Do you know how to cheer yourself up when you’re feeling low?
Some days it’s harder than others, right?
And on those days, even if you know “I need something to cheer me up,” you just can’t turn it around.
Perhaps you need something you haven’t tried before.
You’re a creature of habit, but you also thrive on variety.
And with 41 ideas to choose from in this post, you’re sure to find more than a few things to cheer you up.
How Can I Lift My Mood?
If you’re feeling blue or down on yourself, you don’t have to wait for a magical mood shift to happen. You do have some control over your emotions and how they impact your day.
Barring your having clinical depression or a life tragedy, the quality of your thoughts and actions can determine whether you languish in the doldrums or feel a skip in your step. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don’t let yourself sink further into a bad mood by doing nothing. Positive action always makes you feel better.
- Refrain from judging your negative emotions and shaming yourself about them. That only makes you feel worse.
- Remember that moods are like storm clouds — they eventually pass. If your efforts to hurry them along don’t work, just be patient. They will pass in time. If not, you may need the support of a counselor or doctor to address what’s going on.
For now, you have an arsenal of ways to cheer up with our list below. That alone should make you feel a little better!
List of 41 Things to Cheer You Up
1. Write a letter to yourself (or someone else).
Open a Google Doc or grab a notepad and pen to write yourself a heartfelt message. Acknowledge any pain you’re dealing with, and remind yourself of your why.
2. Donate to a cause you care about.
Send some money to a cause you believe in and want to support. You can also encourage others to support it and explain why the cause is so important to you.
3. Make a gratitude list.
Write a list of things you’re grateful for. Write whatever comes to mind and include as much detail as you like. Recall how you felt when those good things came into your life.
4. Listen to some energizing music.
Play some music that makes you feel lighter on the inside. Play it while you’re writing or reading a good book or use it keep you motivated while you’re tidying up.
5. Write down your thoughts.
Write down whatever is on your mind. Sometimes you can’t create something new or get anything done until you allow yourself to express thoughts you’ve been pushing back.
6. Make a list of moments you’re proud of.
Write a list of accomplishments you’re proud of. Think of things you’ve done even when fear tried to stop you. And remember how you felt when you pushed past the fear.
7. Write a bucket list.
Write a list of things you want to do before you take your last breath. What have you always wanted to do? And what could you do today to get closer to one of those things?
8. Spend time with pets.
Spend some time playing with your pet/s or doing something special for them. Buy your dog a new toy and play with them or enjoy watching them play. And talk lovingly to them.
9. Take a walk.
Go for a walk in a pedestrian-friendly place — whether that’s downtown or down a long country road. If you’re in the mood, bring a picnic lunch to enjoy along the way.
10. Enjoy a favorite meal.
Treat yourself to a favorite meal. If you like, you can invite a friend or family member to join you. Don’t forget to leave a generous tip for your waiter.
11. Take a power nap — or meditate.
Try taking a 20-30 minute power nap. Or pop in your earbuds for 20 minutes of relaxing meditation using a brain entrainment recording.
12. Watch something that makes you laugh.
Think of shows or comedians who make you laugh, and block out some time to just sit and watch or listen. This could also be a storytelling podcast or a favorite radio show.
13. Color your hair.
Either set up an appointment for a full or partial foil or — if you know what you’re doing — buy an at-home hair dying kit. Choose a color that makes you feel more confident.
14. Dress up.
Sometimes, just dressing up is enough to make you feel more like yourself. Wear clothes that make you feel more attractive and allow yourself to be seen in them.
15. Spend some time outdoors.
Go outside and enjoy the fresh air, the trees, the birds, the falling leaves, the sunshine, the snow, the wind, the flowers, or whatever calls out to you. Pay attention to details.
16. Go for a swim.
Go for a swim and enjoy the feeling of buoyancy, the warmth of the air (if it’s indoors or during the summer), and the hush of gliding underwater.
17. Enjoy a hot, sudsy bath (or shower).
Get some bath or shower soap in a scent you like and enjoy a long, hot soak or shower. Finish off with some moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and smooth.
18. Sing (or sing along).
Sing along to some favorite songs or sing them on your own — with or without company. Maybe make sure you close the windows first (neighbors).
19. Watch an old film.
Pick an old black and white film to watch. Make some popcorn or another favorite movie-watching treat. For extra credit, use this as a reward for finishing a task or two.
Even a short workout (under 10 minutes) can boost your mood and metabolism. Going for a walk counts, too. Reward yourself with a healthy snack or other self-care.
21. Donate old clothes, etc.
Go through your closet and remove anything you haven’t worn in a year or more. If it’s still in good enough shape, donate it — along with anything else you don’t need, use, or love.
22. Prepare a good meal.
If you feel comfortable doing this, save the cost of eating out by preparing a favorite meal for yourself and, if you like, a special guest. Buy some fresh flowers for the table.
23. Make a wish.
Light a candle for a special dessert and make a silent wish — eyes closed and with a gentle smile. Then blow it out, trusting your wish will come true if it would do you good.
24. Take a chance.
Do something that scares you if think it could change things for you in a good way. Take a risk and learn what you can from the experience, whatever happens.
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25. Meet some friends for lunch (or drinks).
Meet a friend or group of friends at a favorite place for food or drinks. Enjoy catching up with each other, and plan your next meet-up before parting.
26. Order in some dinner.
If going out isn’t an option (or if you’d just rather not), order in something you enjoy — whether it’s Chinese, pizza, sandwiches, or something else. Savor every bite alone or with company.
27. Hug someone.
This works best if you’re hugging someone who wants to be hugged, so it can’t hurt to ask first. When you comfort someone else with a hug, you can’t help but feel comforted, too.
28. Break from your routine.
Take a break from your usual routine and do something fun. This is especially helpful when you feel stuck. If every day is the same, make this one different.
29. Create a vision board.
Get some poster board and look through old magazines for pictures and words to cut out and attach to it to your vision board. Or create a slideshow with Microsoft PowerPoint using images online.
30. Send a postcard to a faraway loved one.
Choose a postcard from a favorite place in town, write a thoughtful message on it, and send it to a loved one who lives far away. They’ll appreciate it, and you’ll get a vicarious boost.
31. Go shopping in a new store.
Walk into a store you haven’t visited yet. This could be a store someone recommended to you or just a place you’ve seen in passing. If it helps, buy something to keep or give as a gift.
32. Rearrange your furniture.
Sometimes just changing the look of a room you spend a lot of time in can help you let go of things you no longer need in your life — and make room for what you do.
33. Start a new home improvement project.
Maybe you want to paint a room, add a new framed picture arrangement, or upgrade the flooring. Whatever it is, do something today to get started with it.
34. Plan a trip.
If you could go anywhere in the world — or in your home country — where would that be, and what would you do there? Get a map and start planning your trip.
35. Tidy up and add something new.
Tidy up a room you spend a lot of time in to refresh it and make it feel more open and spacious — and less burdened by its past. What you do to your space, you do to yourself.
36. Have a good cry.
Sometimes, you just need to let yourself cry. If making time for it isn’t enough, try writing down the thoughts you keep pushing back and the feelings that go with them.
37. Find a pet.
If you’re able to care for a pet animal, find one that fits your personality and lifestyle. Choose one that chooses you back. And prepare a special place for them in your home.
38. Revisit an old hobby.
Maybe you haven’t knitted or crocheted in a while, but you see a new yarn you’d like to try. Buy a skein and use it to create a small item you can enjoy or give to someone as a gift.
39. Do some research.
Do some digging on a subject of interest and document your research. If you have a blog and you learn something others would find useful, consider writing a blog post about it.
40. Read a good book (or listen to one).
Choose a novel or nonfiction book that interests you and block out some time for reading, maybe with some soothing music in the background. Or listen to an audiobook while relaxing.
41. Connect with a friend.
Call, text, or email a friend to check in on them. For all you know they may need cheering up as much as you do. See if you can surprise them with a coffee/tea or their favorite flower.
42. Practice some positive affirmations.
Affirmations are positive statements about yourself or a goal you want to achieve. Even if the statement isn’t true at this moment, speaking an affirmation out loud cements the idea in your mind and fosters the mindset to make it true.
43. Write a love letter to yourself.
Write a letter to yourself praising all of the wonderful things about you. Write it as though you were writing to someone you deeply care about, and you want them to know how amazing they are. Then read it to yourself as though you received it from a beloved friend.
44. Learn a fun, new skill.
Try out a new skill that isn’t too challenging but just difficult enough that it takes some concentration and focus. This focus puts you into a flow state and prevents you from dwelling on negative thoughts. Before you know it, you’ll be immersed in the skill and forget about your troubles.
45. Write a silly children’s story.
Is there a child in your life? Write an age-appropriate story that he or she will love. Make the child the main character and involve them in a silly adventure or crazy situation. Draw some pictures to go with the story, or if you’re writing on your computer, find some free clip art to illustrate your story.
Did you find some things to cheer you up?
The more you bring joy and comfort to others, the more of both you bring into your life.
Lift others up, and you lift yourself up.
Be generous to others with your time, energy, and other resources, and you become a conduit for blessings — a walking irrigation system.
While helping others, though, remember not to neglect your own self-care needs.
Tell yourself the things you need to hear, especially if no one else will say them.
And don’t let other people’s unwillingness to say those things stop you from becoming who you want to be. You’re the only one responsible for that.
May you allow yourself to shine today and celebrate all that you’ve accomplished so far.