The only people who are happy every day are psychopaths. Even if you have an amazing life, you’re bound to get bogged down in a sad, hazy funk every now and again. Here are 55 ideas to help you bust out of that bad mood and turn your crappy day into a great one!
1. Get into a green space! Easier said than done in the doldrums of early spring, but studies have shown that getting out in nature is a quick fix for bad moods. Bike ride, go for a walk, or just find your nearest park and get back to your roots.
2. Put on your fanciest lingerie & drink only from champagne flutes for the day!
3. Phone a friend! Friend, family member, or qualified therapist; depending on your needs, chatting with someone can help clear the dark cloud above your head. You don’t even need to talk about what’s bothering you (sometimes, it’s nice helping others with THEIR issues instead of hyper-focusing on your own).
4. Plan a surprise party! Whoever has their birthday coming up next, plan out every detail of an elaborate surprise party and get all their friends in on the action. It will be something they never forget!
5. Binge your favorite TV show (bonus points for doing this in pajamas)! You know, the one show you’ve re-watched a million+ times? The one that feels like slipping into a pair of warm, fuzzy socks? For me, that show is Gilmore Girls. Find your own and settle in for a season-long binge session.
6. Paint each of your nails a different color & then do your toes the same way! You’ll be the prettiest rainbow around.
7. Write a love letter! To your S/O, best friend, or yourself. Fill your whole heart with all the warmth and kindness you feel for the recipient and let it spill out on paper. By the end of the letter, you’ll be feeling a whole lot sunnier. Don’t forget to deliver your letter!
8. Take an extravagant bubble bath using all the Lush products you’ve been hoarding!
9. Google Map the near beach/lake/large body of water & hop in the car! Even if it’s not warm enough by you for a proper beach day, there’s something incredibly soothing about being close to water. Pack a beach towel, lunch, a journal, and a good book. Embrace the solitude and let your mind wander.
10. Take a walk with your Polaroid camera! Yes, film is expensive, but keeping it stashed in your desk for the “perfect opportunity” is a complete waste. Go for a walk and take pictures of every interesting thing you see. Use up the whole roll. When you get home, use the photos to art journal or make a collage instead of stuffing them in a drawer.
11. Cry! And then watch this artsy Orion Carloto video about being a sad girl who cries a lot.
12. For fellow coffee addicts: Make a cup of coffee completely from scratch! Buy a bag of whole beans, grind them exactly how you like, and brew using the method of your choice (I personally own two french presses, a pour over, an espresso machine, and an aeropress). Top with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon. Add almond milk for extra creaminess.
13. Bake your favorite dessert & eat as much as your heart desires! If you’re on the hunt for new recipes, I recommend these three-ingredient oreo cheesecake cake pops.
14. Don your swankiest heels, sparkliest dress, & do your own photoshoot!
15. Make a gratitude list! I know you’ve heard it a million times, but really dig deep with this one. Nothing cures a rotten mood faster than recognizing all the great things you have going for you in life.
16. Go through your music library & get rid of songs that no longer speak to you!
17. Buy a plant (or grow one)! Nothing like playing god to get you out of a funk. You can pretend that taking care of it means you have your life together.
18. Sit on the floor with a box of crayons & color a mandala!
19. Treat yourself to a full-fledged pampering night! We’re talking some serious self-care here. Slow down. Exfoliate from head-to-toe, detangle your hair & treat it to a conditioning mask, lather your skin with your most expensive lotion, whip up a derm-approved DIY face mask, and do your nails. Light some candles or burn incense. You’ll feel like a completely different person by the end of the night.
20. Choreograph a dance routine to your favorite song, dress up, & record it!
21. Purge your closet! The “I spent money on it so I have to keep it” trap is notoriously easy to fall into, but hanging onto clothes you never wear is bad for your closet and your psyche. Get some tips from Rent the Runway’s style director. Donating your unwanted clothes makes the cycle of good karma go round!
22. Buy the most expensive bar of dark chocolate you can find & eat it all in bed!
23. Shake it off! The idea of hitting the gym might sound horrifying when you’d rather never leave bed again, but that post-exercise endorphin rush is no joke.
24. Spring clean your makeup cabinet by getting rid of expired/crappy products you don’t need! Replace with new and improved products.
25. Light your favorite candle & indulge in some aromatherapy!
26. Do yoga! Either visit a local class or follow along with a video on YouTube (I like Yoga With Adriene, especially her bedtime routines). Breathe into the stretches. Let your troubles melt away with each pose in the sequence.
27. Text each of your friends a reason why you love them!
28. Learn something new! Pick a subject or skill you’ve always wanted to know more about and find YouTube videos, articles, interviews, or anything else you can on the topic. Take notes. Soak it all in.
29. Read a book! You and I both know there is a stack of books you’ve been meaning to read when you “have the time.” Well, there’s no time like the present! Pick one at random and dive into someone else’s brain for a bit.
30. Journal the blues away! Not a new concept, but a tried-and-true one. Pick one of these 30 journal prompts to jumpstart your creativity.
31. Go online window-shopping @ your favorite store! Put everything you love in your cart, budget be damned. Let it sit for a day or two to see if they email you a coupon. Then, erase your shopping cart. The key is to indulge in the fantasy, not actually buy a bunch of things you don’t need.
32. Pull out all your makeup & play with it like when you were five! Eyeliner goes where?
33. Clean your space! Doing a deep clean of my apartment always makes my mind a little clearer. Tidy, organize, declutter, vacuum, and scrub every inch of your place. It’ll make a bigger difference than you think.
34. Make a decadent ice-cream sundae! There are so many dairy-free options out there (I’m addicted to this coconut milk mint chocolate chip and this almond milk coffee-caramel swirl). Pile high with sprinkles, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and fluffy mounds of whipped cream. Eat it out of your prettiest bowl.
35. Strut around the house in your highest heels! Practice makes perfect and, at least in your house, there’s no one to make fun of you for your Bambi wobble.
36. Collage your heart out! Grab a stack of magazines and some glitter glue–it’s about to get reaaaaal messy in here.
37. Dye your hair! I’m a big fan of this one and have dyed my hair ginger, blue, green (streaks), cherry red, platinum blonde, and peachy pink. It’s a fun and fast way to change up your look. Besides, if you hate it you can always change it to something new.
38. Plan your dream vacation! Go into as much detail as possible. Pick out where you’ll stay, what places you’ll travel to, what you’ll wear (because in fantasy-land you can afford to buy a vacation wardrobe), where the best coffee is, and what food you’ll eat. Then, make a new savings account (ideally, one without additional monthly fees or other bullshit) and put $5 in. Congratulations, you just took the first step in making your dream trip come true!
39. Order takeout & have it delivered! I’m all for cooking as self-love, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we live in a world where we can pay someone to bring delicious, hot food to our doorstep. It’s a powerful notion, even if you only spend $10.
40. Build a budget! Stick with me for a minute. On the surface, this might not seem like the most fun activity but it’s SO DAMN RELIEVING to take charge of your finances (instead of pretending your bank account doesn’t exist). Here’s a great guide for beginners and the zero-spending challenge I did for a month.
41. Open your favorite bottle of wine & have a solo dance party!
42. Make a care package for someone you miss! You can include little things like magazines, glitter, stickers, nail polish, homemade cookies, hot chocolate, tea, fuzzy socks, glowsticks, etc. Be sure to top it off with a handwritten note.
43. Wash all your dirty clothes & bedsheets! There’s nothing like falling face-first into a pile of clean, still-warm-from-the-dryer clothes.
44. Go to your favorite upscale restaurant alone (order apps, an entree, and dessert)!
45. Make a video! You don’t need fancy equipment to make a fancy video. Just come up with a concept, shoot some clips, and edit them together with whatever basic software comes with your computer. Share it on YouTube or just with friends, but have fun with it!
46. Paint on a canvas & hang it in your bedroom!
47. Let your wardrobe inspire you! Go through your closet, paying close attention to the pieces you hardly ever wear. Tap into your creative side and pull together a bunch of cool outfits that push your fashion comfort zone a bit. Take pictures so you don’t forget (and challenge yourself to actually wear them).
48. Spend all day in your most ridiculous pair of pajamas!
49. Bake cookies & give them away to your neighbors! Honestly, living in the city means “knowing your neighbors” isn’t very common. No matter how long you’ve been living there, however, passing out freshly baked cookies is an easy way to find out who would let you borrow a cup of sugar.
50. Plan your perfect brunch! What food would be served? Who would be invited? What drinks would there be? What kind of music would you listen to? Where is the setting? Then, mail out invitations the old-fashioned way (by carrier pigeon, of course).
51. Find all your mismatched socks & reunite them with their sole-mates!
52. Learn a new hairstyle! This will take some commitment. It took me an entire afternoon and several YouTube videos to learn how to do double dutch braids, but now I have a new style for days I don’t feel like washing my hair.
53. Ice yourself out! Put on your most expensive jewelry and spend the day feeling like a princess. Try not to get robbed.
54. Read your old diaries! Nothing will make you laugh (and cringe) more than reliving old memories. Bonus points if the diary is from middle school or earlier.
55. Make plans with your BFF for tomorrow! Nothing beats a bad mood faster than having something (and someone) amazing to look forward to!