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When someone has died, there are a variety of activities that you can pursue to help restore emotional balance.

Some examples are exercise, music, poems and stories, journaling, yoga, meditation, and attending cultural events.

The best part is that you can do most of these activities either on your own, with friends, or as part of a class or support group.


Some form of exercise is good for everyone, at any time. But it can be especially helpful when you are dealing with grief, which puts an additional strain on the body. If you have a regular exercise routine, stay with it.

At the same time, it’s possible you may feel more physical heaviness or fatigue after a loss. You may need more rest, or to not push yourself as hard during your workout. So keep in touch with how your body is feeling on a day-to-day basis, and make adjustments as needed.


Music and emotions are intimately connected. Since music can express the whole range of emotions, it can stir up those emotions when we listen to it. After a death, there may be some music that you find difficult to listen to because it reminds you of your loss.

Another possibility is that a song may make you cry, but it feels good inside, like some emotions have been released. Other music may simply lift your spirits and get you moving again. So explore a range of musical styles and performers, and see what influence they create for you.

Poems and Stories

Poems and stories have been used throughout the ages to chronicle the full range of life experiences. Reading or listening to poems and stories related to death may help you understand that you’re having an experience that has shared by many people, for thousands of years.

DeathWise Magazine includes a selection of relevant poems, stories and works of art, plus reviews of books that address the experience of losing a loved one. In the Conversations section of the site, you’ll find books and personal stories submitted by our readers.


In addition to talking with friends or professional counselors, you may also benefit from writing about your experience in a personal journal. Journaling gives you the freedom to express thoughts and feelings privately that you’re not ready to share with others.

Another benefit is that you can write in your journal at any time of day or night, even when a friend or counselor is not available. Later on, you can go back and read what you’ve written to get a sense of the progress you’ve made.


When you are grieving, tension can build up in the body. As the body becomes more out of balance and rigid, you’re more susceptible to injury or illness. Yoga is well-known as a practice to help create balance and flexibility.

Today you can take specialized classes called “Yoga for Grief” at many yoga studios or with a private teachers. If yoga is already a part of your life, it will be very helpful to continue your regular practice when someone close to you has died.


Meditation offers an opportunity for the body and mind to settle down and experience more quietness and peace inside. This can be very calming and restoring when you’ve experienced a loss.

If you already meditate, take the time to maintain your practice. If you don’t meditate, consider taking a class to learn a meditation technique that you feel comfortable with and find helpful.

Related Issues
Grief and healing
Needs of the survivors
People who can support
The person who is dying

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