25+ Quotes About Healing from Pain & Illness

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Having the bravery to console someone is very difficult. You might worry about not saying the right thing, or not saying enough. If you haven’t been in their situation, it’s easy to worry about being insensitive. And that’s a valid concern.

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You’d never want to make someone’s pain worse. But you might want to say something. Whether you’re comforting someone or looking for “rest in peace” quotes for a condolence card, the right words are important.

Inspirational Healing Quotes

Illness can sometimes drag out for a long time. And it’s often painful! When it comes to comforting someone, often all they need is a boost of encouragement. 

1. “Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” — Tori Amos, Author

No matter how weak you feel, everyone has that spark of courage. 

2. “It’s when we start working together that the real healing takes place.”  — David Hume, Philosopher

Hume, as one of the most influential philosophers who inspired Immanuel Kant and others, believed in simple truths. This was one of them. 

3. “The place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it.” — Cheryl Strayed, Author

Cheryl wasn’t born with the last name Strayed. Instead, she adopted it after a painful divorce, a new moniker that she earned only after finding ‘true healing.’

4.  “Healing yourself is connected with healing others.” — Yoko Ono, Artist

Sometimes, you can’t just focus on yourself. Yoko Ono was married to John Lennon, one-fourth of the famous Beatles, and a mythic figure in music. After his assassination, she knew just how hard healing could be.

5. “Part of the healing process is sharing with other people who care.” — Jerry Cantrell, Musician 

Being a musician like Cantrell requires a lot of sharing. It takes bravery, but it also can be inspirational to make good art. 

ยป MORE: Lost someone recently? We've been there. Let us guide you.

 

Spiritual or Religious Healing Quotes

Being conscious of someone else’s faith is a great way to comfort them. Some of these quotes are reminiscent of grief blogs or books on grief, which are also great resources. 

6. “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.” — Matthew 9:35 

Today, sometimes praying for a miracle is all that you can do. Even Jesus was persecuted and suffered from illness, which is a point of inspiration for many Christians. 

7.  “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name.” — Psalm 91:14

Most of the Psalms were written by King David. He suffered the loss of his children, his son tried to kill him, and he lived a tragic life. Even so, he still believed. 

8. “Truly distress has seized me, but You are Most Merciful of those that are merciful.” — Quran 21:83–84

In most monotheistic religions, the central deity as expected is all-merciful and all-powerful. This is the case when it comes to Allah as well. 

9. “Oh, Allah! The Sustainer of Mankind! Remove the illness, cure the disease. You are the One Who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant us a cure that leaves no illness.” — Traditional Muslim Prayer

Sometimes, you receive a cure that doesn’t stick. Instead, you’re sicker than you were before—and even more frustrated and hopeless. This prayer entreats Allah to prevent this from happening. 

10. “None of you should wish for death because of a calamity befalling him; but if he has to wish for death, he should say: "O Allah! Keep me alive as long as life is better for me, and let me die if death is better for me." — The Quran 

Faith is a crucial part of any believer’s life. And during the tumultuous times when the Quran was written, there was definitely a need for it. 

Funny Healing Quotes

If you knew someone with a special sense of humor, some of these could work as “gone, but not forgotten” quotes. 

11. "A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks." — Charles Gordy, Author

You might feel tired and exhausted. There’s no concealing what illness has done to your body, but that doesn’t mean a smile won’t make you beautiful. 

12. “It is a common delusion that you can make things better by talking about them.” — Rose MacAulay, Nurse and Author

Of course, therapy and leaning on others have their place. However, sometimes nonstop talking can be more than many bargained for when ill.

13. “Many people lose their tempers merely from seeing you keep yours.” —Frank Moore Colby, Writer and Historian

It’s easy to get frustrated and temperamental when you’re sick, but when you don’t advocate for yourself, it may frustrate those who love you more. Remember to speak up when sick.

14. “The truth hurts, and so would you if you were stretched as much.” — Author Unknown

The truth can be bitter medicine for many. However, a sobering dose of truth can sometimes beat a long-term poisoning of half-truths.

15. “I don't have a funny bone in my body; now I know why my surgeon's bills are so high.” — Rory R. Cuphist, Professor 

Sometimes, the answer is simple. After a career of teaching college students, Cuphist knew the value of humor. 

Quotes About Healing a Broken Heart

Not all illness is physical. The worst pain is sometimes invisible—and while that’s true for invisible illness, it’s also true for a broken heart.

16. “Happiness is the china shop; love is the bull.” — H. L. Mencken, Journalist 

You can’t always predict when a heartfelt calamity can shatter the world around you. Mencken was alive during the Great Depression and both world wars, which means he knew how quickly happiness can be taken away.

17. “Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart.” —Washington Irving, Author

It’s tempting to think of love as ‘wasted,’ like if someone broke your heart, what good did it do? Washington Irving was part of the Romantic literary movement, which means his work often focused on emotions and human responses.

18. “You ask everybody you know: How long does it usually take to get over it? There are many formulas. One year for every year you dated. Two years for every year you dated. It’s just a matter of willpower: The day you decide it’s over, it’s over. You never get over it.” — Junot Díaz, Author and Professor

There’s no simple recipe for overcoming heartbreak, no matter how many people tell you otherwise. It’s up to you and how you feel.

19. “It is strange how often a heart must be broken before the years can make it wise.” — Sara Teasdale, Poet 

Wisdom and love are sometimes the same thing. Teasdale says that in order to attain wisdom, you may have to experience pain in some circumstances. 

20. “Perhaps someday I’ll crawl back home, beaten, defeated. But not as long as I can make stories out of my heartbreak, beauty out of sorrow.” — Sylvia Plath, Poet

Plath was a lifelong creator. And even though she struggled with mental illness, she was still able to find and create beauty in the midst of her own struggles. In this quote, she lists her main coping mechanism as art. Even if she’s struggling and sad, she can turn it into something beautiful. 

Self-Healing Quotes

Relying on others for emotional healing doesn’t always work. Sometimes, the most empowering option is to do it yourself. Having the bravery to realize that you have a problem, and taking the steps to fix it, can be the mark of a hero. 

21. “Be brave enough to heal yourself, even when it hurts.” — Bianca Sparacino, Author

Finding courage deep inside yourself is an art. Sparacino, as a struggling author, knew how much bravery it took to overcome the wounds of rejection. 

22. ”The soul always knows what to do to heal itself. The challenge is to silence the mind.” — Caroline Myss, Author

Your mind will sometimes lie to you. It will say things like: ‘you’re not good enough,’ or ‘you’re not strong enough.’ Sometimes, you just need to shut out your mind and its’ cruel ‘logic.’ During those times, you need to sit quietly and listen to your soul. 

23.  ”Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.” —  Rachel Naomi Remen, Author

Healing isn’t just feeling better. It’s often a process of self-discovery and reinvention. If you’ve been broken, sometimes in ways that feel irreparable, it takes time to build yourself up again. And when you do, it’s up to you what that rebuilt person looks like. 

24. ”Healing is an inside job.” — Dr. B.J. Palmer, Teacher and Doctor

Even if you have the best doctors and therapists on your side, it still takes time to heal. After his career as a doctor, Palmer saw some patients that refused to get better, because it was all in their head. 

25. ”Healing is an art. It takes time, it takes practice. It takes love.” — Maza Dohta, Poet

It’s easy to want to rush healing. After all, you might have been sick or sad for a very long time. Wanting a quick fix is natural. But that doesn’t mean it’s always possible since healing isn’t a science. Like Dohta says, it’s an art. And you can’t rush art.

Helping Someone Else Cope

Dealing with your own loss or illness requires patience and trust in others. Trying to be someone else’s strong arm to lean on is even harder. That’s because watching someone you love in suffering and pain can feel infinitely more difficult than dealing with it yourself. 

There’s no magical method for helping someone cope. For some people, they’ll love having cards with beautiful quotes on hand. Others would love to be visited while they’re in the hospital. For other people, it’s the preparation that soothes their minds and grants them peace. In those cases, starting end-of-life planning would be a wonderful coping gift. 


Sources 

  1. Xavier University. “Muslim Prayers.” n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/prayer-index/muslim-prayers
  2. English Standard Version. “The Holy Bible.” 
  3. Xavier University. “Service Quotes.” n.d., www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/quote-archive1/service-quotes 
  4. Boston University. “Healer’s Art 2016 Quotes.” 2016, www.bu.edu/familymed/2015-healers-art-comments/
  5. Rasmussen College. “21 Healthy Lifestyle Quotes to Inspire You.” 19 July 2012, www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/health-sciences/blog/healthy-lifestyle-quotes-to-inspire-you/
  6. George Mason University. “Famous Quotes on Nutrition and Well-Being.” 13 October 2017, wbu.gmu.edu/famous-quotes-on-nutrition-and-well-being/
  7. George Mason University. “Famous Quotes on Mindfulness and Well-Being.” 23 October 2017, wbu.gmu.edu/famous-quotes-on-mindfulness-and-well-being/
  8. University of Southern California. “Top 25 Inspirational Quotes for Social Work Month.” 29 March 2017, dworakpeck.usc.edu/blog/top-25-inspirational-quotes-for-social-work-month

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