20 Little Ways To Feel Better After A Bad Day

by Jaime Ritter
RyanJLane/E+/Getty Images

So you've had a no good, terrible, very bad day, and you just want to make yourself feel better right away (corny rhyme totally not intended there). Trust me, I get it. Bad days are the worst, and after a bad day, you probably just want to crawl into a hole (aka your bed, with a glass of wine and reruns of New Girl), and never see the light of day again. That's great, but maybe consider these other ways to feel better after a bad day.

Maybe you got into a screaming match with your bestie, or had a bad day at your job, or broke up with bae. But, take a deep breath, because it's all going to be OK. No, seriously. It will be.

Whatever caused your bad day, take solace in the fact that there are things you can do to make yourself a little more zen and centered before tomorrow comes. Everyone has their own ways of decompressing, but something most health experts can agree on is that you need to take care of yourself. That way, when you're feeling 100 percent, you can tackle your problems head-on.

Here are 20 foolproof ways that will definitely help you to decompress after a bad day.

1. Drink a glass of water

This study from the University of Connecticut proved that even mild dehydration can alter a person's mood — so drink up, cutie!

2. Exercise

So, I know the last thing you probably want to do is lace up your running shoes when you're feeling mentally exhausted, but I promise that once those endorphins get flowing, you'll feel a million times better.

3. Journal

Recent studies show that those who wrote down their feelings felt less anxious or angry about their situation immediately afterward. No Lisa Frank diary required.

4. Have a good laugh

Some of my favorite chuckle-worthy sources: cat videos on YouTube, voicemails from drunk friends I've saved on my phone, and Aziz Ansari's standup comedy.

5. Take a hot bath

Invest in some yummy bath bombs. Get that water piping hot, drop your bomb in, and feel your body melt.

6. Meditation

There are so many great resources out there — I never felt like I could meditate because thoughts kept popping in my head, and I didn't feel like I was "doing it right." Well, apparently that's exactly how you're supposed to do it! Download an app like Headspace, or try a guided meditation video on YouTube. In as little as 10 minutes, you can get your zen on.

7. Make yourself a cup of tea

Some of my favorite stress-relieving teas are chamomile, peppermint, and lavender. Stick to non-caffeinated for a soothing effect.

8. Make a list

List-making is super helpful when you're faced with a tough decision, or just have a ton on your mind. Depending on your situation, you can make two types of lists. In the first, you can list all of the things you need to accomplish starting with the most important or time-sensitive. Then, check your tasks off as you complete them. The other type of list is a pros and cons list. I've used this in big decisions like breakups or potential moves. If your pros outweigh your cons, you know what to do.

9. Bake

There's honestly nothing more cathartic than beating and kneading bread dough after a hard day. Even when nothing seems to go right, you'll always be able to make fluffy, delicious bread.

10. Try aromatherapy

Aromatherapy works wonders for stress. Pick out your favorite scents (I love sandalwood and lavender), and breathe them in deeply. You can even take a wet washcloth, dab a few drops of aromatherapy oil on it, and either microwave or freeze it until it gets to your desired temperature. Then, put it on your neck and inhale forever and ever.

11. Invest in a tennis ball

Stressed? You probably have tension in your muscles. I suggest grabbing a tennis ball and rolling it under your feet on a hard surface. It's odd, but it's a trick I used as a college athlete and it works wonders. Golf balls work in a pinch, too.

12. Do a good deed

Call your grandma and ask how she's doing, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or bring the homeless guy down the street some dinner. Turning your bad day around for someone else will not only make you feel good, it's also good karma.

13. Spend some time with furry friends

Animals relieve anxiety, period. If you don't have your own fur baby, volunteer to take a friend's pup to the park or go play with the strays at the shelter.

14. Read

Sometimes, getting lost in a random character's story can make you temporarily forget about yours.

15. Find your comfort food

There's just something about eating wonton soup and an egg roll after a bad day that always makes me feel better.

16. Vent... but give it a time limit

Years ago, I read a Beyonce interview that said she only gives herself 10 minutes a day to be sad. So, go ahead and vent to your sibling or parent or best friend about your day, but don't drag them down with you. You're a grown ass woman who can take care of herself, and you're going to make this problem your bitch.

17. Cry

With #16 being said, I'm not Beyonce and I'm all for the occasional ugly cry. Get it out, girl.

18. Pull yourself together

OK, so now that you've vented, cried, and tried to calm yourself, it's time to get yourself together. Take three reallyyyy long, deep breaths. Try to inhale and feel it all the way deep down in your stomach. Now let it out. Now, do it a few more times.

19. Look internally

Could you have handled the situation differently? Were you unfair? Did you lash out or say something mean? Sometimes putting the shoe on the other foot can help you gain perspective going forward.

20. Do your nails

It's a confidence thing. I firmly believe that when you look good, you feel good; and when you feel good, you perform well. So go out there and tackle the day!

Images: RyanJLane/E+/Getty Images; Giphy