11 Powerful Grief Activities for Teens

Losing a loved one or friend can be a challenging and overwhelming time for anyone, but as a teenager, it can be especially hard. Finding grief activities for teens can be a helpful way for teens to express their emotions, cope with loss, and connect with others that have or are going through similar experiences. 

mom with crying daughter with blue border with white text "Grief activities for teens" Help your teen work through grief

Grief Activities for Teens


Journaling can be a powerful grief activity for teens. It allows them to put all their thoughts and feelings on paper and is one of the most powerful grief techniques. Don’t limit journaling to a book this can be a letter to the one they lost, a daily journal, or even creating a memory book of different times they shared with their friend that past. 

Write A Story

Another great form of journaling is writing a story. Create a story about the relationship you had with your loved one who passed.  

How and when did they meet?  What were the circumstances?  How did they build their relationship?  What adventures did they have with this person they have lost?  They can keep it real and write down every detail or change the circumstances and outcomes of different events.  Building connections through a story can help your teen process feelings of friendship, love, and loss. 

Art Therapy

Art therapy is becoming more and more common, and for good reason. It is a therapeutic outlet for teens to express their emotions in a non-verbal way. This could be drawing, painting, sculpting, or other arts. While they draw they can put their feelings to paper and create some of the most beautiful art in the process. 

Memory Box

Grab a shoe box or head to the local craft store and buy a hat box for your teen to decorate.  Using newspaper clippings, pictures, poems, and ticket stubs, decorate the inside and outside of the box.  Gather special items and memories from your relationship with the person who has passed away to place inside the box.  Items could include pictures, music CDs, tickets to a concert, etc. 

Have your teen talk about their memories and what they enjoyed about the activities and adventures that these items represent.  

Physical Activity

Physical activity is a great grief activity for teens. This helps them learn to cope and reduce the stress that they are feeling. Encourage them to go outside and walk, go for a run, do yoga, or join a sports team. 

A few other physical activities they may like are:

  • Play kick the can.  Put on your sneakers, find an empty can, and head to a park where you can be by yourself.  Kick the can as hard and as much as you want.  With every kick, allow yourself to feel and process the emotions of sadness and loss. 
  • Take a soccer ball and kick the ball as hard as you can into a net. 
  • Play basketball or shoot some hoops.
  • Go hiking.  Get out of your house, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while thinking about your loved one.  


There is power in volunteering, especially when you are feeling pain. This helps them give back in meaningful ways and make a difference in other people’s lives. As they volunteer, they will begin to have a new perspective on situations and a sense of purpose and build resilience. 


Teens love music, and listening to music can help us express our emotions.  Ask friends and family members to pick their favorite song and what it means to them.  Have them explain how this song reminds them of the person who died or what they feel when they hear the song.  Sharing music can help carry individuals through the grief process and can help cleanse the soul. 

Practicing Mindfulness

Participating in mindfulness activities can help your teen cope with the loss of a friend or loved one. As they practice mindfulness it will bring a sense of calm, self-awareness, and acceptance into their life.

They Said What!

Sometimes friends and family who are trying to help say the wrong thing, and instead of bringing peace and comfort, their comment is hurtful.  Comments that are perceived as hurtful do not help your teen process their feelings. Keep an open line of communication and have your teen write the comments down, share them, and say them out loud.  Have them share how the comments made them feel.  This is a great activity to get your teens talking and sharing their feelings, and this is a great way to gain insight into their emotions and feelings. This is also a good opportunity to talk about empathy and forgiveness and remember everybody grieves in a different manner.        

Express Gratitude

In the midst of sadness and grief, it is easy to lose sight of everything happening around you.  With your teen, discuss the good things you have in your life.  Take time to express gratitude for the positive things in your life, and have your teen do the same.  This will help you both maintain perspective and see things clearly.  You can take turns expressing gratitude for the lessons you have learned from the person who died. Start a gratitude journal to start to recognize all the little things that you are grateful for, even with the pain that you are feeling. 

Support Groups / Counseling

Connecting with others is a great way to help teens handle grief. There they will talk with others who are experiencing the same situations in which they are going through. There are many teen support groups in person and online. 

If the grief is too much for your teen to handle, seek professional help from a grief counselor. They can help your teen navigate this unfamiliar situation in which they are trying to handle. 
Participating in grief activities for teens is a powerful way to navigate losing someone both emotionally and physically. From journaling to physical activity to different forms of therapy, there are a variety of different ways to help your teen heal from the loss that they are feeling. As they overcome the pain that they feel they will begin to build resilience and have a renewed sense of strength and purpose.        

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