Inspirational phrases can always help to shift our energy and boost our mood. In times of crisis like we’re experiencing now, meaningful and memorable words of wisdom can have even more resonance, giving us a fresh perspective or insight when we are feeling stressed or fearful and need it most. Keep them by your bedside. Tape them to the mirror or desk, write them down, and look at a couple whenever you feel in need of a little mental, emotional, or spiritual inspiration. Here is a collection of positive and powerful quotes that speak to what we’re going through now.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.

Martin Luther King Jr.

This iconic quote resonates perfectly at this moment in time, when we are all challenged to be our best selves.

Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.

Joseph Campbell, author

Similarly, Campbell understood that when things seem the hardest, human beings find the tenacity and inner resources to take on anything.

You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

—Marcus Aurelius

Aurelius and other Stoic philosophers urged us to step outside of our thoughts and be aware of them instead of being imprisoned by them. 

Danger gathers upon our path. We cannot afford — we have no right — to look back. We must look forward.

Winston Churchill

A great quote from the wartime British Prime Minister, really about the strength of the human spirit to endure. Yes, things are likely to get worse, but we can power through with courage.  

The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

—Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and  Holocaust survivor, author of Man’s Search for Meaning

Whatever is going on, we have the power to decide how we respond.

In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.

—Sun Tsu

These difficult times are giving us the opportunity to look inward, reflect on what truly matters, and connect with ourselves and our loved ones on a deeper level.

Logic will get you from A to Z; Imagination will get you everywhere.

—Albert Einstein

The physicist had endless curiosity and the quote is a reminder that humans have huge wells of imagination (as well as science) to draw from and to get us through the pandemic.

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A wonderful reminder from the 19th-century American philosopher about the value looking inside to find meaning.

The wound is the place where the light enters you.


A simple truth from the 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

Dr. Alexis Carrel, Nobel Prize-winning French surgeon and biologist

A reminder that there is no light without darkness — that applies to all of us and to life itself.

Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.

Eckhart Tolle, spiritual teacher

Philosophical words for our time.

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  • Elaine Lipworth

    Senior Content Writer at Thrive Global

    Elaine Lipworth is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster who has reported for a variety of BBC shows  and other networks. She has written about film, lifestyle, psychology and health for newspapers and magazines around the globe. Publications she’s contributed to range from The Guardian, The Times and You Magazine, to The Four Seasons Hotel Magazine,  Marie Claire, Harpers Bazaar,  Women’s Weekly and Sunday Life (Australia). She has also written regularly for film companies including Fox, Disney and Lionsgate. Recently, Elaine taught journalism as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University. Born and raised in the UK, Elaine is married with two daughters and lives in Los Angeles.