Nine Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Bad Mood

Bad moods magnify trivial annoyances and dampen enjoyment. Once you get to the wot of the problem, use these quick-fix tactics to restore emotional equilibrium.

  • Eat some good dark chocolate (avoid milk chocolate as it is terrible for your health). The chocolate is vital as it prompts the release of serotonin, the brain’s natural chemical “upper.” Eat it slowly, savoring the sweetness and texture. Limit yourself to two pieces—a chocolate binge will only make you feel worse later.
  • Play with a toy or a game. It could be something as simple as a yo-yo or a game on your phone, or even one on a game console like PlayStation. The key is to distract your mind.
  • Get active quickly. A quick walk can also prompt the release of endorphins throughout your body and provides a change of scenery to distract you from problems. The fresh air and getting outside your house or office will also greatly help you as well.
  • Shift the focus away from your foul mood by doing something for others—send a funny card to a friend or do volunteer work.
  • Listen to music. Familiar songs evoke pleasant memories and good feelings. If singing along helps, then belt it out!
  • Contact someone you know and trust who makes you feel good. Simply ask that person to help you cheer up or bask in the glow of his/her positive outlook. If you don’t know how to ask, just say the phrase, “I need your help. I’m having a bad day and just wanted to hear your voice for a few minutes; it always cheers me up.” There isn’t a good person alive who could reject that request.
  • Another option is being around a child, for instance, may awaken your own natural joy and enable you to regain your perspective. That is, unless, children is what is causing your bad mood in the first place.In case you can’t reach anyone, keep a photo of a loved one nearby.
    Important: Avoid people who bring you down. This is vital because the last thing that you want is to sink deeper into your bad mood.
  • Give yourself a break. Choose a task to postpone or delegate, you might even cancel your dinner plans so you can enjoy a restful evening. Whatever is stressing you out, look for options to relieve that stress positively.

    Helpful: Carve out 15 minutes to recharge. Meditate, take a catnap, or just close your eyes and visualize comforting enjoyable experiences. Get a massage. Beyond easing muscle aches, a massage makes you feel indulged. When stuck at your desk, you could gently massage your own neck, shoulders—even your feet.


  • Other options would be to play with your pet. Studies have shown that it has a soothing effect on heartbeat, blood pressure and respiration rate.

Sandra A. Crowe, president of Pivotal Point Training and Consulting, Inc., Rockville, MD, which teaches relationship techniques, She is the author of Since Strangling Isn’t an Option. Dealing with Difficult People.