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."