Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

9 Strategies to Cure Emotional Hangovers

Judith Orloff - Friday, April 28, 2017

Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's ” The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People,” a guidebook for empaths and all caring people who want to keep their hearts open in an often-insensitive world.

An empath absorbs the emotions of other people into their own bodies.

As an empath and psychiatrist, I know that feeling well.

Even though empaths may set excellent limits with energy vampires, it’s common for us to experience “emotional hangovers,” an energetic residue left over from the interaction. Toxic emotions can linger long afterwards which make you feel exhausted, beset with brain-fog, or ill. When dealing with drainers at work or at home, empaths often need time to recuperate later. In addition, try the following suggestions from my book “The Empath’s Survival Guide” to remove any hangover symptoms from an energy vampire encounter.

Protection Strategies

9 Strategies to Cure Emotional Hangovers

  • Enjoy the Shower Meditation. In a shower, stand under the stream of water and inwardly or aloud practice this affirmation: “Let this water wash all the negative energy from my mind, body, and spirit.” Feel the shower cleansing you, making you fresh, positive, and rejuvenated.

  • Use gemstones. Carry or wear a crystal, a black tourmaline, amethyst, or black obsidian to ground yourself and remove emotional hangovers. Shamans feel that if you carry or wear black, which doesn’t absorb light, you will be more protected. I wear a jade pendant of Quan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion. I love how jade changes according to your body chemistry over the years and protects you by responding to your emotional shifts.

  • Burn sweetgrass and other purifiers. This plant in Native American culture is used to purify a space. Its beautiful smell wafting through the air feels nurturing to my feminine energy. Sage is effective too. I also pick cypress sprigs, eucalyptus, and juniper to burn. Experiment with which plant aroma you respond to.

  • Use negative ion generators or salt lamps. These devices produce negative ions which clear the air of dust, mold spores, pollen, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, and viruses. They are also thought to remove leftover negativity in a home, office or other locations. (Your own shower, with its stream of moving water, also produces negative ions.)

  • Light a white candle. This sets a meditative mood and quickly removes unpleasant energy from any surrounding. White contains all colors of the spectrum and creates comfort and calm.

  • Spray rosewater or utilize other types of aromatherapy. The delicate scent of rosewater is lovely. I find it effective in removing an emotional hangover. Or, inhale lavender or peppermint oil. You can also put an essential oil in a diffuser which spreads the scent in the air. (Stay away from synthetic oils with toxic ingredients.) You can try lavender, peppermint, juniper, sage, or frankincense and myrrh. Experience the sublime scent purifying your energy and the room.

  • Get out in nature. Hug a tree. Do some Earthing to connect your bare feet with the ground. Rejoice in the flowers. Hold a rock in your hand. Breathe in fresh air to cure emotional hangovers. (Inhaling oxygen is a treatment for alcohol hangovers.) The purity of nature can restore your clarity and mood.

  • Create a sacred space for meditation. Place candles, incense, flowers, and/or a statue of Quan Yin, on a simple table in a quiet corner. Meditating in this sacred space protects you and builds positive energy, which is a balm for emotional hangovers.

  • Seek emotional support. If you feel negative energy lingering from a toxic interaction, say from a narcissistic boss or a critical spouse, you may need some extra help to remove it. Talking out the situation with a friend or therapist allows you to voice and dispel any remaining negativity.
  • Whenever you suspect you’ve absorbed emotions from someone else and feel an emotional hangover coming on, practice these strategies. They’re a way of clearing unwanted energy and emotions from your body.


    Judith Orloff, MD is author of The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People, upon which her articles are based. Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, the Oprah Magazine and USA Today. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Emotional Freedom, The Power of Surrender, Second Sight, Positive Energy, and Guide to Intuitive Healing. Connect with Judith on  Facebook and  Twitter. To learn more about empaths and her free empath support newsletter as well as Dr. Orloff's books and workshop schedule, visit her website.

    Stephanie Jackson commented on 04-May-2017 10:55 AM
    Thank you so much Judith for this enlightening book. I'd is changing my life for years I thought I was just imagining things and I thought I was just too emotional n trying to share my feelings with friends often got me labeled as as weird n treated with caution. Now I know better. Thank you for the clarity. I am grateful
    Angela commented on 04-May-2017 05:42 PM
    Thank you for the information. I find that my body holds a lot of this energy and will often get "stuck" somewhere showing up in different ways. For example, the recent passing of a friend's husband called for me to hold a lot of space for my grieving friend and after a a few weeks of that, we held the memorial and then I crashed. The next day I experienced a lot of pain in my auxiliary lymph nodes and concentrated pain in my breast.
    I have experienced several other more serious health conditions that I now recognize were related to absorbing a lot of familal issues, etc. Do these suggestions also work for illuminating this energy from your body?
    Janie commented on 06-May-2017 07:08 AM
    As a shamanic practitioner, I have used most of these excellent suggestions, for years.
    Who, and where, I am living, now; my housemate is severely, allergic to all scents, essential oils, sage,cedar.....no, not even, smudging outside is accepted. She picks it up. I have had a lot of challenges, with her issues(which I know, are likely, psychological, as well as, physical), in temporarily being unable to use aromatherapy and other of my core healing tools.
    I am using the crystals, and a wing, feathers, to remove the negative aftermath/emotional hangover from these interactions with her and others. Have noticed the same, symptoms, with e-mailing toxic like persons. The computer, has to cleansed regularly....it leaks darkness, at these times.
    Abby commented on 07-May-2017 02:18 PM
    I cannot thank you enough for your insights and information in The Empath's Survival Guide. I have always known I had many traits of an empath but never understood how to fully accept and embrace them as who I am. For 40 years I have felt misunderstood and worked so hard to "correct " my flaws. I truly did not realize this is just who I am and there's no shame in it. Reading this book makes me feel so uplifted and confident in my empath abilities rather than shameful for hating freeways, loud parties, fireworks and needing power naps daily. I find when I embrace this about myself rather than resist it, I am fully connected to God and the world . This book is really helping me do that. Thank you for making me see I'm ok. Finally .
    ADC commented on 22-May-2017 05:27 PM
    I would be interested in additional information on how an empath deals with the curveballs life throws our way. A death or divorce you didn't see coming or dating a widower (who is a rock but surrounded by emotional vampires).
    MARLENE commented on 25-May-2017 09:51 PM
    Why do memories from my past come up when im not even conscious of them at that moment. I was cooking & visioned my past self as a teen. It was quite emotional, i shed a few tears & felt a lump in my tbroat. I want to understand why its relevant to my present life.

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