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10 Proven Ways to Quickly Lift a Bad Mood

Jan 19, 2016


Photo by Cassandra Eldridge 

Being in a bad mood is human nature.

In all honest, whenever I’m cranky, 99% of the time it’s usually because I’m tired or hungry. (Just ask Neal. I turn into a child when I’m not fed at regular intervals. I should star in one of those Snickers commercials, really.)

However, sometimes it takes a little bit more to get out of a funk than just food and sleep. If you find yourself in a bad mood, or worse, stuck in a moody rut for hours or days on end, try one of these ten tips, and you’ll likely perk up in no time!


Compliment someone else 

The very fastest way out of a bad mood? Making someone else smile! When you make others happy, it’s impossible to be unhappy yourself. Tell a woman on the street that you love her scarf. The barista at Starbucks with the cool glasses? Ask him where he got them! Let your coworker know that her blue sweater makes her eyes look beautiful. Spread happiness to others, and it will spread to you!

Look through old Facebook photos

Next time you’re in a mood, do me a favor. Go to your Facebook page, and click on the year “2011” in your timeline. What were you doing? What silly, ridiculous outfits were you and all of your friends wearing? Reminding yourself of fun memories and great friendships will always lift your spirits.

Hug someone 

When you hug someone you love, it releases “feel good” chemicals in your brain. Not an awkward side-hug, but a real one–that lasts for several seconds. Even when that person is who put you in your funk to begin with, remembering how loved you are always cures a bad mood.

Pet a dog, or look at a cute one on Instagram 

This happens to me SO often. If I’m in a bad mood, I completely forget about it as soon as a cute dog walks by. There’s something about animals that dilutes anger in an instant. So if you have a dog, take some time to pet or play with her. Don’t have a dog? (Me either) Just scroll through Instagram and you’ll be laughing in no time. (I recommend @NoodleInTheCity, @ChloeTheMiniFrenchie or @NachoDogg!) You can see my roundup of favorite dogs to follow on Instagram here!

Change your scenery

If you can’t calm down or shift your bad mood, remove yourself from the situation. Altercation at work? Leave your desk and post up in a conference room, or head to the mall on your lunch break. Fighting with your significant other? Slip out of your apartment and head to a coffee shop. At a party with someone you can’t stand? Step outside for some fresh air. Which, speaking of…

Get some fresh air 

Fresh air, sunlight and exercise do wonders for lifting your bad mood. If you’ve been down all day, take the long way home and walk if you can, or ride your bike to the grocery store instead of driving. Take some extra time to walk to your friends, instead of taking the bus.

Do yoga 

If you’re going through a rough patch, yoga can be an immense help to both your mood as well as your outlook on the situation. It’s not just a workout, it’s soothing for your mind as well. It’s one of the best refreshers there is! (I highly recommend Core Power!)

Pick up a book 

Anytime you can “escape” your current world and into another one, it’ll help calm your mind and put things into perspective. I’m not entirely sure why reading helps so much, but it really does. Just 10 minutes is enough to snap you out of a funk.

Listen to upbeat music 

I know so many people who make the mistake of listening to sad music when they’re sad, or angry music when they’re angry? Who wants to AMPLIFY a bad mood? Stop using music to wallow, and use it to pick you back up. If you’re not sure where to start, I highly recommend starting with Dancing in the Moonlight.

Act happy! 

Guess what? You’re in charge of your own mood. It’s completely fine to feel upset for five minutes, but then get over it. If you continue to feel badly, that’s a choice you’re making. Get ahold of your mind, and you’ll get ahold of your day, and your life. Start acting happy (i.e. treating people pleasantly, smiling, even if you’re feeling moody) and soon enough, you’ll have tricked yourself into being happy. What a concept, right?

What tricks do you use to get out of a bad mood? 

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