Despair Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old despair quotes, despair sayings, and despair proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


Despair is the price one pays for self awareness. Look deeply into life, and you'll always find despair.

Irvin D. Yalom

Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.

Jo Nesbø

Despair gives the shocking ease to the mind that a mortification gives to the body.     

Sir Fulke Greville

The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.     

Marion Zimmer Bradley

Despair is our chance to wrestle with fire and come through.

Christina Baldwin

What we call our despair is often only the painful eagerness of unfed hope.

George Eliot

Even in my despair, I knew in a vague way that the Bible held hope for me in its pages. I just didn't know where to begin.

Joni Eareckson Tada

The most common form of despair is not being who you are.

Soren Kierkegaard

Despair is sometimes the great energizer of the mind, though sometimes its flowering may be sterile.

Taylor Caldwell

Despair is a cruel companion. It robs you of everything; especially the choices that still lie within your control.

Brownell Landrum

Despair doth strike as deep a furrow in the brain as mischief or remorse.

Bryan Procter

Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not.

J. R. R. Tolkien

Despair is most often the offspring of ill-preparedness.     

Donald E. Williams, Jr.

Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to go through life with virtue, justice and understanding, and to fulfill their requirements. Children live on one side of despair, the awakened on the other side.     

Hermann Hesse

Despair is the only genuine atheism.

Jean Paul

Despair is anger with no place to go.

Mignon McLaughlin

There is no love of life without despair of life.     

Albert Camus

Despair is for people who know, beyond any doubt, what the future is going to bring. Nobody is in that position. So despair is not only a kind of sin, theologically, but also a simple mistake, because nobody actually knows. In that sense there is always hope.     

Patrick Curry

My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.

L.M. Montgomery,

If you're in despair, you don't know how to be part of your own life anymore.

Naomi Wallace

Don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair.

Franz Kafka

Happiness is the greatest hiding place for despair.

Soren Kierkegaard

Despair lames most people, but it wakes others fully up.

William James

One of the greatest dangers of great dreams in your youth is waking up to despair as an adult.

Tice Davids

Despair is the price one pays for setting himself an impossible aim.     

Graham Greene

There are far too many silent sufferers. Not because they don't yearn to reach out, but because they've tried and found no one who cares.

Richelle E. Goodrich

Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair.

Andrew Solomon

We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.

Albert Einstein

One despairs of others so as not to despair too much of oneself.

Henri Petit

I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.     

Henry Miller