The 12 Best Ways To Lift Your Mood Right Now

Everyone encounters blue days every now and then; they’re a part of the human experience. With happiness comes sadness, with positivity comes negativity, with sunshine, comes the rain. We must assume and accept that the down days will and do occur, and that’s not always in our control.

What causes you to have a bad day?

Bad days can be caused by many things, both tangible and intangible.

Your car might not start in the morning, your dog could’ve torn up your favorite shoe, you might have woken up late and had to skip breakfast, you could’ve found out you didn’t get the promotion at work.

Days like this are to be expected. Yes, you will most likely experience more good days than bad, but you must expect a bad day to be sprinkled in the mix on occasion.

Bad days keep you on your toes, and they allow you to truly appreciate good days when they transpire.

Can you turn a bad day around?

Bad days don’t have to stay bad days; that’s the good part. We have to undergo them from time to time, but we don’t always have to accept a full day of misfortune.

There are absolutely things you can do and steps you can take to turn your bad day around. It starts with a positive mindset, one of acceptance and understanding, and a realization that while you may try, you might not be able to turn your day around. It’s not always in your control.

However, you’ll never know if you don’t try. Make the effort and take the time to turn your bad day into a good one.

What can you do to lift your mood?

There are immersive, active things you can do to lift your mood when you’re having a bad day.

Here are the 12 best ways to lift your mood right now.

1. Go for a drive

Some people find driving therapeutic, especially if you’re not driving to a specific destination. The action of getting in your car and just driving without going anywhere intentionally provides you with a feeling of release.

Driving down the road with your music playing and your windows down fosters a feeling of freedom and lightness, allowing you to experience liberation.

Giving yourself the time to take a short drive allows you to clear your head and step away from whatever it is that’s causing your day to be less than enjoyable. You don’t have to sit in the distress; you’re allowed to distance yourself from the discomfort of your day and give yourself a refresh.

2. Get out in nature

Fresh air can truly do wonders. If you’re cooped up in a cubicle all day, or if you’re stuck at home simply due to the pandemic, getting outside will help your sanity because it changes your environment and breaks up the monotony of your day.

Being in nature is what you choose it to be, it doesn’t have to be a grand adventure. It could be going for a short hike, walking around the block, or sitting on your front porch with a drink and a book.

Give yourself permission to enjoy being outside in the cool breeze, under the warmth of the sun. Absorb the benefits nature has to offer and let the serenity of the fresh air wash over you and recharge your mood.

3. Sing

Nothing quite does the trick like a little singing. It automatically brings you out of your slump because it focuses your mind on actively doing something about it.

Singing, humming, or even whistling, can lift your mood. But singing in particular works like magic because it allows you to use your heart.

If you’re alone at home, in your car, or even just in the shower, pick a tune and belt it out. Anything that’s upbeat and happy is the perfect song to lift your mood.

Singing focuses your attention on the words and the tune of the song, and the result is a mood that coincides with the mood of the song.

4. Get your body moving

If you’re having a bad day, one way to lift your mood right now is to exercise in a way that feels good to you.

If you enjoy dancing, dance around your room to some music you love. If running exhilarates you, make some time in the rest of your day for a run, knowing that will help you feel better.

We know from scientific research that exercise is proven to make you feel happy due to the release of serotonin and dopamine that occurs when you move. Take this knowledge and use it to your advantage; take some time in your bad day to get your body moving and your mood will be lifted as a result.

5. Eat something you love

There are certain foods that just brighten our day, foods that we might not get to eat very often but we love because they titillate our taste buds, remind us of a good memory, or because they’re just fun to eat.

If you’re making it through your day begrudgingly, add some shine to the day by eating food you love. This will allow you some joy and delight. Eating foods we love makes us feel instant gratification and happiness because they satisfy our physical and emotional hunger.

Allow yourself some jubilation; splurge (in moderation) and give yourself something delicious. This will lift your spirits and fuel you through the rest of your day.

6. Buy a surprise gift for a friend

Surprise gifts (appropriate ones) are arguably universally loved and appreciated, at least to some degree. While some people aren’t fond of surprises, many people enjoy receiving a gift they aren’t expecting every now and then.

Surprising a friend with a gift is a thoughtful way to extract your bad mood. You place the focus on finding something fun for a friend instead of thinking about that bad day you’re having. A redirection is a powerful tool and one that can be utilized on a day like this.

Pick something thoughtful, preferably something that can be delivered that day, like a bouquet of flowers or some chocolates from Amazon Fresh, and allow your friend to be surprised. Include your name on the gift, so they can thank you; this will lift your spirits and will foster good feelings.

7. Find a silent space to be alone with your thoughts

Sometimes all you need is a little peace and quiet to redirect your day.

Bad days can be hectic, full of noise and distractions. Getting away from the racket and giving yourself a moment of calm can do wonders for your mood.

If listening to a guided meditation is something that works for you, do that. A quiet space affords you the chance to reboot and recharge, to take a break from all the craziness that so often ensues around you. Give yourself the gift of silence and serenity.

8. Turn on your favorite song

Music is so often the medicine your heart and mind need. It stirs up feelings and emotions within you, brings you back to certain memories and moments of your life, and can make you feel happy or sad, depending on the song.

There’s something about the combination of the beat, the vibrations, the bass, and the lyrics that move something within you. Your favorite song is your favorite for a reason: It’s left an impact on you in one way or another, and you feel a certain way when you listen to it.

If you’re in need of a mood lift, turn on your favorite song and let it take over. Allow yourself to feel the music, experience the lyrics, and truly sense the power behind the song. Release your bad mood and welcome a brighter one.

9. Pet your cat (or dog)

Science tells us that petting a cat for a few minutes lowers your heart rate and relaxes your body and mind. If you’re in a bad mood, feeling anxious and worked up, or just need a pick-me-up, opting to pet your cat or dog is an excellent option.

If you don’t own a pet, set some time aside in your day to visit a pet store or shelter, or make plans with a friend who owns a soft and furry pet. Make the effort to find a cat or dog that you can spend a little bit of time with.

Animals bring us joy; we enjoy being around them, playing with them, and taking care of them. They give us warmth and love, and they make us feel good inside. Give yourself some time to enhance your day by petting a fluffy friend. It’ll do you some good.

10. Scroll through inspirational quotes

When it comes to lifting your spirits, sometimes all you need is some inspiration, and a marvelous source of inspiration is uplifting and positive quotes.

Google is a great resource to find some quotes that resonate with you. You can just make a query for inspirational quotes, mantras, or positive affirmations, and you will find a wealth of resources.

If you’re the type who finds pleasure in visually stimulating and appealing imagery, take your efforts to Pinterest and make a search for inspirational quotes. Pinterest will provide you with a plethora of not only inspiring quotes but beautiful and aesthetically appealing ones.

Find some quotes that ring true to you. Write them down, say them out loud to yourself, and memorize them. These quotes will remind you that everything is okay, they will empower you and remind you of your strength and value, and they will lift your mood and carry you through the day.

11. Light your favorite candle

Our senses are powerful things. If you’re at work or walking down the street and you come across a smell that awakens your senses, one that’s strong but in a good way, this enhances your ability to focus on the smell and eradicates your attention from the less-than-desirable quality of your day.

We can often control the smells that are around us, to some extent. If sweet smells bring you joy if savory or beachy or natural or fresh smells make you feel calmer and at peace, a candle of that scent is a great way to intensify the aroma.

Light a candle that’s smell introduces happiness and joy, brings you peace and calm, delivers you to a place of tranquility. Your sense of smell will thank you, and your mood will shift positively. Follow your nose towards something nicely fragranced, and your mind will follow suit.

12. Watch a funny or uplifting video

Laughter is a quick fix for a bad day. So are inspiration and appreciation. Videos that are both funny and inspirational foster a lighter, happier mood and encourage a brighter mindset.

If you’re having a rough day, scroll through YouTube and settle on a video that will make you feel positive feelings. Don’t land on something sad; that will only serve to put you in a worse mood. Instead, pick a video that will lift your spirits, something light-hearted and enjoyable.

Whether you’re laughing or admiring the content in the video, you’re using the power of distraction to remove yourself from the negativity of your day for a brief moment. You are allowing yourself a short break from reality, which can be healthy in appropriate doses.

Give yourself the opportunity to step away from your regular day and experience the positive shift in the mood an uplifting video will afford you.

Whether the state of your day is merely substandard or extremely awful, utilize these 12 mood-lifting tips to empower yourself and take control of your day. While a lot of the time things are not in our control, sometimes we can harness our own positivity and catapult ourselves into a better day.

woman listening to music and flinging her hair
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash
Eden is a 26-year-old Aries who loves learning and exploring mental health, self-love, self-care, and eating disorder recovery.

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