How many human feelings are there?

As humans, emotions are a significant part of our lives. From happiness to sadness, love to envy, and everything in between- we experience feelings every day. However, have you ever wondered how many human feelings exist? Is it possible to count them all? This article will delve deep into this fascinating topic and explore the different types of human emotions.


Before we dive deeper into exploring the human emotion spectrum, let’s take a moment and understand what emotions are. According to psychology experts [1], “An emotion is a complex psychological state that involves three distinct components: a subjective experience, physiological response (changes in heart rate or breathing), and behavioural or expressive response.”

Now that we know what emotions entail let’s go ahead and explore how many emotional states humans possess.

Basic Emotions

Most researchers agree that there are six basic human emotions:
Joy: An intense feeling of pleasure.
Anger: A strong feeling of hostility towards something/someone.
Sadness: Feeling unhappy because something went wrong.
Surprise: Experiencing unexpected reactions from people or situations around us
Fear: An intense sense of worry caused by danger or threat
Disgust: Expressing revulsion when exposed to an unpleasant smell taste or thing.

These core emotional responses played crucial roles in our survival as early humans since they helped us evaluate risk factors quickly [2] making decisions about potential threats effectively; which indicates why today these still play extensive roles daily.

To enhance our planning techniques at difficult times especially decision-making strategies — being aware could keep someone on their feet so they won’t end up heading down slippery slopes where things go awry without warning!

Moving on from the basics -let’s get even more profound with understanding other less common yet equally important aspects related complicated ones too !

Secondary Emotions

Not all emotions can be placed into one of the six primary categories; hence researchers have identified tertiary and quilted subclasses, which can further define human emotion. In addition to basic emotions like joy/anger – there are numerous complex secondary feelings that encompass LOVE/AFFECTION as well along with:


Defined as a feeling of jealousy or anger towards someone who has something we desire.


A response when you feel distress because your self-worth is at stake, typically resulting from some social blunder or mistake made in public.


Feeling responsible for wrongdoing and want to make amends since not doing so could lead to shame.

### Curiosity:
A sense of a sincere interest in learning about new things that fire up enthusiasm within individuals—making exploration easier.

### Hopelessness:
It’s an intense feeling where bringing improvement seems impossible no matter how hard they try.

Talking about secondary ones makes me think how humans have more than just mere physiological changes but also highly sophisticated cognitive structures through which people lens experience subjectively (Nielsen et al., 2012) ie these aspects consist awareness before thoughts feelings sensations like colors/taste/smells etc.

Tertiary Emotions

While Basic And Secondary emotions cover a wide range of human reactions, other tertiary ones exist largely due to social grouping patterns such as shared expectations/values held within particular communities/cultures around certain situations like death/funerals/imprisonments/politics,

Examples include:

  • Schadenfreude: finding pleasure in someone else’s misfortune.
  • Saudade: OUtcomes after looking back fondly on his/her past home country raising memories/emotional reactions related
    to experiences passed here.
  • Ambivalence: Mixed Feelings – equally experiencing both positive/negative responses simultaneously without writing off either side entirely.


While it may seem challenging to count how many human emotions are out there, the truth is that this figure will keep changing as we continue to appreciate and understand our emotions better. Each emotion a person experiences holds significance – from how it triggers physical changes in your body to what behavioral response it evokes.

Hence being sensitive towards one’s own emotional journey can make a difference both within us and outside those around- affirming connections/Relationship much healthier than before.

So, whichever roads you travel on may seem uncertain at times, remember always embrace vulnerability & transparency; eyes wide open- thrill awaits!

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