“NOTHING EVER WORKS OUT FOR MEEEEEE!”
These are the words that I (rather melodramatically) whisper-shouted a few days ago while pawing through my bathroom cabinets. After a 16-hour work day and ages stuck in traffic, I’d officially reached that overtired, non-rational emotional state where just about anything will push you over the edge.
And in this case? It was the discovery that I was out of toothpaste.
Which was obviously the end of the world and probably a direct result of some failure on my part and indicative of my value as a human being.
But I eventually unearthed a tiny travel sized tube of toothpaste, brushed my pearly whites, and lived to blog another day. Close call, right?
Bad moods happen to the best of us, but they don’t have to derail your day or infect your relationships. Really! Here are 35 of my favorite ways to get out of a funk.
1. Start the flow of positive energy—do something good for someone else!
Maybe that’s popping quarters in an expired parking meter or just holding the door.
2. Play your favorite music super loud. Sing off-key at the top of your lungs.
How off-key can you get? Have a one-person dance party in front of the mirror, in your pajamas! (PS. This is one of my all-time favorite things to do when I’m stressed out.)
3. Indulge in your “guilty pleasures.”
Maybe that’s chocolate cake, back-to-back episodes of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, cheese and a stack of US Weekly magazines. Of course, these are guilty pleasures because we only do them once in a while.
4. Call a good friend and ask them out to dinner or a slumber party.
A good friend—and a nice plate of pasta—can lift your spirits like no other.
5. Stay up til sunrise watching your favorite movies.
Best to do this on a Friday or Saturday night. (Or you’ll be doomed to another grumpy, sleep-deprived day at work.)
6. Yoga. Any kind!
Restorative, power flow, or kundalini are my favorites.
7. Write a list of things that you appreciate right now.
Focus intently on each of them and let the light build inside you. Even on our worst of days, there are always reasons to be happy.
8. Look through old photos, with a close friend or family member if possible.
These people can really dig into reminiscing about the good ol’ days. “Oh my god, remember when I used to wear my hair like that?!”
9. Plan your next vacation!
Start a vacation board on Pinterest. Grab a handful of travel magazines from the newsstand and give yourself over to daydreaming about all the adventures to be had. Book the flight, invite your best friends.
10. Remember the best kiss you ever had.
Was it on a boardwalk in the rain? In the basement of your friend’s house? On a beach somewhere?
11. Go on an invigorating hike or walk.
Surrender and breathe deep. Few things are as healing as fresh air.
12. Plan a themed party!
Invite all your good friends and some new people, too! Think about how you can decorate your home in that theme, what dishes you can cook, what you will wear.
13. Try rock climbing.
It’s an amazing workout and you’ll be so, so proud of yourself when you get to the top!
14. Load up your iPod with new music go for a walk through your favorite park or city streets.
Pretend this music is the soundtrack to the movie of your life.
15. Get dressed up and take yourself out to a fancy lunch or dinner.
Pull that stylish black number out of the closet and make reservations at the buzzy new restaurant everyone is talking about.
16. Color your hair!
You can always change it back.
17. Make cartoon-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
Top them with your favorite fruit and maybe some organic whipped cream!
18. Buy ridiculous pajamas.
I personally have a ridiculous sock collection full of polka dots, stripes, cartoon characters, and reindeer. They make me happy every time I wear them!
19. Lie on your back in the sunshine.
Take a deep breath and smile.
20. Make a list of actionable, practical, reasonable ways you can improve your situation.
Who can you talk to? What changes can you make?
21. Hug the friends you see today hello.
It will give you a quick shot of oxytocin.
22. Sleep the opposite way or sideways on your bed.
Whenever I do this, I feel like such a rogue!
23. Visit a favorite arts and craft store and make a friend a surprise package.
Doing things for others—especially unexpected things—always improves my mood.
24. Eat chocolate.
Need I say more?
25. Be optimistic.
Search for the silver lining or a way that you can take ownership of your current situation.
26. Change the screensavers on your phone and laptop.
What about a photo of your friends laughing hysterically or an image that just makes you smile? I have a picture of my new, giggling niece and it thrills me every time I see it.
27. Spend an hour in a favorite department store sampling perfumes or cologne.
When you find something you like, ask for a sample, tuck it in your pocket and use it for the next week.
28. Write a letter to your future self.
Hide it somewhere you may forget: an old book, a photo album, the pocket of a rain coat. It will be a welcome surprise when you discover it years from now!
29. You know that exciting, overwhelming project you’ve been putting off?
Welp, now’s the time to throw yourself into it. It’s good if it feels a tad too big for you! It will be the fuel to your fire for weeks and months to come!
30. Walk around a vintage record or clothing shop.
Imagine all the lives and memories these objects have seen.
31. Spend two hours watching the Biography Channel.
You'll relax and learn something.
32. Flirt. (Innocently.)
Flirt with the barista, the FedEx person, the front desk cutie.
33. Be interested.
Get to know the person next to you. Start with simple questions like “Where did you get that?” or “How did you learn how to do that?”
34. Be interesting.
“Oh, didn’t I ever tell you about the time I hiked Kilimanjaro?”
35. Know that this too shall pass.
Really. In a year, you’ll look back and wonder what the fuss was.
Climbing up and out of a bad mood is a life skill we should all master. And it can be as easy as laying in the sunshine or giving a real, deep hug. Promise.