It’s one of those days.
And you’re looking for ways to cheer yourself up.
For one, it’s an excellent skill to have.
For another, you don’t want to drag anyone else into your personal vortex of low energy and depressing thoughts.
You have some idea of what activities cheer you up more than others, but it can’t hurt to have a list when your brain has turned to mush.
We know that feeling, which is why we gathered 55 of the best ways to ditch the funk and find some happiness.
How Can I Cheer Up My Mood?
Everyone has an internal dialogue running throughout the day. And the messages circulating in your head have everything to do with how you’re feeling right now.
So, if you’re wondering, “How can I feel positive instantly?” you’ll find plenty of effective mood-boosters in the list further down. At their core, each of them works by “infusing positivity” into your thought patterns in one or more of the following ways:
- Encouraging you to focus on what you can change.
- Playing to your senses (lemon oil, candles, soothing tea, fresh fruit platters, etc.)
- Getting you up and moving.
How to Cheer Yourself Up: 55 Happy-Boosting Ideas
If you’re here asking yourself, “How do I get out of sadness?” read through these 55 things to cheer you up and make a note of those that appeal to you.
Then make a shortlist and work your way through it.
1. Hug someone.
Get a hug from someone in your life who’s happy to give and receive them. Always respect others’ boundaries and ask before you crash into someone.
2. Reach out to a loved one.
Text, email, or call someone to see if they need anything or would like to meet or hang out virtually for a bit.
3. Surround yourself with positive people.
Attitudes are contagious, so spend time around people whose attitudes lift yours and get you thinking happier thoughts.
4. Have a chat with someone.
Sit down with someone you trust (face-to-face or virtually) and have a good talk about things that interest you both.
5. Tell someone “Thank you.”
Expressing your gratitude has a way of lifting you out of darker thoughts. Think of something you can thank someone for and get the words out.
6. Have a good cry.
Sometimes, there’s no way around it. If you need to release some pent-up emotion, find a private (soundproof) space, and let it out.
7. Reconnect or make amends with someone.
Do what you can to repair the relationship and show your commitment to making it stronger.
8. Pay it forward.
Do something nice for someone else without expecting a reward or a quid pro quo. Debts in either direction are draining. Give freely.
9. Take a break and goof off.
Take some time to do something fun and nonproductive, just because. Everyone needs some time every day to do something pointless.
10. Play a computer game.
Use your desktop, mobile device, or gaming system of choice and just spend some time playing to win — and also to enjoy yourself.
11. Look at cute animal pics and videos.
And share some while you’re at it. Maybe send some gifs to another friend who’s feeling low. And thank those who shared them.
12. Buy yourself some flowers.
Most grocery stores have a selection of bouquets available.
Pick one that calls out to you. Artificial flowers just don’t have the same effect.
13. Treat yourself.
Buy a bar of your favorite chocolate, or indulge in a delivery item you enjoy but rarely buy. And take the time to enjoy each mouthful mindfully.
14. Look through old photos.
Pull out your albums or boxes of photos — or skim through desktop folders of shared pictures. Create a slideshow or scrapbook with your favorites.
15. Watch a funny movie (or series).
Prep your favorite movie-watching snack and beverage and get cozy with a funny movie or series. Watch alone or with a friend.
16. Brew a fresh pot of coffee/tea.
Think of those comforting aromas as self-care, and take a moment to enjoy them before you pour yourself a mug and relax with it.
17. Listen to your favorite music.
Make your favorite playlist your own soundtrack and ad-lib your way through it. Or just use it as a backdrop for decluttering the room.
18. Learn some new moves.
Find some YouTube tutorials on a dance move you’ve been curious about and dance along, learning as you go. Who knows when they’ll come in handy.
19. Make some music of your own.
Pick up a musical instrument — a ukelele, a tin whistle, a bagpipe, whatever — and belt out some tunes. Just don’t wake the neighbors.
20. Make yourself a special meal or treat.
Get the ingredients you need and prepare a special meal just for you or for you and a special guest. And use your best dishes.
21. Revive an old hobby.
Rediscover a hobby you’ve neglected.
For example, if you haven’t crocheted in a while, pick up some new yarn and start a new project.
22. Mix up your routine.
Try changing something in your usual routine. Maybe take a walk in the morning instead of staying indoors. Or try a new breakfast.
23. Try a new spin on an old favorite.
Try a new tea or a new coffee drink on someone’s recommendation. Or take a regular part of your daily routine and give it a new twist.
24. Get a free make-over and make-up consultation.
Go to a department store’s cosmetics department and ask for a make-up consultation. Specify the look you’re going for (professional, dressy, etc.)
25. Get a new haircut.
Save some pics of haircuts you like and go to a salon for a new cut and style. While you’re there, pick up some recommended self-care products.
26. Try a new look.
Do some shopping to find pieces for a new look that’s all your own. Try a look that takes you a bit outside your comfort zone.
27. Make a gratitude list.
Start each statement with ‘I’m grateful that/for…” or “I’m glad that…” and try to feel the gratitude and gladness with each one.
28. Do something that scares you.
Dare yourself to do something you wouldn’t ordinarily do, and then rise to the challenge.
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29. Go outside.
Spend some time in nature to refresh yourself inside and out. Take a walk (weather permitting) and feast your eyes on the beauty around you.
30. Buy a plant.
Bring nature indoors. Adopt a plant and commit to giving it what it needs: water, sunlight, and good thoughts.
31. Sit up straight.
Posture makes a big difference in how we feel. Straightening up can make you feel more awake, capable, and confident.
Spending time helping those struggling in ways you are not can help you put things in perspective.
33. Tidy up.
Decluttering has a way of clearing your mind and lightening your mood. Clear your space of all that doesn’t need to be there.
34. Downsize your possessions.
Donating and discarding things that no longer serve you is cleansing and helps you rid yourself of intangible “clutter” that’s weighing you down.
35. Take a break from social media.
Automate what you can (if you depend on social media for your business). You can even let your followers know you’re detoxing for a day or so.
36. Make a list.
This can be a to-do list of neglected tasks, a bucket list for the year, or any list that forces you to brainstorm ideas.
37. Get some exercise.
Get your blood pumping to light up your mind and perk up your mood. Do something you enjoy and push yourself to do more.
38. Purge your inbox.
Unsubscribe from emails you rarely or never read.
Go back as far as you like and delete every email you don’t need to keep.
39. Purge and refresh your desktop.
Get rid of folders, files, and shortcuts you don’t use. And pick a new wallpaper to complete the make-over.
40. Hydrate yourself.
Drink a full glass of water. Even better if that water has some lemon in it. Keep it at room temperature to help your body absorb it more quickly.
41. Enjoy an at-home spa treatment.
Take a long soak in a bath with Epsom salts and your favorite essential oils. Or try a new facial mask or other skin care treatment.
42. Take a power nap.
Sometimes, all you need is a chance to shut out the world for 20 to 30 minutes and give your body a chance to refresh.
43. Set a goal and reward yourself for reaching it.
Choose a goal to accomplish — and a reward for your success. Then take the time to enjoy it mindfully.
44. Swap out your passwords for funny ones.
Because why not? You might even remember them better that way. Or, if you don’t, at least it’s a cheap high.
45. Book a day off and make plans.
Give yourself something to look forward to. Plan something you haven’t done before or something you miss doing. Imagine yourself enjoying it.
46. Plan a vacation.
Think about where you’d like to go, look into lodging options, local attractions, and places to eat, whether you’re going alone or with company.
47. Go on a date.
Plan something romantic for you and your significant other. Or, if you’re single, take a chance on a lunch date with someone new.
48. Spam-text a friend.
Text someone a song you both love, one line at a time. See if they interrupt to “sing” it with you.
Get cozy and just spend some time daydreaming about the life you want. Imagine yourself living the “perfect day.”
50. Make a vision board.
Check out this post on tips for making a vision board that will lift you up and inspires you to take action.
Check out this post on how to meditate. And enjoy the guided meditation. Or try one of these meditation apps.
Focus on something that makes it easier to smile. Studies have even shown that smiling tricks your brain into thinking you’re happy.
53. Read a book.
Read a good story.
Or dig into a book that motivates or inspires you. If your eyes are tired, listen to an audiobook or podcast.
54. Write it out.
Open up your journal (or a word doc), and write about what you’re thinking and feeling. Be honest and don’t judge yourself. Then make a list.
55. Do something creative.
Make blackout poetry. Or pick up an adult coloring book and some markers and play some inspiring music to color to. Create something.
How will you use these ideas to cheer yourself up?
Now that you know how to cheer up using one of these 55 mood-boosting ideas, which ones appealed to you most?
Whatever the reason for your low spirits today, sometimes all you need is a good distraction — or a reminder of what’s good in your life. It also helps to get out of your own head and do something good for someone else.
What will you do first?