A List of Feeling Words From A to Z

Help Your Kids Build an Emotional Vocabulary

feelings words infographic
Image: Amanda Morin (made by Wordle)

Parents often ask their kids to express themselves with words—"Use your words!" is a common playground refrain—but it's not easy for children. They are still exploring feelings. And they are sorely in need of an emotional vocabulary to hang these feelings on. There are many different activities you can use with your children on a daily basis to help increase their bank of "feelings words," including keeping a feelings journal.

 The key component in increasing emotional vocabulary, though, is having a large pool of words to choose from. ​

Learning to identify a variety of different emotions is a big part of cultivating your child's emotional intelligence and social competence. To help you and your child dig a little deeper, here’s a list of feelings words from A to Z. (You may find that this list is helpful for adults, too!)


angry, annoyed, agreeable, afraid, awkward, affectionate, anxious, alarmed, awful, abandoned, absent minded, accepted, aggravated


brave, bored, bothered, bewildered, brilliant, bitter, bashful, bad, blue, baffled, bummed out


confused, cheery, cooperative, caring, confident, calm, clumsy, curious, content, competent, compassionate, considerate, cautious, cranky, clever


disorganized, defiant, depressed, discouraged, delighted, disgusted, determined, disappointed, dumb, detached, destructive, daring, disillusioned, devious


energetic, encouraged, enthusiastic, embarrassed, edgy, excited, empathetic, envious, exhausted, eager, exuberant, expectant, enraged


friendly, funny, frightened, fearful, furious, foolish, fed up, frustrated, forgiving, flustered, fortunate


grouchy, guilty, great, groovy, grief-stricken, generous, greedy, grateful, gullible, grumpy, green with envy


happy, humiliated, hurt, helpless, hopeless, honest, horrified, hesitant, hilarious, humble, honored, heartbroken


irritated, interested, insecure, impatient, ignored, inspired, inadequate, irrational, ignorant, indifferent, irked, irresponsible, invisible


jealous, joyful, judgemental, jumpy, jaded, jocular, jinxed


kind, keen, knocked down, kooky


laid back, loving, lonely, labile, lackluster, light-hearted, likable, lost, lousy, lucky, lazy, loopy, leery


mad, mixed-up, meek, mean, miserable, malevolent, marvelous, magical, manipulated, manipulative, maternal, modest, misunderstood, mischievous, mopey, mistrustful, mellow, melodramatic, moody


nice, naughty, nasty, nauseated, nervous, nerdy, nutty, noble, noisy, neglected, neglectful, needy, needed, nifty, naive, nonchalant, nonplussed


okay, overpowered, overjoyed, over-the-top, obedient, obsessive, off, odd, offended, out-of-control, outraged, overloaded, overstimulated, obstinate, obligated


panicked, peaceful, playful, pensive, proud, peeved, patronized, peachy, perfect, peppy, pensive, puzzled, powerful, powerless, picky, pleased, psyched, petty, petulant, preoccupied


quiet, questioned, questionable, quirky, quarrelsome, quivery, qualified, querulous


respected, relieved, relaxed, resentful, rattled, refreshed, repulsed, rageful, rational, reasonable, reactive, ready, rebellious, reluctant, reassured, restive, restful, remorseful, reserved


sad, surprised, silly, smiley, scared, sorry, serious, stupid, shy, satisfied, sensitive, safe, stressed out, stubborn, sarcastic, sassy, spiteful, scornful, secure, serene, smug, snarky, snarly, sociable


thankful, tearful, thoughtful, terrific, talkative, tolerant, trusted, temperamental, terrified, timid, tired, tantrumy, troubled, tickled, torn, trustworthy, touched, threatened


understood, understanding, uneasy, uncertain, ugly, uncomfortable, unruffled, unafraid, useless, unimpressed, unappreciated, undecided, unique, unruly, up


vivacious, vain, vibrant, violent, valued, vital, vexed, volatile, vulnerable, victorious, vacant


worried, wacky, wary, weak, weary, weird, wistful, woeful, weepy, well, whiny, worn out, wound up, whimsical, warm, witty, withdrawn, worthless, wronged, willful, wishful




yucky, yappy, youthful, yielding, yearning


zany, zealous, zonked, zippy, zestful, zen

Related Reading and Activities: Activities to Increase Emotional Vocabulary and Ways to Keep Feelings Journals for All Ages

Goal: To provide children with a variety of different words to describe emotions and feelings.

Skills Targeted: emotional intelligence, social skills