45 Quick & Easy Mood Lifters

Slipped into the doldrums?

Feeling sad and low and lonely?

We all feel this way from time to time. Often, all we need is a good distraction to shake us out of the funk.

Here are 45 quick and easy mood lifters that you can use right now:

1.Tell a good joke – or ask people nearby to tell you their favorites. I just read this one, in the intro to Tina Fey’s book Bossypants. “Two peanuts walked down the road. One was a salted (peanut.)” And a personal favorite: “What do you call cheese that isn’t yours? Nacho cheese.”

2. Follow funny people on twitter.  I am partial to goofy humor and silly puns, so Ellen DeGeneres always gets a giggle from me @theellenshow. Conduct a search on twitter to see if any of your favorite comedians tweet.

3. Spend a few minutes watching babies giggle on YouTube. Or check out this little girl and her vigorous affirmations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg I’ve watched this dozens of times with my kids, and it never fails to brighten our world a bit.

4. Keep a list of inspiring quotes. Reflect on your favorites.

5. Visualize what life would look like if things were going just the way you want them to be.  Now, for the next few minutes, imagine you are acting a part in a play. Speak and walk and behave as your ideal self living your ideal life.

6. Drink 16 ounces of water. See if you don’t feel more energized and refreshed when you rehydrate.

7. Call your best friend.

8. Invite a few people over for dinner on Saturday night. Then plan the menu. (Another great  creative distraction.)

9. Look at photographs and scrapbooks. Research shows that this activity can quickly heighten your mood.

10. Write for 10 minutes about anything at all this is bothering you. Don’t think too much about what you’re writing. Just get it all on the page. No need to read it over.

11. Spend a little time in nature, even if it’s raining or snowing. Go outside and breathe. Walk around the block. Nature has wonderfully restorative properties. And the vitamin D from sunshine will give you another mood boost.

12. Run around the block, or do 30 jumping jacks. Get your body moving and your heart pumping for a few minutes.

13. Write down 20 things you are grateful for in your life, right now. Don’t stop until you get to twenty, even if you end up with something like “I’m thankful for the shape of my right pinkie toe” or “I’m thankful for spicy hummus and pita chips.” Some days, it’s the simplest of pleasures that bring the greatest contentment.

14. What are you good at making? Make it. Spend a few moments in creative bliss.

15. Bake a dozen cookies for your neighbors.

16. Find something to give away and give it.

17. Donate $10 to a charity. Spend a few minutes online researching various charities. Then send a small check in the mail (or make on online donation via paypal.)

18. Write down 20 things you’ve accomplished in your life. What are you most proud of?

19. Savor a piece of fresh fruit.

20. Spend a few minutes reading your favorite motivational blog.

21. Make a very detailed list of things you want to accomplish today. For maximum effect, include a number of things you have already done. Cross all those things off the list. Look how productive you’ve been!

22. Put on some music with a fast beat. Get up and hop around a bit.

23. Clean or declutter something. Does your car smell like French fries? Is the inside of your microwave sporting some soup splatters? Find something that’s been irritating you and clean it really well. Each time you see it, you’ll feel a little lift.

24. Set a new goal for yourself.

25. Go to the library and find a new novel to read.

26. Take an omega- 3 supplement or multivitamin. Experts say that certain vitamins and supplements can have a profound effect on your daily mood. Talk to your doctor about increasing B-12 and folate, as well as omega 3 supplements.

27. Take a nap.

28. Spend 5 or 10 minutes in meditation. Sit and listen to the flow of your breath. When your mind begins to wander, gently pull your awareness back to your slow, deep breathing.

29. Open the blinds and, if temperatures permit, slide up the window. Blast the room with sunlight. Sunlight helps to boost your mood as well as your energy levels.

30. Eat a bit of lean protein for a snack. You might be mistaking the blues for a dip in blood sugar.

31. Stretch. Do some yoga moves. Feel your body working and stretching.

32. Buy yourself some scented flowers.

33. Lift your mood with aromatherapy. You can find “mood lifting” essential oil concoctions, which may contain anything from rose to black pepper. Peppermint is a particularly invigorating scent on its own. So is any citrus oil (such as orange, lemon, grapefruit, and mandarin).

34. Read uplifting poetry. Reading a poem or two from Mary Oliver or Rumi always helps me to slow down and put problems in perspective. For a longer lasting distraction, try to commit a short verse or poem to memory.

35. Send five friends an email to tell them three things you adore or appreciate about them.

36. Dress up. Put on a nice outfit and your best shoes.

37. Browse Etsy. It’s fun to lurk in the midst of other people’s creativity. Find one small item to buy for someone you love.

38. Take your dog for a walk. If you don’t have a dog, walk someone else’s dog. This will get you outside and moving. Plus, it’s hard to stay sad when you see how happy you’re making the little beast at the end of the leash

39. Start planning your next vacation. Get online and look at hotels and attractions.

40. Take a virtual vacation. Look up a place you’ve always wanted to go on Google Earth. Check it out from above and from the street view.

41. Still on Google Earth, look up the address of your childhood home. Have an imaginary conversation with the kid who used to live there. Offer some advice.

42. Browse gourmet cooking websites for new recipes. Print a few.

43. Play a game. Whether it’s on a traditional board or on your Wii or iPod, a 10 minute competition may be all you need to get out of your own head. Play against yourself or someone else.

44. If you can’t shake the blues, read a few selections or quotes from Pema Chodron. She’s great at helping you sink into whatever you’re feeling right now and embracing it, just as it is.

45. Understand that it’s okay to feel down every now and then. Take it as a sign that you simply need to give yourself some rest. Trust yourself to restore a better mood in time.

Please note, the ideas in this article are meant only to distract you from daily doldrums that affect us all from time to time. They are not meant to treat any kind of serious depression. If  you ever feel like depression or sadness is taking over, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

Susie Michelle is the publisher of
Momscape.com a parenting site best known for its inspirational essays, which help moms to be more conscious and creative parents. The site also features articles, tips and ideas from renowned experts on health and fitness, organic living, weight loss, romance, and travel. Susie is also the founder of Susies-Coupons.com where she spotlights coupon codes, daily deals and fun finds from around the web.


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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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