Mood Boosters: 7 Ways to Feel Better Fast
By Jen Caudill
The ideas and suggestions written below are provided for general educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or care. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider before beginning any physical fitness or health- and nutrition-related activity.
The power of a good mood can transform your whole life, day by day, and sometimes, minute by minute. Your good vibes could be realized in a smile and lightness in your step or in an openness to express gratitude as you navigate challenging times. Despite the pressures of our modern world, feeling happy isn’t dependent on productivity, financial success, or our individual ability to change the world.
The thing is, it isn’t always easy to feel good. Or, rather, it doesn’t always come as naturally to slow down and set those game-changing intentions that fill us up. Empowering yourself to tap into that in-the-moment happiness takes practice.
The good news is that there are a ton of small things you can do every day that are both instant mood boosters and when done regularly, can impact your wellbeing for the long term.
7 Ways to Boost Your Mood:
1. Practice yoga for mindfulness, breathing, strength, and mobility.
And we say “practice” intentionally because your practice is, perhaps, the best thing about yoga. We can all practice bringing our minds into the present, filling our lungs with fresh air and good vibes, and tuning into the needs of our bodies. Mat time is sacred time, and it’s always worth celebrating the body that supports you every day.
- Find a local community studio to support your practice.
- Take five minutes every morning to lead yourself through a set of body-opening sun salutations.
- Download a meditation app for a range of self-soothing practices that work for your active lifestyle.
2. Eat nutritious foods to boost your energy throughout the day and satisfy your snack cravings with delicious tastes and textures.
- Make a habit of charging up for your day by eating breakfast. Go for foods with fiber like hearty whole grains.
- Pick a plant-powered lunch. A colorful salad with crunchy veggies entices all the senses.
- Grab wholesome snacks that also taste like sweet, savory treats for the pick-me-up you need and the intentional timeouts you deserve. LUNA® Bar, with delicious flavors like LemonZest®, checks all the marks for on-the-go snacks that are not only delicious but also a good source of fiber* and is gluten free.
*Contains 6 grams of total fat per serving.
3. Get adequate sleep.
The key here is the combination of hours in bed and quality of sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours regularly.
- Disconnect from your devices an hour before you head to bed.
- Take a warm bath with soothing music and Epsom salts.
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise during the day, keeping that exertion at least three hours before lights out. A brisk walk around the block is a great way to add exercise to your daily habit.
4. Pour yourself a soothing cup of tea.
Herbal teas such as chamomile and ginger are gentle, aromatic, and delicious. Plus, the process of slowing down to brew a cup of tea can be therapeutic all on its own.
- Spend that 5-10 minutes of brew time to make a gratitude list for the day. What are five things you’re grateful for?
- Brew your tea in a pot you can pour into two cups — one for you and one for a friend.
5. Find your “you-time,” and schedule it (every day if you can).
What fills your cup? Is it a solo stroll through the neighborhood from right outside your front door? A phone call to a long-distance friend? Volunteering in your community? Maybe it’s five minutes tending to your garden or playing with your dog. Whatever it is, don’t wait until you think you’ll have free time. Schedule you-time like it’s a meeting with someone important. Because it is. It’s time with you.
- Actively schedule time for your “you-time.” Make an event in your calendar and set a reminder and block out the time. When it’s time, keep the date with yourself. You’ll appreciate it in the long run.
- Having a hard time thinking about what to do during your you-time? Go back to that gratitude list and note what lifts your spirits — big or small.
6. Put on some music!
Listening to music can help us focus on the present and reflect on our emotions (yeah, we see you over there thinking about yesterday’s compounding to-do list and tomorrow’s deadline).
- Find an upbeat or soothing playlist through a music app.
- Dust off your vinyl and rock out to your favorite ’80s and ’90s albums.
- Feel the good vibes by singing your favorite tune.
7. Name your inner critic and tell them to SHUT IT.
Literally, give them a name. That way, when they start talking smack, you can personally uninvite them from your thoughts, and remind yourself that you are enough.
- Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace and love yourself like you would your best friend. If that means giving yourself a pep talk, go for it. We’re here for it.
- Go with the flow. Try new things, let experiences be perfectly imperfect, and embrace new beginnings. Any time you go beyond your comfort zone, you get the opportunity to reflect on how awesome you are for putting yourself out there. It takes guts to say yes and let things unfold naturally. Take that, Negative Nancy.
- Practice gratitude. The word gratitude pops up everywhere in wellness these days for a reason. It’s human nature to be on the lookout for threats, so it’s remarkably easy to focus on the negative. When we set an intention to focus on the good around us (and within us), we empower ourselves to overcome that inner critic with inner celebration.