An artsy scale for measuring 'blue' feelings

(& finding splinters of white before they go black.)

It was about 10 years ago now I started to realise we often use colour when expressing how we feel, especially when we’re describing something like ‘blue feelings’ or even depression. And while this is hopelessly, unreasonably non-scientific, I found the idea of creating for myself a sort of scale both fascinating and most importantly, helpful when I most needed it.

As I sat with the concept a bit more I realised that there were times back then I would find myself saying ‘it feels dark’ at the hardest times. Other weeks or months all those years ago I’d hear the words ‘I’m just feeling a bit blue’ and I knew that deep black abyss wasn’t close to me yet.

I’m not sure this will make much sense to anyone who hasn’t known this kind of journey, but just like sitting in a room while the sun sets around you, all of a sudden you can find yourself in a dark room. It’s a similar thing: you can find yourself sliding further on without realising things have become bluer, deeper, darker, around you, until you’re there.

It can be such a deceptive pull. We’re there before we know it.

I thought maybe these words could act as a sort of landmark - so we could catch ourselves before we fell too far in.

If I could just tune in to those words and when I was saying ‘really blue’ or ‘SO blue’ and so on, I would know the blacker days were edging closer and I knew that was the time, (if not sooner) to start actively seeking out my own personal chinks of white light to break up the blue.

And it’s not to say it’s as simple as just ‘finding joy’ to pull yourself out, I totally get that. This isn’t so much a focus on what you need to get out of it or how, but more, helping to recognise when you do.

The original scrawl in my journal many years ago trying to capture the concept.

The idea is that if we can pinpoint it, we can then seek out those bits of light—whatever they are for us—as early on as possible, before it gets too blue.

So, on the other side of these horrendous days of almost a decade ago, I thought I’d share the scale with you, just in case you find it useful like I did?


Sending you big, glittering sparkles of light.

Secret Gardens
Secret Gardens
Keeley Rees