Some days you wake up feeling tired and crabby. Other days you bound out of bed in a great mood…and things go south as the day progresses.
Whatever the reason, here are some quick tricks to keep in your back pocket the next time you need a little mood boost.
#1. Turn on music and dance.
Put on a song that you really like, and if you’re in a space where you can dance, pull out your craziest moves. Music triggers memories, so if it’s a song that reminds you of a really good time, it’ll take you there. And movement gets your endorphins pumping, jolting you into a better mood.
You have to do it for more than 10 seconds (and, yes, it can be in the comfort of your own home). It may feel awkward at first, but if you can creepily plaster a grin on your face, you’ll literally trick your body into thinking that you’re feeling good. On a biochemical level, smiling releases endorphins and serotonin, making your brain go, Oh, I am so happy right now!
#3. Watch a cute video.
Find a YouTube vid that you love. Yeah, that one with the kitten on the slide will do the trick. It doesn’t need to be a feature film — 30 seconds or a minute of laughing can really boost your happiness levels.
#4. Make a quick gratitude list.
Write down three or four things that you are thankful for in this moment. Nothing is too small: You saw a puppy yesterday (and petted it, obvs), your hair is doing that messy-pretty thing — you get the picture.
#5. Put on a bold lipstick.
Same goes for a great outfit or shoes that make you feel like a boss. Every time you pass a mirror or building with reflective windows, you’ll be like, Damn, I look good.
#6. Text or call a friend or family member.
Or take it even one step further and make real plans with them. Catching up can definitely boost your mood, and by making a plan, you’ll have something to look forward to. It’ll shift your mind-set to think about something that makes you excited and happy.
#7. Get some fresh air.
Try to get outside for at least 10 minutes. Taking some time away from your desk (or just away from whatever is stressing you out) is key. And no, looking out the window doesn’t count.
No need to go to a class or spend an hour doing it. Try this: Close your eyes, and breathe deeply in and out through your nose. Make each inhalation and exhalation equal lengths, pausing at the top of each inhale and then at the bottom of each exhale. You don’t need to be sitting cross-legged, just in a relaxed position. Keep it up for 30 seconds to a minute. There, that’s better.
#9. Eat chocolate.
Have a piece of really good-quality dark chocolate. Cocoa has been scientifically proven to boost your mood. And it’s delicious AF, so you actually don’t need an excuse to eat it.