7 Ways to Feel Happier Right Now

depressed
Photo (cc) Sander van der Wel

Plenty has been written about how to create long-lasting happiness – that deep joy that weathers even the most tragic circumstances.

This article is not about that. No, this article is about what to do when you wake up in the morning feeling crabby, after you get reamed out by a client or when the dishwasher leaks water all over your new flooring.

If you need a quick pick-me-up, try one of these strategies (after you mop up the water, of course).

1. Get it off your chest

Photo (cc) by Daniel
Photo (cc) by Daniel

Sometimes, the best way to get out of a foul mood is to connect with a friend or family member.

Texting a friend that you’re upset because you were yelled at by an angry woman in the check-out line takes the situation out of your head. Rather than stewing about it, you’ve done something with it. And hopefully you get some positive feedback from your friend that makes you feel better. Maybe you’ll even end up having a good laugh.

However, a word of warning: Be careful where you vent. Posting on Facebook about your latest woe opens you up for criticism, unsolicited advice or other comments that could leave you feeling worse. Instead, pick a good friend who will listen without making you feel bad.

P.S. Please don’t unload on the same friend all the time.

2. Put your thoughts on paper

Photo (cc) by Christine
Photo (cc) by Christine

Maybe you don’t want to be “that friend” who’s always complaining. Or maybe you don’t have anyone who you think would understand.

The next best option may be to write down what’s going through your head. Write a letter to the person who upset you. Detail why you’re overwhelmed for the day. Craft a prayer, if you’re spiritual.

Once the emotion is out, shred the paper or set it aside to leave the emotional baggage behind as you move forward in your day.

3. Play some tunes

ipod
Photo (cc) by Aimee Rose

It’s amazing how a little music can be good for the soul. Pull out the iPod, CD player or turn on the radio to turn your day from depressing to delightful.

Don’t just take my word for it. Researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that listening to upbeat music can improve your mood. They used Aaron Copland’s classical tunes for their experiment, but I would guess you could get similar results with Adele, Jimmy Buffett or a gamelan orchestra, for that matter.

Apparently, the key is to tell yourself that you’re going to feel happier while listening to music rather than simply pushing play and hoping the good thoughts come to you.

4. Indulge in a little scent therapy

aroma2

Aromatherapy is another quick pick-me-up to use on days when you’re in a foul mood. You could sniff some essential oils, if you have them, or light a scented candle if you don’t.

Scent seems to work by triggering emotions and memories, so pick a smell that reminds you of happy times. You may not even have to actually smell the scent to reap the benefits, according to at least one study. Simply anticipating a pleasant odor may be enough to turn your day around.

5. Find a change of scenery

coffeeshop
Photo (cc) by Wonderlane

One of my tried and true methods to dispel a rotten mood is to get out of the house. If the weather’s good, going for a walk or spending some time in the sunshine is a sure way to brighten the day.

Of course, now that January has hit, it may be a challenge to head out into the cold in many parts of the country. In that case, head to the library, a coffee shop or bundle up and play in the snow. If you have kids, it will feel like a pain to get them ready and out of the house, but the 30 minutes it takes to get them in the car and off to the playground or playset at the local mall is worth it if it lightens the next 10 hours of your day.

Getting out of the house may distract you from a difficult subject occupying your mind, keep warring children from grinding down your last nerve or otherwise change the course of your day in a way that results in a happier you.

6. Get physical

walkdog2

Changing scenery may help improve mood, in part, because it gets you up and moving.

Exercise has been shown to improve mood in the short-term and potentially ward off depression in the long run. Information on the American Psychological Association website indicates you may begin to feel better in as little as five minutes after moderate exercise.

While you could certainly go to the gym to exercise, it’s not the only way to get the mood-enhancing effect of movement. Doing jumping jacks in the living room or running up and down the stairs can be just as good at turning your frown upside down.

7. Go back to bed

catnap

When all else fails, head back to bed. Seriously.

Sometimes, when the day seems unsalvageable, you need a do-over. Put cartoons on for the kiddies and take a nap. If you work someplace where you can close a door and put your head down for 15 minutes, make it so.

Although some research points to a 30-minute nap as being ideal, a 10- to 20-minute snooze could be good enough to have you feeling refreshed and ready to face the rest of your day with a smile on your face.

Those are my seven suggestions for turning around a bad day. How do you beat it when you fall into a funk? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes
5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes

Here’s how to keep Uncle Sam’s mitts away from your nest egg.

15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer
15 Ways Retirees Can Make Their Savings Last Longer

Study these strategies to make your golden years gleam.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

8 Things I Always Buy at Target
8 Things I Always Buy at Target

I grew up shopping at the original Target store and am a lifelong fan. Here are my favorite purchases.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.