Everybody has days (or weeks, or months) where they feel unhappy. Maybe you're feuding with a friend. Or you've been single for longer than you would like. It could be you've been falling behind at work. Whatever the reason, it's totally normal to feel emotionally “off.” But just because it's normal doesn't mean it's fun! We all have our different methods for pulling ourselves out of a slump, but what if I told you I know 7 surefire ways to feel happier?
If you don't have the money for therapy or the time for a long venting session with your BFF, you're in luck! Each of these tips takes just a few minutes, so you will be on your way to feeling better in no time. The methods below are perfect for when you want to perk up after a crappy day at work or need to put yourself in a better mood before meeting up with friends. You're entitled to your emotions, but who doesn't want to feel happy if they can? Keep reading for 7 little ways to feel happier in a snap!
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1. Eat A Healthy Meal
One of the most sure-fire ways to feel happier is to feed your body a healthy meal. Often when we're down in the dumps we want to stuff our faces with comfort foods. Chocolat, ice cream, mac and cheese, anything that tastes indulgent and reminds us of good memories. While those foods might make you feel a boost of happiness for a minute or two, I can tell you that it won't last.
Instead, force yourself to eat your favorite healthy, delicious foods. Yes, those exist! You just have to find what you like. For instance, I used to think I hated salad but it turns out I just can't stand boring old iceberg lettuce. Now that I've discovered other greens, I genuinely enjoy eating them! My other healthy faves include sweet potatoes, kale, and hummus.
Why does this matter?
In addition to not feeling guilty about eating a crap ton of calories, nutritious meals can boost your mood in other ways. According to Popsugar, loading up on superfoods can help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, increase energy levels, and make you feel good all around.
For instance, munching on citrus fruits increases your levels of vitamin C, which is shown to boost your energy. Lentils are full of iron, which increases energy levels but also helps your body produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. Whole grains like oats keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, so you won't experience those hyper highs and blah lows.
But what if I'm not up to slaving away in the kitchen?
When you're already grumpy, you probably aren't feeling up to cooking a whole healthy meal for yourself. That's another reason we often resort to junk when we're upset! But if you get your meals delivered through Hello Fresh, the hardest work is done for you!
Hello Fresh delivers everything you need to create tasty, nutrient-rich meals right to your doorstep. With pre-measured ingredients and a step-by-step recipe, all you have to do is put it all together! With past dishes like Fontina-Stuffed Chicken, Crispy Chickpea Bowls, and Pine Nut-Crusted Salmon, you'll be feeling full and happy. You can even order dessert recipes!
2. Drink A Cup Of Tea
One of my favorite ways to feel happier is to drink a nice cup of tea. There is something soothing about being warmed from the inside by a tasty mug of my favorite beverage. Don't like tea? Coffee or hot chocolate has the same effect. Just slowing down to enjoy a hot drink and gather your thoughts is the perfect way to work through any negative emotions you may be experiencing.
In fact, relaxing with a cuppa before bed every night is an awesome way to help you settle down for sleep. Not sure what type of tea to try? Get a sampler so you can find your faves! This variety pack from Twinings has 48 teabags of every type from spicy chai to deep English Breakfast to fruity herbals. More into loose leaf? Check out this sampler of 9 different teas from Heavenly Tea Leaves.
A good place to start is with green tea. It does wonders for your mind and body, including helping you focus and fighting free radicals in your body. When your body feels good, your mind will, too! Want to know more about the health benefits of drinking green tea? Watch the video below.
3. Text A Loved One
I don't know about you, but talking to my family and friends immediately makes me feel better. Whether I'm feeling overwhelmed, sad, or angry, it just takes a short conversation with my mom, my husband, or my best friends to put me in a better mood. This is one of the fastest ways to feel happier on this list, so it's perfect for when you want an instant boost!
Of course, you want to reach out to your loved ones to vent when you're down, but there's something else you can do that will also make you smile. Shoot someone who you haven't connected with in awhile a short text to let them know you're thinking of them. Tell them how awesome they are in your eyes or even just ask how they're doing.
The best part?
Nothing feels better than empowering someone else! Chances are you'll get a sweet text in reply and you may even get a friend date out of the exchange. Building connections with your favorite people will give you the warm fuzzies for sure and thanks to technology, it just takes a second!
4. Listen To Your Favorite Songs
One of the most universal ways to feel happier is to blast your favorite upbeat music. Just try to keep a frown on when your favorite happy tunes are playing . . . it won't work! Everyone has their preferred jams, so create a playlist to keep on hand when you're feeling less than peppy.
When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you need to let loose and relax. Music is a healthy way to do that! Put on that playlist I mentioned, grab your microphone (uh, I mean hairbrush), and start dancing around the house. Even if you feel like a goof at first, soon you'll be laughing and smiling and your cares will be miles away.
When I'm choosing my happy music, I pick out songs that hold happy memories for me. Because I grew up watching Disney movies and often belting out the lyrics with my friends on the playground, I love those soundtracks. 90s pop music also holds a special place in my heart from my childhood, so that never fails to cheer me up.
This compilation album has all my faves from movies like Beauty & The Beast, Pocahontas, and The Lion King. It'll make you feel like a carefree kid again! Or get your groove on with this mix, which features hits by Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys, and Christina Aguilera. You can't go wrong!
5. Practice Gratitude
When you're in a bad mood, you often want to wallow in self-pity. Everything is the worst! But what if I told you that one of the proven ways to feel happier is to do the exact opposite?
Thinking about all the things you have to be thankful for can really help put your bad day in perspective. Writing down the positive things in your life helps take your mind off the not-so-great stuff, which lowers stress and anxiety levels. In turn, you'll feel happier and more optimistic, according to one article on the Huffington Post.
So how do you get in the habit of practicing gratitude? Many people start by writing in a gratitude journal each day.
The Five Minute Journal provides everything you need to get started on your gratitude practice. It features pages already set up to help you start journaling. With exercises for both morning and night, you will start to see the good in your life, whether what made you feel grateful was big or small. Writing in your gratitude journal only takes 5 minutes a day but can change your entire outlook on life!
6. Get Some Fresh Air
One of my personal favorite ways to feel happier is to head outside. There is nothing like fresh air and sunshine to make whatever I'm upset about just melt away. Staying holed up in your dark bedroom will only make you feel worse when you're sad, so go soak up that vitamin D!
A big reason getting outside cheers you up is the change of scenery. When you're staring at the same four walls for hours or even days, it can drive anyone a little stir crazy. You'll start to associate your house or office with stress and negative feelings. Taking a walk around the block can help you clear your mind by giving you a fresh perspective, both in literal things to look at and in getting your thoughts moving a different way.
An even better way to boost your mood is to get active outdoors. Strolling around the park with a friend, tossing a Frisbee, or playing a pickup game of your favorite sport gets your blood pumping, filling your body with feel-good endorphins. Invite your BFFs to join you for even more happiness potential!
7. Help Someone Out
Here's the thing.
When I'm down and wondering how to feel happier, I don't often think of others' needs. I'm the one that's upset! But that mindset can actually make your negative feelings last longer. According to Happier, giving someone else a hand is actually one of the fastest ways to perk yourself up again.
Whether it's holding the door open for a stranger or offering to help a friend move, helping others brings out major good feelings. You will feel useful and kind and the positive reaction you get from the other person will definitely give you the warm fuzzies. Even better is when your act of kindness is unexpected and you don't want anything in return from the other person.
Acting selfish and expecting everyone to baby you when you're in a bad mood can feel good for awhile, but it won't last. Paying it forward, on the other hand, lets you realize how good you have it and how awesome of a person you are!
Who knew you could boost your mood in just a few minutes? These 7 little ways to make yourself happier are cheap or free to do, take no time at all, and will have you feeling back to your wonderful self in no time. Whether it's blasting your favorite nostalgic jams, jotting down things that made you feel grateful that day, or just checking in with a friend, you're on your way to feeling better.
Of course, if you're feeling really depressed, please, please seek medical help. There is a big difference between being in a funk for awhile and having a mental health affliction that needs a doctor's attention. But for those times when you just had a bad day or are feeling out of sorts, these tips can really turn your frown upside down! Find your favorite method or combine a few to help brighten up any gloomy day.
Which of these methods are you looking forward to trying? What are your favorite ways to feel happier fast? Let us know in the comments below!