Discover weekly, the best short stories

Looking for a steady supply of sad short stories? Every week thousands of writers submit stories to our writing contest.

9210+ Sad Short Stories to read

Submitted by writers on Reedsy Prompts to our weekly writing contest. Do you ever need to break your own heart? We see you. Grab a tub of ice cream or a box of tissues and settle down with some of the best, really sad short stories to make you cry.

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The Best Sad Short Stories

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many of us like a nice Nicholas-Sparks-level cry from time to time (sharpens those empathy skills, no?). Reading sad short stories can help you release your own emotions, and make you feel more connected to the world around you. Narratives of separation, pain, heartbreak, nostalgia, and loss are undeniably important in bringing people together.

It’s strange but true that reading sad short stories when you’re wallowing in your own negative emotions can actually provide some much-needed comfort. Maybe it’s that we recognize that others have felt our feelings before, in a sort of literary camaraderie; maybe it’s just that we feel validated. Either way, a good sad short story (especially a sad love story!) can be balm for the soul.

You’ve come to the right place

On this page, you can read all the sad short stories submitted to our weekly writing contest — and we’ve put winning or shortlisted stories up top for your convenience. They’re written by a diverse group of writers and are guaranteed to hit you right in the feels. Whatever kind of sadness you’re looking for, we’ll have a story for you. And since this is quite a broad category, you can also look out for additional tags on every story you click on, so you can easily determine which stories suit your mood. You can also find our favorite stories from across genres anthologised in Prompted, our new literary magazine — be sure to pick up your free copy!