165 Pain Quotes for Painful Times

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Going through a painful time? These pain quotes are here to help you process your pain and find better feelings today.

We all have painful times in our lives, and look for ways to get through them.

Whether your pain is physical, emotional, or both, we hope the following pain quotes help you process and understand it so you can get past it and enjoy life again.

Top 10 Pain Quotes

People go through so much pain trying to avoid pain.

Neill Strauss

It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure.

Marquis de Sade
Chesty Puller quote "Pain is weakness leaving the body"
“Pain is weakness leaving the body.” – Chesty Puller

That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.

John Green

The pain will leave once it has finished teaching you.

Bruce Lee

Life is pain, so live it up while you can.

Ernest Hemingway

Nothing pains some people more than having to think.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Haruki Murakami quote "I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning"
“I can bear any pain as long as it has meaning.” – Haruki Murakami

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.

Kenji Miyazawa

My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.

Charlie Chaplin

Quotes about Pain

Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.


Pain is a fact. Suffering is a choice.

Naval Ravikant

Pain makes me grow. Growing is what I want. Therefore, for me pain is pleasure.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Behind every beautiful thing, there’s been some kind of pain.

Bob Dylan

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

Marcus Aurelius

Pain has its own noble joy, when it starts a strong consciousness of life, from a stagnant one.

John Sterling
Khalil Gibran quote "Much of your pain is self-chosen"
“Much of your pain is self-chosen.” – Khalil Gibran

From hurt comes pain, from pain comes change. If it hurts enough, change will happen.

Tripp Evans

The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure but to avoid pain.


Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

If experience is the mother of wisdom, pain is the father.


Pain is constant. You either suffer the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret.

Yvan Byeajee

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

Tony Robbins

Make friends with pain and you’ll never be alone.

Ken Chlouber

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.


It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

Julius Caesar

If you can sit with your pain, listen to your pain and respect your pain—in time you will move through your pain.

Bryant McGill
Paul Domenick pain quote "Pain introduces you to your highest self"
“Pain introduces you to your highest self.” – Paul Domenick

Just like there’s always time for pain, there’s always time for healing.

Jennifer Brown

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation.

Paolo Coelho

If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it. 

Zora Neale Hurston

You must possess strength to inflict pain, Bob.

The Joker, Batman (1989)

The greatest evil is physical pain.

St. Augustine

Pain is a part of growing up. It’s how we learn.

Dan Brown

Pain pays the income of each precious thing.

William Shakespeare

Sometimes pain can drive a man harder than pleasure.

Don Ingall

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever. 

Lance Armstrong

The art of life is the art of avoiding pain.

Thomas Jefferson

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

James Baldwin
Naval Ravikant quote "Pain is a great motivator"
“Pain is a great motivator.” – Naval Ravikant

We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to.

C.S. Lewis

Adventures are all very well in their place, but there’s a lot to be said for regular meals and freedom from pain. 

Neil Gaiman

In moments of pain, we seek revenge.

Ami Ayalon

The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before.

C.S. Lewis

Often it’s the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.


There’s beauty in pain, and everyone experiences it – and it’s a lesson.

Wynter Gordon

If I can see pain in your eyes then share with me your tears. If I can see joy in your eyes then share with me your smile. 

Santosh Kalwar

Pain is like a love affair. When it’s over it’s over.

Elyse Sommer

Pain is immune to empathy… like love.

Barbara Lazear Ascher

The pain that you create now is always some form of nonacceptance, some form of unconscious resistance to what is.

Eckhart Tolle
Margaret Atwood quote "Strange how we decorate pain"
“Strange how we decorate pain.” – Margaret Atwood

There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.

Erma Bombeck

I think that humans have a huge capacity to carry pain and sadness.

Henry Rollins

Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something. 

William Goldman

Life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom.

Arthur Schopenhauer

What comes out when life squeezes you? When someone hurts or offends you? If anger, pain and fear come out of you, it’s because that’s what’s inside.

Wayne Dyer

We don’t even ask for happiness, just a little less pain.

Charles Bukowski

But who can remember pain, once it’s over? All that remains of it is a shadow, not in the mind even, in the flesh. Pain marks you, but too deep to see. Out of sight, out of mind. 

Margaret Atwood

Neurosis is the natural by-product of pain avoidance.

Carl Jung

Experiencing Pain

Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.

J.K. Rowling

Sit with the pain until it passes, and you will be calmer for the next one.

Naval Ravikant
Ranal Currie quote "Stay focused on your purpose not your pain"
“Stay focused on your purpose, not your pain.” – Ranal Currie

The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body.

Publilius Syrus

Failure gave me strength. Pain was my motivation.

Michael Jordan

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Khalil Gibran

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul? 

John Keats

Don’t be scared… Women can handle the worst kind of pain. You’ll find out one day.

Gayle Foreman

No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.

Dalai Lama

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

Maya Angelou

Life is pain and the enjoyment of love is an anesthetic.

Cesare Pavese

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.

Bob Marley
Jim Morrison pain quote "Pain is meant to wake us up"
“Pain is meant to wake us up.” – Jim Morrison

We’ve all felt misunderstood during times of great pain.

Megan Devine

When it hurts – observe. Life is trying to teach you something.

Anita Krizzan

The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.

Lois Lowry

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

Jim Rohn

I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.

Walter Anderson

All pain is either severe or slight, if slight, it is easily endured; if severe, it will without doubt be brief.


If you can learn to endure pain, you can survive anything. Some people learn to embrace it, to love it. Some endure it through drowning it in sorrow, or by making themselves forget. Others turn it into anger.

Sara J. Maas

Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

Iain Thomas

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness.

Chuck Palahniuk

We cannot be more sensitive to pleasure without being more sensitive to pain.

Alan Watts
Tim Fargo quote "Don’t let pain define you let it refine you"
“Don’t let pain define you, let it refine you.” – Tim Fargo

Sometimes you weren’t supposed to share pain. Sometimes it was best just to deal with it alone.

Sarah Addison Allen

This horror of pain is a rather low instinct and… if I think of human beings I’ve known and of my own life, such as it is, I can’t recall any case of pain which didn’t, on the whole, enrich life.

Malcolm Muggeridge

God gave us pain to remind us we are alive, so we will learn to value the joys and beauty of the world.

Tom Corr

No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.

William Penn

If pain must come, may it come quickly. Because I have a life to live, and I need to live it in the best way possible.

Paolo Coelho

Sacrifice today for tomorrows betterment, you are willing to pay those payments with pain, because pain is just a message when you are fixing something that’s insufficient in your life.

Greg Plitt

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

C.S. Lewis

We can learn and change in a state of pain and suffering, or we can evolve in a state of joy and inspiration.

Joe Dispenza

Moving Past Pain

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.

Rumi quote "The cure for pain is in the pain"
“The cure for pain is in the pain.” – Rumi

When pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure.

Jane Austen

Turn your wounds into wisdom.

Oprah Winfrey

Satisfaction consists in freedom from pain, which is the positive element of life.

Arthur Schopenhauer

The best way of handling pain was to study it objectively.

Arthur C. Clarke

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

Thomas Paine

Remember anything you want that’s valuable requires you to break through short-term pain in order to gain long-term pleasure.

Tony Robbins

With time the pain eases, the body recovers and the brain figures out new ways to go on.

Frederico Chini

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.

Joseph Campbell

You may have had unfair things happen to you, but the depth of your pain is an indication of the height of your future.

Joel Osteen

Laugher is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.

Charlie Chaplin
Robert Greene quote "Move toward resistance and pain"
“Move toward resistance and pain.” – Robert Greene

It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.

Teddy Roosevelt

Our most beautiful dreams are born from our most unpleasant nightmares.

Matshona Dhliwayo

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 sun shine.

Alanis Morisette

The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.

Charles Dickens

Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.

Neil Gaiman

Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.

Bo Bennett

After the rain, the sun will reappear. There is life. After the pain, the joy will still be here.

Walt Disney

Pain can be controlled, you just disconnect it.

James Cameron

If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret.

Jim Carrey

Pain doesn’t hurt as much when you stop avoiding it.

Mel Robbins
"Passion is the bridge that takes you from pain to change"
“Passion is the bridge that takes you from pain to change.” – Frida Kahlo

My faith didn’t remove the pain, but it got me through the pain. Trusting God didn’t diminish or vanquish the anguish, but it enabled me to endure it.

Robert Rogers

Forget about winning and losing, forget about pride and pain.

Bruce Lee

Be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior. You are beneath the thinker. You are the stillness beneath the mental noise. You are the love and joy beneath the pain.

Eckhart Tolle

Pain is the only evil I know about. It’s the only one I can fight.

Walter M. Miller

If you’re never able to tolerate a little bit of pain and discomfort, you’ll never get better.

Angela Duckworth

Don’t get lost in your pain, know that one day your pain will become your cure.


Pain is a sudden hurt that can’t be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. 

C. Joybell C.

Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you can not bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.

Khalil Gibran

He who makes a beast out of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man.

Dr. Seuss

Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it.

Rabindranath Tagore
Robert Gary Lee quote "Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain"
“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” – Robert Gary Lee

Pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, or an hour or a day, or even a year. But eventually, it will subside. And something else take its place.

Eric Thomas

When I planted my pain in the field of patience it bore fruit of happiness.

Khalil Gibran

Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor. 

C.R. Strahan

Most people carry that pain around inside them their whole lives, until they kill the pain by other means, or until it kills them. But you, my friends, you found another way: a way to use the pain. To burn it as fuel, for light and warmth.

Lev Grossman

Painful Quotes

The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.

Ernest Hemingway

These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.


One thing you can’t hide – is when you’re crippled inside.

John Lennon

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.

James Baldwin

Growth in painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.


Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.

David Richo
"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings"
“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu

People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.

Jim Morrison

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin

Life is painful and messed up. It gets complicated at the worst of times, and sometimes you have no idea where to go or what to do.  

Alysha Speer

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

Carl Jung

Sometimes pain was like a storm that came out of nowhere. The clearest summer could end in a downpour. Could end in lightning and thunder.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Time doesn’t heal emotional pain, you need to learn how to let go.

Roy T. Bennett

The damage was permanent; there would always be scars. But even the angriest scars faded over time until it was difficult to see them written on the skin at all, and the only thing that remained was the memory of how painful it had been.

Jodi Picoult

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.

Laurell K. Hamilton

It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.

Rose Kennedy

Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.

Angelina Jolie

Some old wounds never truly heal, and bleed again at the slightest word.

George R.R. Martin

I don’t believe there is pleasure in life. I believe there is only relief of pain… We have to suffer to be on top.

Georges St-Pierre

Of pain, you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.

George Orwell
"Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother"
“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say ‘My tooth is aching’ than to say ‘My heart is broken.’ 

C.S. Lewis

To be good by nature is indeed fortunate but to become good is like walking on a double-edged sword; it takes a longer time and is more painful.

Umera Ahmed

There are ships sailing to many ports, but not a single one goes where life is not painful. 

Fernando Pessoa

My painting carries with it the message of pain.

Frida Kahlo

The tragedy of life is in what dies inside a man while he lives – the death of genuine feeling, the death of inspired response, the awareness that makes it possible to feel the pain or the glory of other men in yourself.

Norman Cousins

Moral wounds have this peculiarity – they may be hidden, but they never close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain fresh and open in the heart. 

Alexandre Dumas

It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.

Teddy Roosevelt

Pain, pleasure, and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence.

Frida Kahlo

The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain.

Lord Byron

Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly … and if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.

WM Paul Yong

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.


We hope these pain quotes help you get through the pain that is effecting you right now.

We all deal with painful times differently, but the important thing is to do so in a healthy way that helps process pain, learn from it, and come out better after it.

Pain doesn’t last forever, even if it feels like it. So dust yourself off and get ready for better times ahead.

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's lead editor and content writer, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.