5 Ways to Improve a Bad Day

Every now and then, I’m in a bad mood. (Husband, if you’re reading this, try to hide your shock.)

Seriously though – it can be frustrating because perspective tells me I have so much to be grateful for (everything; literally, all the things), but my foggy brain says “I feel grouchy” or “I’m in a funk” or “I’m inexplicably sad.” Usually a good night’s sleep is enough to bring me back. For the days when I need more of a boost, I turn to the internet for a little help. I’ve compiled this list of 5 ways to improve a bad day, with the hope that it may be part of your internet arsenal to attack a crappy day.


1) Watch funny videos. Laughter is a universal cure for a case of the grumps. I like to find videos on YouTube, like Ellen scaring celebs (especially when she sends people through haunted houses), failed high-fives, and bad lip reading (I’ve watched the same bad lip reading videos over and over, and they still get me every time). If you like animal videos, watching videos of dogs that can’t catch food or cats being scared by cucumbers might be enough to crack you up. Though not a video, I also read lists of the greatest autocorrect fails of all time (this is not for you if you wince at vulgarity). If you can’t muster the energy to do a search, text your friends and ask for links to their favorite funny videos. Guaranteed you’ll be laughing, maybe even crying from laughing, in no time.

2) Go somewhere. Take a walk, get fresh air. Put on your headphones and play some really good music, like late 90’s hits (ha!). Go to the library or a coffee shop or happy hour. Change your environment and take some deep breaths.

3) Give something. I have found that being the giver is just as rewarding as being the recipient – so give a gift! Leave a meaningful gift on a friend’s porch, stop by unexpectedly at a friend’s work and give them a treat, create a group message with friends to go in on a bigger gift for someone who could really use it (you’ll be excited planning it, and your friend will be very grateful when she sees how many loved ones participated with you).

4) Write down 3 things you are grateful for, and why. This is a tried and true method of refocusing your mental energy. If you choose something sort of general, like “I am grateful for my family,” be sure to elaborate. Forcing yourself to be specific in your descriptions will make you think long and hard about what exists in your life at this very moment that brings you joy. (For example: I am grateful for my daughter – for the way she sighs when I wrap my arms around her. I’m grateful for the way she laughs when I say something funny, and for how eager she is to help those around her. I’m grateful for how quickly she forgives me when I’ve made a mistake. I’m grateful for her fierce determination, because it inspires me when I want to give up.)

5) Splurge (a little). I don’t mean go out and buy yourself a new car. That seems a bit excessive. Then again, I don’t know how bad a day we’re talking about, for you. I’m not here to judge. 🙂 For me, a little splurge when I’m feeling the blues would be something that reminds me of happy memories – boba tea and a pedicure, ice cream and a walk around the pond, coffee and a book I’ve been wanting to read for months. An hour of wandering aimlessly through Target, new wall art made by local artisans, maybe something frivolous like decor to change up my fireplace mantle. Material items won’t solve all the world’s problems, but it may help you turn a rough day into an ok day.

And if all else fails (keep in mind this doesn’t have to be a last resort), hug a cute kid. Preferably with permission. Works for me every time. ❤️
I hope these methods will help you the next time you’re feeling blue. If you have suggestions to add to this list, please share them in the comments below!!

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  • Reply
    August 22, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I’d add running to the “Go Somewhere” category!

    • Reply
      lisa lately
      August 22, 2017 at 9:28 am

      An excellent suggestion!! I considered it but thought “if I was having a bad day and someone told me to go for a run and I didn’t already like running, I might punch me in the nose.” But you and I know the truth: it freaking helps!

  • Reply
    September 10, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    No. 5 works the best for me when I am not in good mood. It’s like doing something not really important, don’t think of anything..and just enjoy it. Haha..

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