Don’t Feel Bad for Feeling Bad

Rikesh Chauhan is a successful musician, photographer and menswear writer, and he’s also an ambassador for the men’s mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Rikesh himself has suffered from depression. His personal experience, and his work with CALM and expression through the arts, have given him a sound understanding of issues facing young people. We asked him about his own coping mechanisms for dealing with tough situations.
Woman sitting in bathroom feeling bad

Photo by Mart Production on Pexels


Don’t feel bad for feeling bad

These were words of wisdom from my dad, relating to mental health and depression.
It’s not a bad thing if you don’t feel great. You’re allowed to feel that way. If you feel like crap, you feel like crap. That’s OK, that’s you. You should never feel guilty about it, and you don’t need to be apologetic to anyone.
That really resonated with me.



Keep things in perspective

That has been a massive help in making me stay calm, when dealing with tough situations.

Don’t dwell on problems

It’s easy to let things run away with you, so you become completely focussed on a problem. But the more you dwell on it, the more it blows things out of proportion. We have a tendency to make mountains out of molehills, so we just have to make sure we don’t do that. Try to look at the bigger picture objectively. It helps to go through a step-by-step process with your thinking:

Acknowledge OK, this really affects me.

But how I’m feeling right now, and the actions I’m taking right now won’t help anything.

At the end of the day, the worst that can happen is this…
And then you realise it’s not that bad.

So if something annoys or upsets me, I’ll think OK I’m going to allow this next half hour period to let myself be really angry, really irritated. And then I need to get it out of my system, let it go. And move on to something else. I’ve found that generally tends to work.


Appreciate the good things

One thing I’ve learned is that no matter what happens, at the end of the day, I’ve still got a lot to be grateful for.
I’ll have really bad days. Sometimes there’s so much going on, I can’t deal with it. I feel like tearing my hair out. I’m just done.
But then I can go home. I’m comfortable. I have a lovely girlfriend, amazing family, great friends I can talk to. It’s SO important to keep things in perspective, especially with the awful things going on in the world right now. So many people would love to have what I have, and that has made me massively humble. My bad day could be somebody’s best.
Sure I complain, feel upset, get angry about stuff. But I can’t justify staying as stressed out as I might feel initially. After half an hour of getting it out of my system, I focus on the positives. Appreciate the little things, and particularly the people in our life. I know I’ve got a lot to be thankful for, so I’m going to make the most of everything. That mentality has really helped me overall.


Thank you Rikesh


Find out more on dealing with stress & problems:

Grad Bites: Dealing with Stress – Mindfulness
Claire Derry talks about mindfulness and meditation, and how they can help reduce stress.
Where to go for Professional Help
Stress Busters
Stress survival guide
Grad Bites: Introducing CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)
Watch our video of Rikesh talking about CALM


Find out more about Rikesh

Rikesh is perhaps best known through his music – as RKZ, singer-songwriter, rapper and Spoken Word artist. His musical style has been described as ‘a fusion of alternative R&B, Neo-Soul and Hip Hop’. Check out the full video of his latest song ‘Notes’ here
Visit his website for more of his music, photography and information about other projects –


Contact CALM

CALM offers information, support & solidarity to men of all ages who are down & need help. They cover a whole host of issues including anxiety, alcohol & drugs, depression, eating disorders, financial stress, suicide etc.

The charity is targeted at men, but they will help anyone calling within the UK – no one is turned away.

Confidential, anonymous helpline: 0800 58 58 58

        Online, including webchat service: the CALMzone

        Free magazine: the CALMzine

Check out their latest campaign with Topman – supported by Love Island’s Chris Hughes – #DontBottleItUp