news, social media, and for many firsthand. Many of us may find ourselves in a situation where the overwhelming current events coupled with the everyday stresses of our lives are kind of stacking up and piling up one after another, and the result can be a feeling of being powerless. (water burbling) I think this feeling of being powerless is closely tied to the feeling of hopelessness, and in a way it's kind of understandable, right? We feel there's a desperate need for change, but there's no concrete example of what that looks like or even how to start. Or we may feel that the people that have more power than us to make those changes happen in our local and global communities, they just aren't performing up to par, or they have other agendas altogether. This can leave us in a space of feeling stuck. As a coping mechanism, we may try to push down these feelings and pretend that they don't exist, or we may try to numb out our own feelings because it's just too much to face them. But if we allow ourselves to just pause for a moment and fully accept that, yeah, I had zero control over that stressful event from occurring, that first step can be a game changer. It can prevent us from reacting in a maladaptive way. Unhealthy coping habits to drown out the feelings of powerlessness only make us feel worse in the long run. Sometimes we have to just sit in our uncomfortable feelings for a moment, feel everything there is to feel, and know that it's perfectly okay to have these feelings. This feeling of hopelessness can also easily arise if you perceive your actions as not being effective or enough. For example, protesters against social injustice may experience this feeling. Oppression continues to be a problem decade after decade. As a result, they may push themselves to do more and more, and before they know it they are burned out. To compensate for burning out, they once again push themselves extra hard to make change happen, and once again they burn out, and this unhealthy cycle just continues to repeat itself. So self-compassion is very important here, (bell ringing) and it's also so important to bring awareness to the fact that we can't do it all and every little bit helps. It's like the story of the man that encountered thousands and thousands of starfish stranded on a beach dying and he commenced to throw one starfish at a time back into the ocean. His son approached him and asked, "Papa, why do you continue to do this? "There are thousands and thousands of starfish. "It's not going to make a difference." The father throws another starfish into the...


Duration6 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.




Related to 'Feeling'

One Next Step

Video6 min

What do you do when a crisis is beyond your control?

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