The Pessimist’s Guide to Breaking a Funk

Posted July 24, 2013 by Katherine Toll in Life After Five

My life caught up with me yesterday. After a few weeks of what felt like a relentless siege against my sanity, I decided to call it a day around 12:30pm. I went back to bed and woke up a few times during the afternoon. I contemplated getting up to exercise, but I knew the exercise would boost my endorphins, triggering a state of well-being and I wanted nothing to do with that damn state. Instead I put on the feel-bad classic, I Dreamed a Dream and sang along as Anne Hathaway sobbed out the lyrics…

When I was young and unafraid, and dreams were made and used and wasted. There was no ransom to be paid….sob, sob, sob.

Now, those are some epic ‘woe is me’ lyrics!

The Good News: At a point, I know I need to perform the psychological equivalent of Cher’s famous ‘Snap out of it’ technique first observed in the classic movie, Moonstruck and get on with my life. Lots of Career Girls hit bumps in the road.  It. Is. Perfectly. Normal.

But, I’m a bit of a tough nut when it comes to practical ways to pop out of a slump. You know those ‘glass half full’ kinda people? I’m not one of them. As a matter of fact, they irritate the hell out of me –even in my best of moods. So, the usual pop psychology drivel doesn’t work on me. It actually makes me feel…hmmm….what’s the right word….violent. Yes, that sums it up.

What’s that, you say? You find yourself in the same boat?

You’re a pessimist, too! Fabulous.

Then you’ll enjoy my top three dos and don’t’s for how to break out of a funk!


  1. Read, watch or listen to anything by or with David Sedaris. He’s my hero. The man is a pessimist’s dream. Genius. A true leader in the field.
  2. Find YouTube videos of parents pranking their kids. This one is guaranteed to break you out of a funk. #LYAO.
  3. Google ‘Melissa McCarthy Funny Clips’. Then watch them all….twice. I like this one from the critically trashed The Heat. Or, this one is good too. Not a bad one either!


  1. Watch any Ted Talks under any circumstances. They’ll simply depress you more and drive home the fact that you’ve accomplished nothing in your life.
  2. Read, watch, or listen to anyone’s battle with some sort of depressing issue. This technique blows up in your face. You just end up feeling really guilty….and bad about yourself. Like you’re a terrible person. And a weakling….like you can’t even be a good train wreck.
  3. And finally, under no circumstances, watch Dr. Phil. That man is just straight-up mean. Who needs his ‘tough love’ schtick during your time of self-pity? Really, don’t be silly, he’s an idiot. Truly. I love Oprah just as much as the next person, but she was wrong with him. Truth be told? Dr. Oz bugs me too.

What have I missed? CGN wants to know your way of breaking a funk: no judgement, just as long as you break it!

About the Author

Katherine Toll

Katherine (Kathi) Toll possesses more than 20 years of management and consulting experience within the retail and beauty industry. Her industry experience combined with her special brand of irreverence fuels her mission to find the ‘must-have’ beauty products for Career Girls of all ages. She aspires to remind women the airbrushed perfection of the beauty industry must be tempered with a healthy dose of humor. Kathi holds a general management certification from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, along with an undergraduate degree from Northwestern’s School of Communications.