bad mood

7 Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Day

Some days just don’t seem to go right. Maybe you get into an argument with your partner, or end up yelling at the kids. Or perhaps work goes badly — you make a silly mistake, or accidentally delete the file you were working on. Whatever the cause, the result is the same: you end up feeling fed up, stressed out, and unhappy.

It’s easy to let a few frustrating incidents turn into a thoroughly bad day, too; perhaps you come home from work in a bad mood and end up feeling sulky all evening. But there’s no need to feel miserable all day long.

Here are seven ways to improve a bad day:

#1: Do Something Just for You

It can be tough to find time for yourself — but on a bad day, it’s important that you get a bit of mental (and probably physical) space. That might mean going out for a coffee, or reading a few chapters of a novel, or playing a video game for an hour, or meditating … whatever works for you.

In fact, “me time” is a good idea on a regular basis: having the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate makes it easier to brush off any little things that go badly in the course of your day.

#2: Have Your Favorite Dinner

Okay, this one might seem a bit silly or childish … but sometimes that’s just what you need at the end of a long day! Something as simple as your favorite meal can really put a smile back on your face.

(Note, I’m not suggesting comfort eating here: sure, stuffing your face with a giant candy bar might make you feel a temporary sugar high, but it’s not going to make you feel any better after that.)

#3: Go For Some Easy Wins

A sense of achievement and progress can do a lot to cancel out a bad day. Maybe you’re frustrated because you don’t seem to be getting anywhere at work, or at home. Instead of tackling a huge big project, look for a few quick and easy wins.

Make that phone call you’ve been putting off. Book those tickets. Sort out that stack of papers. Deal with those emails. See how many five-minute tasks you can knock off your list. You’ll feel much better once you get them done.

#4: Talk to Someone You Love

Whether it’s phoning your mom, going out for dinner with your spouse, or hanging out with your kids, talking to someone who you love can really lift your mood. Don’t spend ages whining about your day to them — instead, ask how they’ve been, or share something positive that’s happened.

If it’s not practical to speak to someone (if you’re not supposed to make personal calls from work, for instance) how about sending a quick email or text to say “I love you” or to let them know you’re thinking of them? Not only will you feel better, you might well improve their day too.

#5: Take a Shower/Bath

There’s definitely something therapeutic about washing: as well as physically cleaning the body, it can be a great way to metaphorically wash away any negative things that have happened during the day.

Getting a shower in the evening can be a great way to feel refreshed after work. A long, relaxing bath could be a good chance to relax before bed. Plus, a shower/bath provides a bit of peace and quiet if you live in a busy household!

#6: Find the Silver Lining

Whatever’s gone wrong, there’s almost certainly some good to be found in it. Perhaps you made a mistake at work — at least next time, you’ll be more likely to watch out for that particular problem (you might even be able to improve a process or system so that similar mistakes are harder to make in future).

It can be hard to look on the bright side, but if you make it a habit, you’ll find that it’s easier to recover from things that go badly. Instead of ruining your whole day, they’ll just be a temporary blip.

#7: Make Yourself Laugh

When I’m in a bad mood, one of my sure-fire ways to feel better is to laugh. Web comics, funny videos on YouTube, humorous websites, amusing photos … it’s easy to find something that makes me giggle.

You might think that if you’re having a lousy day, nothing is going to make you laugh. But give it a try: find something that always raises a smile, and you’ll feel better almost immediately.


Do you have any tips on improving a bad day? Share your ideas with us in the comments…


28 Responses to 7 Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Day

  1. Hgillatt says:

    Sometimes tho when ur sufferin from depression itd noy as easy as theyv put

  2. Catherine says:

    Two good posts in the same day; )

  3. Cece & Mark says:

    Another way to improve a bad day is to shift your
    perspective a bit. According to Rational OptimismTM, your interpretations and
    perception play a huge role in how you see events and how you ultimately
    respond to them. You may want to ask yourself, if this really a “bad”
    day or am I interpreting aspects of it in ways that make me see it as
    “bad” when in fact it could be seen quite differently?

  4. Another good way, it may be the simplest. Just Smile. It works wonders for me, to really benefit smile at someone else and watch them smile back. Then remind yourself things are not in your control. Have a great day.

  5. This comment I believe is true. Stopping and shifting the perspective of the situation will truly turn things around. Thanks for the share. 

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  7. Tina says:

    I really like the silver lining part. I think these all put the actual situation into perspective. Nice write up.

  8. I find that sometimes it’s just better to let things be. That way tomorrow makes a huge difference, and not struggling so hard to improve the mood actually gives great results. Otherwise great post :)

  9. I find that sometimes it’s just better to let things be. That way tomorrow makes a huge difference, and not struggling so hard to improve the mood actually gives great results. Otherwise great post :)

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  11. Justin Mazza says:

    We all have those kinds of days and yes it is a sure sign that some “me” time is needed. 

  12. Ali, my favourite on that list is go for some easy wins. There are often moments in my day where I am not feeling as motivated, but can sometimes just do some simple tasks to help pick up my motivation again. It’s amazing what a difference it can make!

  13. Mike, totally agree!

  14. Carole Lyden says:

     Hi Ali, I often find that when I’m having a bad day, I  warn everyone in the vicinity that I am not in the best frame of mind and not to take any notice of me. Because sometimes we need to be in that angry space as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Great article as always


  15. Neha Khera says:

    number 5 really helps :) 

  16. Neetikaushik24 says:


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  18. jackieroxx says:

     we  can improve our bad day  by just reading a motivational and inspirational quotes and by going to people who will just love us as we are,who will listen to us very carefully and will give suggestions whole heartedly

  19. Guest says:

    the shower and the awesome dinner are definitely 2 systems that work

  20. Guest says:

    the shower and the awesome dinner are definitely 2 systems that work

  21. Guest says:

    the shower and the awesome dinner are definitely 2 systems that work

  22. AjayKumar says:

    All of them helps a lot if you are suffering with a bad day.

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  25. Hanne says:

    Just count your blessings!

  26. Jokes says:

    I really like the idea of laughing. Humor can lift one’s mood and offer a new perspective.

  27. Motivational says:

    Definitely agree with what you stated. Your explanation was certainly the easiest to understand about “7 Easy Ways to Improve a Bad Day”.

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