A Christmas Gift for You – Here Are 50 of Our Favorite Chronic Pain Quotes

Living with chronic pain can be a lonely and debilitating experience. But even in the darkest of times, the words of others can give you a sense of hope and positivity – something that's much needed during your journey with daily pain.

In this article, we bring together some of the team’s favorite motivational chronic pain quotes for building strength and resilience.

Snappy motivational quotes

Need a boost? You got this!

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” – Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women

“Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Robert H. Schuller, author of Tough Times Never Last

“Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.” – Steve Maraboli, military veteran and philanthropist

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” – Helen Keller, author and disability rights advocate

“Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” – Hippocrates, father of medicine

“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf.” – Scientist, author and founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

“Learning's a gift, even when pain’s your teacher.” – Michael Jordan, basketball legend

“There is literally nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so do not expect yourself to do so.” – liryae

“You are the sky – everything else is just weather.” – Pema Chödrön, American Tibetan-Buddhist and author

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott, author and and writing teacher

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.“ – Martin Luther King, Jr, social rights activist

"This too shall pass." – Persian proverb

“You have survived 100% of your worst days.” – unknown

“Instead of asking 'have I worked hard enough to deserve a rest?', I've started asking, 'Have I rested enough to do my most loving, meaningful work?'” – Nicola Jane Hobbs, therapist and author

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”Jim Rohn, motivational speaker

Lived experience & insight quotes (from people who get it!)

“Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst, and unsurprised for anything in between.” – Maya Angelou, author and and civil rights activist

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow.'” – Mary Anne Radmacher, author of Courage Doesn't Always Roar, and Sometimes It Does: Re-Defining Courage with Daily Inspirations

“Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove that we showed up for it.” – Hannah Brencher, author

“Acceptance doesn’t mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there’s got to be a way through it.” – Michael J Fox, actor and Parkinson’s disease activist. Watch his ‘Still’ documentary.

“Chronic pain is not all about the body, and it’s not all about the brain – it’s everything. Target everything. Take back your life.” – Sean Mackey, professor of pain medicine at Stanford

“There is an element and a very strong piece of me that believes pain is a microphone. My pain does me no good unless I transform it into something that is [good]... I hope that people watching it that do struggle with chronic pain know that they are not alone... I want people that watch it that think there's no way I live that way because they see me dance and sing, to know I struggle with things like them and that I work through it and that it can be done.” – Lady Gaga, singer and person living with fibromyalgia

“There is a point to changes like these. I have to move on to other things, to other conceptions of myself. I play golf. I still work. And I can be pretty happy just walking the land.” – Morgan Freeman, American actor and producer, and person living with fibromyalgia

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” – Napoleon Hill, self-help author

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Bob Marley, singer, songwriter, musician  

“I will not rescue you. For you are not powerless. I will not fix you. For you are not broken. I will not heal you. For I see you, in your wholeness. I will walk with you through the darkness. As you remember your light.” – Sheree Bliss Tilsley, Medicine Woman

“Don't speak negatively about yourself, even as a joke. Your body doesn't know the difference. Words are energy and they cast spells, that's why it's called spelling. Change the way you speak about yourself, and you can change your life.” – Bruce Lee, martial artist and actor

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl, Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor

“You can't calm the storm, so stop trying. Calm yourself. The storm will pass.” – Timber Hawkeye, author of Buddhist Boot Camp

“Within you, there is stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse, author of Siddhartha

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky, Canadian former professional ice hockey player and coach

“In resisting pain and trying to block it out, I’d also blocked out beauty and in opening to the pain I opened the door to a wealth of emotions such as love, tenderness and sensitivity.” – Vidyamla Burch, founder of Breathworks and author of Living well with Pain and Illness – Using mindfulness to free yourself from suffering

Knowledge is power

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Hard truth quotes

You may not like it but you have to feel to heal!

“When pain brings you down, don't be silly, don't close your eyes and cry, you just might be in the best position to see the sunshine.” – Alanis Morissette, Canadian-American singer songwriter

“And here you are living despite it all.” – Rupi Kaur, author and poet

“Do not resist your pain. Surrender to the grief, despair, fear, loneliness or what form the suffering takes. Witness it without labelling it mentally. Allow it to be there. Embrace it. Then see how the miracle of surrender transmutes deep suffering into deep peace.” – Eckhart Tolle, German-born spiritual teacher and self-help author

“Positive self-talk is to emotional pain as a pain pill is to physical pain.” – Edmond Mbika, self-help writer

“Healing severe or chronic pain, I believe, includes transforming our relationship to the pain, and, ultimately, it is about transforming our relationship to who we are and to life.” – Sarah Anne Shockley, author of The Pain Companion: Practical tools for Living with and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain

“Suffering equals pain times resistance.” – Shinzen Young, American meditation teacher and author

"The longer you have pain, the better your spinal cord gets at producing danger messages to the brain, even if there is no danger in the tissue." – Dr Lorimer Moseley, clinical scientist investigating pain in humans, co-author of Explain Pain and author of hundreds of articles, multiple books and chapters and keynote lectures globally

"Pain is a construct of the brain – 100% of the time." – Dr Lorimer Moseley

“People can learn to control and change their behavior, but only if they feel safe enough to experiment with new solutions. The body keeps the score: If trauma is encoded in heartbreaking and gut-wrenching sensations, then our first priority is to help people move out of fight-or-flight states, reorganize their perception of danger, and manage relationships. ….Once you start approaching your body with curiosity rather than fear, everything shifts.” – Bessel A. van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

“In the sea of life, pain is a tide that will ebb and weave, continually. We need to learn how to let it wash over us, without drowning in it. Our life doesn’t have to end where the pain begins, but rather, it is where we start to mend.” – Jaeda DeWalt, artist and poet

“The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.” – Gabor Maté, Canadian physician and author of The Myth of Norma - Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture

“Developing agency for where we place our attention is the first step to empowerment and transformation - if we can’t choose where we place our attention, someone else is choosing it for us or we are being dragged around by our habits!” – Jay Oren Sofen, meditation teacher and author of Your Heart Was Made for This: Contemplative Practices for Meeting a World in Crisis with Courage, Integrity, and Love

“Life is amazing. And then it's awful. And then it's amazing again. And in between the amazing and awful it's ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That's just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it's breathtakingly beautiful.” – L.R. Knost, author and social justice activist

“If you have made mistakes, even serious mistakes, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford, actress

“The mind is like tofu. It tastes like whatever you marinate it in.” – Sylvia Boorstei, American author, psychotherapist, and Buddhist teacher

“Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Sit with it. Even though you want to run. Even when it’s heavy and difficult. Even though you’re not quite sure of the way through. Healing happens by feeling.” – Dr Rebecca Ray, psychologist and author

“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.” – Buddhist proverb

I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” Mark Twain, American writer

Not funny enough?

And to finish up, we wanted to throw in a few funny memes too, because research shows, laughter really is one of the best medicines…

  • “Living with chronic pain is like trying to get comfortable on a cactus sofa.” – unknown
  • “I’m not an early bird or a night owl, I’m a permanently exhausted pigeon.” – unknown
  • “I remember being able to get up without making sound effects…good times.” – unknown
  • “If I woke up in the morning and nothing hurt, I would worry I was dead.” – unknown
  • “My therapist keeps telling me to stop comparing myself to other people – that life’s not a competition. Which, to be fair, is exactly what I’d say to someone I was trying to beat, too.” — Emily Murnane, writer, comedian

And, lastly, in case you need to be reminded, we will leave you with a great philosopher… Winnie-the-Pooh (via A.A. Milne, author and playwright):

“You are stronger than you seem, braver than you believe, and smarter than you think you are.”

Which is your favorite?

Choose one or more of these quotes, get them on a post it note, on your phone screen, write them on your bathroom mirror, but the important thing is to remember, you are not alone… You got this!

Keep the motivation and laughter going over on our Living well with Fibromyalgia Facebook Community or share your favorite motivational quote on social media and don't forget to tag us!

If you are seeking a bit more support, download our app today and join the thousands of people living well with fibromyalgia using science-backed tools.