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October 12, 2023 7 min read

Life is full of ups and downs, and bad moods are a natural part of the human experience. However, they can be extremely challenging to manage and can take a toll on various aspects of your daily life. That's why we have put together this list of 8 methods to help you beat your bad moods, feel better fast, and transform a bad day into a more positive and fulfilling experience.

1. Recognize and Acknowledge Your Emotions

Person looking stressed

Identifying the cause of your bad mood is the initial step in addressing it. Take a moment to reflect on what might have triggered your negative feelings. A specific incident can make you feel angry or a persistent worry can cause you pain and distress.

Allow yourself to feel these emotions fully, acknowledging the depth of your anger or the weight of your worry. It's essential to validate these emotions rather than suppressing them because burying them canexacerbate the negative feelings over time and lead to physical and mental health issues¹.

Remember that experiencing bad days is a normal part of life. Accepting this fact can help you approach your emotions with compassion and understanding. By accepting that pain and anger are occasional companions on life's journey, you can better navigate them with a sense of resilience and perspective.

2. Practice Self-Care

Engaging in physical activities can have a significant impact on your mood. Whether it's going for a walk, practicing yoga, or playing a sport you enjoy, exercise can release endorphins and boost your mood². It's like a reset button for your emotions, especially when you feel bad.

Don't underestimate the power of a good night's sleep as well. Getting enough sleep is an important piece of your emotional well-being. Establish a consistent bedtime routine and ensure you're getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. When you're sleep-deprived, it's much easier for negative emotions to take hold³.

Eating a balanced diet can positively impact both your mood and energy levels. Incorporate nutrient-rich foods into your meals and try to stay hydrated throughout the day because dehydration can lead to a dip in your mood⁴.

Lastly, remember to carve out some time for yourself. Engaging in activities that bring you joy, be it losing yourself in a good book, taking a soothing bath, or practicing a hobby, is a form of self-care that can improve mood and help maintain a positive mindset. So, when you feel bad, don't forget to indulge in a little self-love and self-care to help lift your spirits.

3. Connect with Loved Ones

Two people hugging and smiling

When you're feeling disconnected, one of the best ways to remind yourself that you're not alone in facing difficult emotions is to talk to a trusted friend or family member. Sharing your feelings and concerns with someone you trust can be a powerful antidote to the emotional isolation that often accompanies feeling bad.

It's incredible how just making an effort to talk to a person you're close to can help you realize a new way to navigate your emotions. They can provide a fresh perspective, often showing you that the bad thing you are experiencing can be managed or even overcome. In the company of friends, you should be able to laugh and lighten the emotional burden, which is a testament to the healing power of a good conversation.

So, don't hesitate to seek support and advice from your loved ones when you feel isolated. Sometimes, an outside perspective can be the key to working through difficult emotions and finding solutions, and the simple act of talking with friends or family can remind you that there's a supportive network around you ready to help you through the tough times.

4. Engage in Activities That Bring You Joy

Amidst the challenges of life, consider the small gift of pursuing hobbies and interests that bring you joy and help you relax. Engaging in these activities can feel like a breath of fresh air for your soul, offering a welcome distraction from negative emotions and ultimately promoting a more positive mindset.

Music is a powerful tool in your feel good arsenal. Simply listening to a few songs may help you regulate your moods⁵. Create a playlist featuring your favorite songs that have the ability to uplift your spirits and keep it handy for those moments when you need a boost.

For a quick and delightful escape, consider watching a funny movie or entertaining videos. Laughter often serves as an excellent remedy for a bad mood. It can help you shift your perspective, even if just temporarily, and remind you that joy can be found in the most unexpected places.

And, if you seek a more profound escape, turn to the pages of a good book or your favorite blog. These literary adventures can transport your mind to different worlds, inspire positive thoughts, and offer you a much-needed reprieve from the weight of negative emotions. So, don't underestimate the power of these simple pleasures when you're looking to feel good and improve your mood.

5. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Person relaxing by a tree

When feeling low and in need of a mental reset, consider the practice of meditation as a valuable tool for self-reflection and finding a sense of calm. It allows you to quiet the storms in your head and reconnect with your inner self. By dedicating a few minutes each day to sitting in silence and focusing on your breath, you can find solace and begin to feel calmer. It may also help to spend time in nature for an extra layer of relaxation.

In addition to meditation, deep breathing exercises are another remarkable technique to help activate your body's relaxation response. Taking slow, deep breaths and exhaling fully allows you to release the tension that might have built up in your body, letting you feel calmer.

For a more physical approach to relaxation, explore the world of yoga or stretching exercises. These practices can serve as a bridge between your body and head. They encourage a state of harmony that can significantly contribute to your overall sense of relaxation.

Incorporating these mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help you feel more grounded and equipped to manage the ups and downs of life with ease.

6. Avoid Negative Influences

When you're feeling angry or in a persistently bad mood, it's important to recognize the impact that certain situations or people might have on your emotional state. Avoiding triggering environments or individuals is a vital step in managing your emotions effectively. By distancing yourself from these negative influences, you create a protective barrier for your mood.

In a world saturated with information, limiting your exposure to negative news and social media can be a powerful antidote to the emotional toll they take. Constant exposure to negativity can indeed weigh heavily on your mood, so it's wise to shift your focus toward positive and inspiring content when you feel down. This change can be a breath of fresh air for your emotional state.

Surrounding yourself with positive influences is another proactive strategy for maintaining a better mood. Spend time with those who uplift and support you, as their positivity can be contagious and comforting. Engage in activities that inspire positivity within you, helping to counteract the anger or negativity you might be feeling.

7. Challenge Negative Thoughts and Reframe Them

Letters spelling the phrase "Did you smile today?"

Practice gratitude by acknowledging the things you are grateful for. Cultivating a sense of gratitude can shift your mindset and improve your overall well-being.

If you find yourself grappling with low self-esteem, you may need to identify and challenge negative thought that often underlie these feelings. Becoming aware of recurring negative thought patterns and recognizing their impact on your emotions is a major step towards change. By understanding the way you're thinking, you gain the power to disrupt the cycle.

Try to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Reframing your perspective and intentionally focusing on the positive aspects of a situation can be transformative. This change in thinking can help rebuild your self-esteem and create a more optimistic outlook.

The practice of gratitude is a powerful tool as well. Acknowledging the things you are grateful for, even in challenging times, can significantly shift your mindset. This simple but profound practice may even have a lasting impact on how you think and feel.

8. Embrace Positive Coping Mechanisms

While there's no quick fix for improving your mood, there are several constructive practices to explore. Journaling is one such therapeutic outlet that allows you to express your emotions and gain clarity. By writing down your thoughts and feelings, you can effectively process and understand them, providing a sense of relief.

Engaging in creative outlets, like painting, writing, or playing a musical instrument, is another way to channel your emotions into something productive and positive. These activities offer a constructive avenue to express yourself and can be truly satisfying, often leaving you with a smile on your face as you witness your creativity taking shape.

In addition to creative pursuits, listening to uplifting podcasts or audiobooks can provide fresh perspectives and inspire positive thoughts. Think of it as a mental refresher that not only enlightens your mind but that can also bring a smile to your face as you absorb new and inspiring ideas.

Overcoming a bad mood is a journey that requires patience and self-compassion. By implementing these 8 effective strategies, you can regain control of your emotions in the midst of a bad mood and put your health first. Remember, bad days happen to everyone, but with the right tools and support, you can free yourself from feeling stuck and get back to living happily.

(1) Patel, Jainish & Prittesh Patel (February 2019) Consequences of Repression of Emotion: Physical Health, Mental Health and General Well Being

(2) Harvard Health Publishing (May 2019) More evidence that exercise can boost mood

(3) Harvard Health Publishing (October 2021) Sleep and Mood

(4) Poitras, Colin (February 2012) Even Mild Dehydration Can Alter Mood

(5) Schäfer, Thomas, et al (May 2013) The psychological functions of music listening