Hillary Clinton has laid bare her disappointment at her election defeat to Donald Trump in her first public appearance since she lost a week ago.
The Democratic candidate said in a speech in Washington DC that she had never wanted to leave the house again.
She told a children’s charity that the election had prompted soul-searching for many Americans.
Mrs Clinton won the popular vote but was beaten to the presidency in the all-important US electoral college.
“Now I will admit coming here tonight wasn’t the easiest thing for me,” she said as she was honoured by the Children’s Defense Fund.
“There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do was to curl up with a good book and never leave the house again.”
She continued: “I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election. I am, too, more than I can ever express.
“I know this isn’t easy. I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was.
“The divisions laid bare by this election run deep, but please listen to me when I say this.
“America is worth it. Our children are worth it. Believe in our country, fight for our values and never, ever give up.”
In her concession speech after her shock defeat last week, Mrs Clinton said rival Donald Trump must be given the chance to lead.
Since then she has kept a low profile, although she was spotted while out walking.
In a phone call leaked to US media she also blamed her loss on FBI director James Comey, who announced a new inquiry into her use of a private email server in the run up to the vote.