Everyone gets in a funk now and then, but the real challenge is getting out of one. While it's easy enough to wallow in your bad mood, there are plenty of easy, surprising, and even weird things that are proven to boost your mood. Don't worry, none of them include someone else telling you to "smile."
There are a million things throughout the day that can totally ruin your mood. Your train is running late, someone bumps into you in the hall and makes you spill your coffee all over the place, you get a passive aggressive text from a friend — you name it, and there is going to be something to bum you out if you let it. But sometimes, it's something more than that... a slump you just can't seem to get out of. Your mood is just generally down, and you don't know what to do to make yourself feel better. You are just simply low.
If you feel alone, know that you're not. We have all had those days and weeks where we just can't seem to get out of a persistently bad mood. The good news is, there's something you can do about it. Here are nine weird things proven to boost your mood. They may seem strange, but they really do work.
1. Dancing It Out
Meredith and Cristina had the right idea. According to researchers writing for the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, dancing can improve your physical and emotional health, and help with stress, anxiety, and depression. For a mood booster, shake your groove thing to whatever beats your heart desires, and soon enough, you'll feel better than before.
2. Spending More Time Outdoors
According to studies from the United Arab Emirates, there's a link between happier dispositions and more time spent outside in the sun, reports the Huffington Post. Vitamin D, which you can get from many different things including sunshine, affects mood, and a deficiency of it can cause people to feel down or depressed. If you want to feel a little brighter, spend some time outdoors in the sunshine. It will do your health and mood a world of good.
3. Playing With Animals
Is it all that surprising to find out that puppies can make you feel happier? According to the National Center for Health Research, there are many benefits of owning a pet, including lower blood pressure, elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine, and lessened symptoms of depression. As if you needed another reason to get another pet.
4. Being Around Other People
When you're feeling low, the last thing you might feel like doing is hanging around other people, but getting out of the house and interacting with others can actually help boost your mood significantly. According to Everyday Health, isolation only makes people feel more depressed, so instead of staying home alone, you should call a loved one or make plans with your gang to help make you feel better. Everyone needs a friend sometimes.
5. Drinking More Water
If you're always feeling down and out, your problem might not be your mood — you could just be tired and dehydrated. According to Men's Health, a study in France has found that people who drink more water regularly are generally in better moods and feel less tired. Drinking water can affect your health in several ways, but did you ever think it would be one of the easiest ways to feel happier? Yeah, me either.
6. Eating More Probiotics
Your internal health has greater effects on your mental health than you may think, which is why consuming more probiotics — micro-organic bacteria and yeasts that are good for your body, especially your gut — can improve your mood. According to a study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, taking a probiotic supplement can make you feel happier. If you don't like taking pills, try eating foods high in probiotics, such as yogurt, sour pickles, and tempeh.
7. Eating Smaller Portions More Often
You know the term hangry? Well, it turns out that's a real thing, and to curb your own hangriness, eating light meals more often can help you maintain a sunnier disposition. Eating at regular intervals will ensure that you don't go hungry and get in a bad mood because of low blood pressure. It's really a win-win, and a simple way to boost your mood overall.
8. Changing The Scent Of Your Environment
Could the smell of your office be bringing you down? It's possible, because scents can affect your emotions. If you want a pick-me-up, try a mood-boosting scent such as pine, fresh cut grass, or citrus.
That's right, smiling can actually make you feel happier. A theory that goes all the way back to Darwin in the late 19th century, the idea that making an emotional face can actually influence your feelings was again proven in a 2009 psychological study at the University of Cardiff in Wales. According to Scientific American, researchers found that people who couldn't frown due to cosmetic injections were happier than people who could frown. Yes, sometimes boosting your mood really is that simple.