Poetry For People Who Need It Most

I mentioned a while ago how enamoured I am with Shane Koyczan’s work. An especially special poem (is “poem” the right word?) is Instructions for a Bad Day. It struck me. It gave me hope. And I’ve been telling people about it over and over.


Today my friends and I shared it with about thirty recovering patients at a psychosocial rehabilitation centre. As part of our psychiatry rotation we have been posted at various centres involved in the care of individuals with mental illness. So today we were asked to talk to the members at this facility about various psychiatric conditions and it went so much better than I anticipated. So many questions were asked (What if my medicine won’t work? What if it’s my family that makes me depressed? What if people think I’m crazy?) and we ended our session  by playing Koyczan’s poem.

Check out the video here or go here to Koyczan’s blog, where the song is freely downloadable.

The members loved it. I thought it was valuable because I know that sometimes we think that taking “happy pills” must mean there won’t be bad days. And there are. And I know that sometimes the world seems so big and lonely.  Many of the people we spoke to are about to re-enter the workforce, in a world where people do not always understand the nuances of mental health. So I hoped that I could give them something to cling on to, with this poem.

I don’t know if they will remember it for long, but it gave me goosebumps to see them enjoy it just as much as I do.


  1. nisha360 says:

    AMAZING POEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “Know that now is only a moment.” Love that! I will listen to this poem whenever I have a bad day

    1. I’m so glad you liked it, Nisha 🙂

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