How To: Throw Yourself a Pity Party

Posted 01/19/12 by Kate Arends

Readers- It may be the time of the year, but I’ve been a little down in the dumps lately. I do my best to keep positive, but sometimes when a string of bad luck comes your way you can’t help but whine “Why me!?”. When I was in my (very) early twenties, my roommate and I did a lot of whining about the growing pains associated with becoming real “adults”. The self-pity fest was most often accompanied by a gigantic piece of chocolate cake and multiple glasses of wine. Soon enough we were laughing about the heaviest things on our minds.

Over the years I’ve realized that wallowing in self-pity is just a pitstop on your way to accepting the bad things that happen to you. So why not have a little fun with it? Soon enough you’re looking towards better things.

So party away, my friends.


1. Alcohol. Whatever floats your boat.
2. Lounging gear. Opt for cozy knits and a warm water bottle to hug.
3. Food. Sometimes only ice cream will do the trick.
4. Music, Movies & Journaling. I’ve watched Casablanca since high school and it still does the trick. I also posted my weepiest tunes on 8tracks and Spotify. Totally subjective and personal, but yeah, Radiohead makes me bawl.

Best Practices (for good measure):

1. Lay off the social media. This is an intimate party and odds are you’re not your “best self” in this state of mind. And let’s be honest, it’s probably pretty irritating to everyone else, too.
2. Reach out to someone you can trust if you need support. Talking through things often helps us move on.
3. Remember that everything looks better in the morning light. You’ll feel better tomorrow, I promise.

Links: celebratory banners / I recommend scotch / sweater / hot water bottle cover / wool undies / ice cream spoon / batch ice cream / casablanca / journal /

Comments (111)  /   1

  1. your spotify playlist only has one song on it.

    Jan 19 2012 | AnnaD
  2. thanks anna, im trying to fix it

    Jan 19 2012 | Kate
  3. I rarely leave comments on anything…but this was so sweet and endearing. I hope your sads go away quickly!

    Jan 19 2012 | Meredith
  4. Hah! I love this!

    Jan 19 2012 | Lauren O'Neill
  5. Girl after my own heart. I always say that if you’re going to do anything you should do it with a level of enthusiasm. So when I’m bitching I remind myself that ” I enjoy the complaining. ” It always makes me giggle and lifts the weight pretty quickly.

    Jan 19 2012 | Desi
  6. i love that, desi! i’m doing my best to embrace that kind ‘tude.

    Jan 19 2012 | Kate
  7. Oh man! My pity parties have been all wrong for years. I like your approach much better. πŸ™‚ Feel better my friend!

    Jan 19 2012 | Leah @ Freutcake
  8. I used to do the same thing with my college roommates!! We had a play list and everything for those sort of days! It was so clichΓ© and sorrowful that we would end up in fits of giggles over the sappiness. Steel magnolias and terms of endearment were our go to movies for when we needed a good cry…having amazing girlfriends around you gets you out of those dumps real quick! Feel better!

    Jan 19 2012 | cashmeredreams
  9. This is absolutely wonderful. Also, Batch Ice Cream is absolutely amazing. Have you tried the salted caramel? Omg.

  10. I haven’t! That’ll be on my list for my next party πŸ˜‰

    Jan 19 2012 | Kate
  11. Amazing timing, Kate! I’ve felt so overwhelmed by work/life this week and felt a little under water. Which is actually a really strange feeling for me since I’m generally level-headed and optimistic! But, it’s all about embracing every part of life.


    p.s. wine definitely helps πŸ™‚

    Jan 19 2012 | Katie
  12. Love. And true. Especially the social media part. Woofta.

    Jan 19 2012 | Melissa Oholendr
  13. LOVE it.

    Jan 19 2012 | Jennie
  14. YES. You’re right on every account here. When I’m in a funk, I find that the best thing to do is to drop everything and go eat and drink with a friend. That always makes me feel better. And the title of that notebook literally made me bust out laughing. I could fill a whole notebook with “boys I have met, and how they have proceeded to disappoint me.”

    Jan 19 2012 | Cookie and Kate
  15. Too funny. Love that ice cream package design. I guess it’s her party and she’ll cry if she wants to πŸ™‚

    Jan 19 2012 | Amber
  16. Love this ever so much!!

    And thank you for advising people to avoid social media. Facebook status whiners are the worst! :9

    Jan 19 2012 | Amanda
  17. Love this! Such a clever post, and all too true!

    Jan 19 2012 | Ranu
  18. This is such a sweet post; really good advice. I also love your playlist!

    Jan 19 2012 | Finn
  19. I’m so sorry you’re feeling under the weather, but I love your perspective on those rough times. Don’t party too long though. Good things are around the corner!

    Jan 19 2012 | Josephine
  20. You just made this the most appealing pity party! The Scotch print is delightful!

    Jan 19 2012 | Danielle L
  21. What a positive spin on pity parties! Thank you for the tips!

    Jan 19 2012 | Amanda
  22. Beautiful post, Kate—from the layout to the items to the text. Really solid. xo

    Jan 19 2012 | Ana
  23. Love this. Sometimes you’ve just gotta embrace feeling sad before you can move on. Can I still wear all of that cosy stuff though even on a happy day? πŸ˜‰

    Jan 19 2012 | Ana Maria / Anamu
  24. How funny, I am in the middle of the biggest pity party ever. These tips are perfect for my state of mind. I was just working on a blog post about trying to pull myself out of it…maybe I will stay a little longer πŸ™‚

    Jan 19 2012 | Keely
  25. Whiskey (straight please) is definitely a must when attending my own pity party along with cozy clothes and a shoulder to lean on. Hang in there. xo

    Jan 19 2012 | Down and Out Chic
  26. Oh my. This is spot on. I was JUST thinking about pity parties today. Sometimes I like to feel very very very very very sorry for myself. Sometimes it’s fun to watch a movie like Simon Birch. Sue me! Give this girl some ice cream and shallow reality television, and I’ll call it even with the baditude.

    Jan 19 2012 | Becky
  27. seriously ice cream is my savior!

    Jan 19 2012 | Lisa
  28. Oh poop! I’m so sorry to hear things haven’t been at all stellar for you. Sometimes it just feels like life throws one thing after another at you. I do like your prescription for dealing with it – best to just embrace the blah-blues and as you said things always look better in the morning. Sending you warm thoughts and a hug. Take care, Annie x

    Jan 19 2012 | Annie
  29. January has definitely left me down in the dumps but this reminds me that sometimes that can be quite fun (if you have ice cream and liquor down there with you!)

    Jan 20 2012 | Nadine
  30. I totally love this post. My bestest friend is coming down for the weekend and I am going to organise one of these. We can get it all out of our systems and generally have a great time moping and feeling sorry for ourselves. Bliss. A good cry always does me the world of good.

    Jan 20 2012 | Chuck
  31. Brilliant post! Exactly kind of thing you hope to see once in a while on blogs, but rarely do. Something about gloomy January–always has same effect on me no matter where I live. Love the list–especially the journal and knitted briefs.

    Jan 20 2012 | Christine
  32. This is so awesome and so what I needed to read today. I don’t know why January is like this – don’t all the magazines say it’s supposed to be an exciting time for a fresh start? – but I completely empathize with you in this and feel like maybe a pity party is just the thing I need: to let it all out and be done with it. Looks I’ve got my Friday night plans.

    Thanks for this, and I hope things start getting better. For what it’s worth, your blog is one of my very favorites – so beautifully designed and very smart.


    Jan 20 2012 | Laura
  33. This is the best! I totally agree, it’s pretty satisfying to just vent and bitch with your best friend for awhile!

    Jan 20 2012 | Michelle
  34. One of your readers said this before and it is so, so true for me- your blog [you!] make my life better!

    thank you for everything you share, you really are the best. hope you kick those blues soon, xo

    Jan 20 2012 | sodearly
  35. Oh, you’ve read my mind!

    Jan 20 2012 | NameVivi
  36. Please tell me where I can get my hands on those uber cute wool undies!?!?!?!

    Jan 20 2012 | Bonnie
  37. Love this!

    Jan 20 2012 | Stephanie
  38. I especially like the banner, actually – makes it feel like a real party.

    Jan 21 2012 | Hayden
  39. Sorry you were feeling down in the dumps; hope the pity party helped!

    xo Jennifer

    Jan 21 2012 | {gemmifer}
  40. The “I recommend Scotch” card is by Oblation Papers and Press ( in Portland, Ore. I work there and it’s very lovely to see us represented on your blog πŸ™‚

    Jan 22 2012 | Kristine Joy
  41. Thank you so much Kristine, I had a really hard time tracking that one down. It was a huge hit!

    Jan 22 2012 | Kate
  42. Sorry to hear you’ve been down, Kate! We’ve all been there (as I’m sure you know!) When I’m down, I like to do stuff that reminds me what I love (about where I live, about my friends and family, my work, etc.). A string of bad luck only means a string of good luck is sure to follow πŸ™‚ xx

    Jan 22 2012 | Kasey
  43. i am WAY GUILTY of twitter whining. thx for the handslap πŸ˜›

    Jan 22 2012 | esb
  44. amen sister! thanks for reminding me of ways to kick my blues away. martinis, music (played really loud) and a good night of restfull sleep always seem to help me….and you’re right about social media. ha!

    Jan 22 2012 | m.fay
  45. Pray tell who makes those beautiful knit intimates!!

    Jan 22 2012 | Erin
  46. Hahaha! this is so funn.! And practical too πŸ™‚ I love it.
    Hope you’re in a better mood now.

    Jan 23 2012 | Sonia
  47. Pity party must include an old movie classic and ice cream!

    Jan 24 2012 | Sweet Harvest Moon
  48. GREAT post. I hope Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice cream and Breakfast at Tiffanys are also acceptable substitutes πŸ™‚

    Jan 24 2012 | Jess
  49. Oh I’m so happy that I found my way over here from Freutcake! I totally threw myself a pity party on Monday night, which included a very hearty glass of red wine, or two, or maybe it was three. Regardless, I woke up on Tuesday morning with a slight hangover and a brand new positive attitude!

  50. Seriously WHERE are those knit underpants from?!

    Jan 27 2012 | AnnaS
  51. best practice #1 is so spot on! what a great post.

    Jan 27 2012 | Stephanie
  52. Hahaha YES

    Jan 27 2012 | Eliza Jane
  53. Love this! I’m linking to it on my blog because it fits perfectly with my mood today. Living abroad is wonderful but it can make for some pretty amazing pity parties! Thanks!

    Jan 28 2012 | Rebecca
  54. Seriously, where can I get or at least who makes these underwear. I have been trying to track them down and can’t. I’m obsessed, they look so comfy!

    Jan 28 2012 | Lindzi
  55. Oh, yes. My pitty party last week was no where near as good as this one! For one thing, I did not have cashmere undies or a warm water bottle. Guess I have to try again next week πŸ™‚

    <3 Kate

    Jan 28 2012 | Kate
  56. Simply Fabulous! Totally love the embrace of some down in the dumps time! It makes you feel good when you come out the other side and realise it’s all going to be alright in the end πŸ™‚ thanks xxx

    Jan 28 2012 | SAMANTHA BRENNAN
  57. What an amazing post, I think many of us suffer from mid-January blues, I know I had my own mini-meltdown just the other day, for me my pity party involved a new copy of Vogue, a large hot chocolate, a LARGE slice of chocolate cake, a moan to some good friends and my mum, and an early night. Felt much better the morning after! Hope your January blues leave you soon! xxx

    Jan 29 2012 | Amy Ditchfield
  58. I…. I’m amazed. Every single provision and practice listed is impossibly accurate. A friend sent this to me because both my grandpa and dog died this week, and also it’s just that time of year, so I’m in great need of a pity party. How in the world did you know that all I want is a comfy sweater, coffee ice cream, scotch and a journal? AND THAT PLAYLIST. Of the ten songs I’ve heard thus far, FIVE are seriously among my all-time favorites.

    I normally don’t comment on things but I’m pretty sure we’re the exact same person.

    Overall, I’m impressed and grateful for such a delightful post.

    Jan 29 2012 | JEREMIE
  59. I think i’ll do this the next time i hold a pity party.

    Jan 31 2012 | TelePak
  60. This is PERFECT! I’m going to keep this in mind for those crummy days.

    Feb 01 2012 | Hannah Love
  61. I Love this!

    Feb 02 2012 | H*
  62. this is ridiculously awesome!

    Feb 06 2012 | bradee
  63. This is the most stylish pity party ever. Love it!

    Feb 07 2012 | Brooklyn Galley
  64. Wait, seriously, how do I go about purchasing those wool undies?! They’re amazing! I can’t figure out the site they link to πŸ™

    Feb 11 2012 | Natalie
  65. This is hilarious. Spot on! People ARE disappointing and sometimes a pity party is just the thing one needs to proceed with life.

    Apr 05 2013 | erin
  66. hahah – I enjoy a good pity party occasionally, although I’m more a fan of bread and salt than ice-cream as my pity party snacks of choice!

    Jan 21 2014 | Lisa
  67. This has come in handy SO many times…

    Oct 06 2014 | Bethany Everett
  68. Love it, Bethany!!!!

    Oct 06 2014 | Kate
  69. Great clothing, i like it. Maybe i will buy some thing from this picture.

    Nov 24 2015 | tour budapest