9 tips to boost your mood

We all need a mood boost from time to time. Maybe it’s the Sunday blues before going back to work or uni. Maybe you’ve had some disappointing news. Or maybe you’re just having a bad day.

It can be easy to get stuck in a rut and struggle to pull yourself out of this place you’ve found yourself in, but there are little things you can do to improve your mood.

Sure, it might not tackle the root cause of the issue, but focusing on something that makes you feel good can make you feel more equipped to deal with whatever it is that’s getting you down.

Sit down, grab a brew, and hopefully these 9 tips to help you boost your mood will soon have you feeling brighter. 

1. Get ready

Flat lay image of an outfit including white plimsolls, white sweatshirt, blue jeans and foliage.

When you’re feeling glum, it can be tempting to stay in your pyjamas and lounge around. Sure, there’s a time and a place for that – but you’ll find that getting yourself ready and putting on some clothing you love will instantly lift your mood.

2. Spend some time in nature

Roseberry Topping hill in the snow. Taking a walk outside can help to get those happy hormones flowing. The health benefits of exercise are well known, but research increasingly shows that people who spend more time outside are generally happier than those who don’t.

So, get your day off to the best start or perk up a mid-afternoon slump with a short, brisk walk. It’ll increase blood flow to your brain, re-energise you and ease your stress.

3. Practise gratitude

Pink paper diary with the slogan "today I am grateful."This is about changing your thought process – and it’s not always easy but I promise it’s worth persevering with. Instead of focusing on the negatives and inconveniences, try to practise gratitude. For me, getting stuck in traffic on the way to work turned into a positive after I became a mum. Annoying traffic jam, or valuable alone time where I can listen to my music of choice? How you view it can make all the difference!

There are lots of ways you can practise gratitude, too. Think about making a list of what you’re grateful for in your life. It can help to pull your focus in the right direction.

4. Listen to music

Pink headphones on a blue and pink background.

Listening to music has lots of benefits (more on that in Michelle’s blog here). It can inspire a huge range of emotions and even transport us back to another place and time. Music can help to ease tension, reduce anxiety and even promote healthy brain function.

If you’re looking for a quick mood boost, get your favourite music on. It’s a good idea to have a go-to mood boosting playlist ready to go! 

5. Just breathe

Neon light "breathe" Some deep, gentle breathing can help improve your mood. Take five and try being mindful – relax, breathe and pay attention to what you can see, hear and feel in the present. It’s a great way to restore some calm.

Try and regulate your breathing. Breathe in for five, and out for five. Repeat and relax.

6. Eat mood-boosting foods

Single banana on a pastel pink background.

Our nutrition plays a huge role in how we feel. The right food can help you to feel more energised, so instead of reaching for sugary high-calorie treats, opt for a banana, walnuts, eggs or some dark chocolate. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

Need inspiration? Check out 11 ways to eat healthily on a budget.  

7. Declutter your space

Person holding a cleaning spray against a blue background.

You know what they say – tidy house, tidy mind. Decluttering and cleaning your space can help to make you feel more relaxed and positive. And there’s nothing better than climbing into fresh bedsheets on an evening, IMO…   

Plus, it helps to keep busy when you’re feeling a bit low. Now might be a good time to finally sort out your wardrobe!

8. Smile

Bunch of pink and orange balloons with smiley faces.

I’m not about to say ‘smile, it might never happen’ (annoying). But even if you don’t feel like it, smiling can actually trigger mood-boosting hormones in your brain. So, if you’re setting foot outside, smile and say hello to people. It could make someone’s day.

9. Do something nice

Gift box wrapped in hot pink paper with a gold ribbon and glitter confetti.

Carrying out small acts of kindness can make a big difference to how you feel. Whether it’s giving someone a small gift or doing some volunteering, it can make you feel more positive. 

Consider giving your time to help people combat loneliness, dog walking for neighbours, or passing on a good book to a friend. There are lots of ways you can do something nice – and it costs nothing. 

Author: Amy B

Amy studied English and now works in the Communications and Development team at Teesside University. She's also a home interiors blogger with a passion for nature, art and colour. Away from work, Amy loves great vegetarian food, indie rock and a good box set.