There's something about New Year's Day that always brings up emotions I didn't even know I was holding onto. But what is it exactly that makes New Year's Day so emotional and, sometimes, even sad?

Around the holidays, there's such heightened pressure to be happy. It's hard to accept your true feelings while desperately holding onto the idealized way that things are "supposed" to be. Everyone struggles with their emotions sometimes, but there's such a sense of guilt that comes along with feeling sad on the holidays. It almost seems like if you're not having the best day of your life, you're doing something wrong.

In my experience, I always fail to keep those bottled-up, negative emotions inside. These feelings almost always rise to the surface with more intensity than they would've had if I had just dealt with them originally. Before I know it, all of my unacknowledged sadness, confusion, and worries from the past year are spilling out of me, and I have no idea how to even begin to manage it all.

If you cried on New Year's Day as I did, here is what I want to tell you:

You don't ever have to apologize for feeling a certain way. Emotions are strange, and the worst ones always seem to show up at the wrong times. But making yourself feel guilty for feeling them as if you've missed out on or ruined something, will only make you feel worse in the long run. Let yourself feel, and let those feelings run their course. Pushing down your true emotions to power through an arbitrary holiday is not healthy, and it doesn't really make sense either.

You do not have to worry about starting the year off on a "bad" note because being sad isn't a bad thing, it's just something that happens sometimes. Feeling sad is inevitable. This year is not predestined, it is what you decide to make it. This year will become what you want it to be. So don't take no for an answer, and don't take melancholia for a curse. The next 364 days are yours to fill with whatever you choose.

Remember that the best times cannot exist without some sad times along the way. All of this is just part of your journey. And if it just feels like a whole lot of bad times right now, at least you know that the good times are waiting ahead.

Be happy. Be sad. Be whatever you need to be in this moment. Whatever you are, just let yourself be.