If you’re feeling blue one day, everything you do or encounter on that day can feel pretty blue, too. Your whole day is colored with it and it may feel like nothing you can do will cheer you up or improve the day. If you’re tired of feeling unhappy and you want to try to make yourself feel better, the 15 mood boosters below are a great way to start. They may not help you if you have a condition that you need treatment for (such as depression or anxiety – if you have symptoms for more than a few weeks, see your doctor), but they will help to give you a quick fix. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do.
1. Smile Like You Mean it
The last thing you probably feel like doing is smiling, but smiling for a while can actually make you feel happier. There’s a science to it – what you’re actually doing is tricking your brain into believing you’re happy. Smile for as long as you can and keep doing it (although beware of looking like a maniac if you’re walking down the street minding your own business).
2. Enjoy A Great Coffee
Coffee enjoyed in moderation can be a very good way to boost energy levels and mood. Avoid instant coffee and treat yourself to one made by a professional barista, or use a coffee machine if you have one. Allow yourself things like milk or a milk alternative and some syrup and really enjoy it.
3. Go For A Run
Running might not be something you’re used to, but everybody has to start somewhere. Put on a pair of trainers and some fairly light clothes and go running. You could even just jog or walk to begin with. Pretty much any kind of exercise will help you to boost your mood, but there are so many running benefits you can enjoy! Just make sure that if this is something you’re going to stick to, you wear a pair of shoes with decent support or you could mess up your knees and arches. Try to focus on your running form, too, as this will help you to run for longer and avoid injury.
4. Do Something Creative
If you consider yourself a creative person, and even if you don’t, doing something creative can help you to feel more relaxed and accomplished. Here’s the thing with doing something creative: you don’t have to be good at what you do. All you have to do is do something. Write a bad short story. Paint a messy picture. Whatever you do, just make sure you have fun. Creative activities like this are great because we can get lost in them. This is why art therapy is so popular!
5. Unplug From Technology
Take the day to unplug from technology, or at least avoid it for a few hours. When we use technology, especially social media, we are bombarded with all kinds of different messages and content. Even if we don’t mean to consume certain types of content, it’s easy to come across it. This can put us in a bad mood or make us feel worse. It can also drain us and make us feel awfully fatigued. By taking more time to unplug from technology and live in the now, you’ll get more done, build deeper connections, and find ways to stop comparing yourself to people you don’t even know online.
6. See A Friend
Some people may be more introverted than others, but we all need human connection. See if you can arrange a social activity with a friend, even something simple, like lunch or a coffee. You could invite them over, or even just chat on the phone. This is a surefire way to feel better in no time.
Just make sure that if you decide to do this, you check with your friend before unloading onto them. Friends are usually great if you need to vent, but ensure they have the emotional capacity to listen to you vent – it’s only polite! You may drain them and share your low mood without realizing it. Don’t forget to ask them how they are either, and talk about things other than your problems. It really does help.
7. Start Reading A New Book
Reading a great story is an amazing way to get lost in another world and forget your problems for a while. Why not start reading that story that you’ve been meaning to read for ages? If you’re out of the reading habit, make time to read just a chapter, or even a few pages a day. You could do this before getting out of bed in the morning, before sleeping at night, or even on public transport. There are lots of opportunities to read more if only you make it your mission to find them (it’ll probably mean having to stop using your phone so much).
8. Get Started On A Task You’ve Been Putting Off
If there’s a certain task you’ve been putting off, just get started on it. Getting started can be the hardest thing, but once it’s done, you’ll feel so much better. If you’re in a particularly bad mood, you may want to go easy on yourself. Try picking a task that won’t take long to do and just get on with it. You might find that you can be quite productive, and this will help you to feel better in no time.
9. Take A Nap
Napping won’t erase all of your troubles, but it can help to give you a memory and energy boost, as well as other benefits. You can take a nap from 10-20 minutes, no more than 30 so you don’t feel groggy when you wake up (taking into account how long it takes you to fall asleep). You can have a longer nap, but you run the risk of feeling groggy and like you don’t want to get up afterwards. If you need to nap longer than 90 minutes, you’re probably not getting enough sleep and should work on improving your sleep hygiene.
10. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
We already mentioned exercise, but it’s not really classed as exercise if you’re just having a quick dance in your house to your favorite song. Put on a song that makes you feel like boogying on down and pull some of your best moves. You’ll feel so much better when the song is over, even if you know some of your moves need work. You could even follow tutorials on Youtube if you want to have a laugh. Jameela Jamil admits that she loves Zumba, but she has also said that she sometimes likes to do ridiculous dances while watching Youtube tutorials.
11. Take A Hot Bath With Salts
A hot bath with bath salts and bubbles is the perfect pampering activity. Take this time to yourself so that you can soak and relax. If you feel like it, you could even get one of those bamboo bath trays and make yourself a nice tea or juice, as well as use your tablet or phone to watch something you’ve been meaning to catch up on. You could also give yourself a facial to make it an even better pampering experience.
12. Make A Vision Board
A vision board can help you to come up with goals for the next few months – even the next year or few years depending on what you’d like to do! Some people like to create a board that includes everything, while others like to separate different things, like career, health and wellness, and so on. It’s up to you how you do it, just gather all of your materials together and make one you’re proud of. Enjoy the process, too. If you put it somewhere you can see every day, you might be surprised to see that some of what you wanted actually comes true!
13. De-clutter Your Space
Nothing feels quite as nice as a freshly cleaned and de-cluttered space. You don’t need to do your entire house, but you could pick an area like your office or study and get to work. Get rid of things you haven’t used for a long time by giving them to friends or to charity. Your fresh space will feel great, and you’ll feel so much better having given things to people who will use them.
14. Get Outside
We don’t get enough vitamin D in this day and age. Most adults need a vitamin D supplement to ensure they don’t become deficient – but nothing quite beats just getting outside! Even if you just go for a quick walk or have a read in your garden, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the sunlight should help you to feel better.
Next time you’re not feeling your best, try a few of the mood boosters listed here and see if they help you. Feeling your emotions is important, and distracting yourself isn’t always healthy. However, that doesn’t mean you should dwell. If you can lift your mood, then do it!