We’re not happy all the time, that’s indisputable. But there is something to be said about a life filtered through rose-colored glasses. So for the times when you’ve lost sight of all the good stuff you have going, we collected our favorite feel-good remedies. They’re easy, (mostly) free, and will help you enjoy each day a little bit more. Sorry Debby Downers and Sunday Blues, you don’t stand a chance.
Read on for the Byrdie editors’ guide to contentment.
1. Blast music and sing at the top of your lungs.
“Back when I had a car—and now when I go upstate and drive around—I love blasting music and singing at the top of my lungs. I've definitely had people look at me before, but I'm just like, ‘Whatevs, enjoy my free concert.’ When I'm in the city, I'll put on my favorite Pandora station and sing along in my apartment (which I'm sure my neighbors love).” —Lindsey Metrus, Associate Editor
2. Allow yourself to indulge.
“I treat myself to some really good food, whether that be an energizing smoothie full of fresh fruit, a nice dinner out with a friend, or something as simple as a mini cupcake from the vegan bakery down the street. Knowing I've put something delicious and healthy into my body not only makes me feel physically uplifted, it also makes me feel like I'm being nice to myself, which is a total mood booster.” —Amanda Montell, Associate Features Editor
3. Start a dream journal.
“I like to remind everyone that you don't have to be remotely into anything New Age to benefit from this simple exercise. As we , dreams can tell us so much about ourselves psychologically and really challenge us to think about deeper things going on in our lives that we might not have been aware of in the first place. Whenever I'm trying to make a big decision and rationally feel at an impasse, it is immensely helpful to look to my dreams to get a more conclusive idea of what my gut is feeling. It sounds nuts, but it seriously works.” —Victoria Hoff, Associate Editor
4. Talk to your friends and/or watch Friends.
“Chatting with friends always lifts my spirits. We don't need to talk about anything relevant to the issue bringing me down at that moment. Just friend-talk helps. A glass of wine and a hug never hurt either. Put an episode of Friends on in the background and I'm guaranteed to smile.” —Deven Hopp, Senior Editor
I second that: "Whenever I'm feeling down, I go hang with friends. It's the quickest way to turn a day around (or help me move on from a tough situation). They're just all so sweet, fun, and cool. And they let me vent without mentioning that I've already said the same thing three times in a row." —Hallie Gould, Senior Editor
5. Take a lunch break.
“It’s such a simple thing, but stepping out of the office during a particularly stressful day can make all the difference. I like to walk around the block, collect my thoughts, and grab a delicious snack. The key is to not eat it at your desk. It’s not always possible (given the busy nature of working on the Internet), but it really helps neutralize a hard day.” —Hallie Gould, Senior Editor
6. Pamper yourself.
“There’s nothing in the world that gets me out of a funk faster than luxuriously applying fancy products. It’s a soothing, meditative experience that’ll ease my mind and make my skin look better in the process. My advice? Run a hot bath, slap on a face mask, and you won’t be able to stay sad for long. A trio of Roques O'Neil Therapie Joie Uplifting Bath Infusion ($76) with a Verso Deep Hydration Mask ($85), and Plant Get Happy Body Wash ($20) is just the ticket.” —Hallie Gould, Senior Editor
“Sometimes when I'm in a really crappy mood, I'll force myself to smile. Like, purposefully upturn my mouth into a smile shape even if I'm all by myself and feeling anything but smiley. I read a study a couple years ago showing that smiling, even forcibly, noticeably reduces stress. So, even though it feels stupid, I do it. If nothing else, I sometimes just crack up from how ridiculous I know I must look.” —Amanda Montell, Associate Features Editor
8. Play with a cute animal.
“My dog lives with my parents, but anytime I go to visit, it's an instant stress-reliever. She's just about the cutest thing in the world, and is so attached to us that it feels so good to snuggle up with her and forget about whatever's bothering you.” —Lindsey Metrus, Associate Editor
9. Try forest-bathing.
“It might have kind of an offbeat name, but forest-bathing is just an ancient Japanese practice of walking in nature as a form of meditation. My happy place is really anywhere that I can be surrounded by nature, so whenever I'm feeling aggravated, stressed, or just need to sort out my thoughts, I go for a walk.” —Victoria Hoff, Associate Editor
Amanda Montell, our Associate Features Editor, agrees: “Simply go outside. And I don't necessarily mean go on a big seven-mile hike to the top of a mountain, although that'll certainly also do the trick. Just taking a 10-minute walk around the neighborhood, maybe to Starbucks or the grocery store, while listening to good tunes always gets my blood moving and my lungs breathing. I'm always in a better headspace when I get back from spending a little time outside.”
10. Kick your own butt.
“I’m happiest in the moment I finish a great workout and in the long-term when I'm on good workout schedule. I may not always want to get out of bed for a 6:30 a.m. ropes class, but I never regret it when I do. Exercising in the morning sets me up to have a better day. Oxygen, vitamin D, and exercise: a winning combination.” — Deven Hopp, Senior Editor
11. Get into yoga.
“Nothing revolutionary, but I always feel better inside and out when I'm in the thick of a regular yoga practice. Life has gotten in the way and I haven't been going as often lately, but I need to change that—one of my life goals is getting certified as a teacher.” —Victoria Hoff, Associate Editor
12. Call your mom.
“I call my mom just about every day, and it really helps to vent to her about anything I'm stressing over or just to talk about life in general.” —Lindsey Metrus, Associate Editor
13. Throw on a lipstick.
“I’m no scientist, but I’m convinced that lipstick has transformative properties. If you’re in a bad mood, paint on your favorite shade and fake it for a second. Dealing with life stuff a lot of the time is as simple as pretending you know what you’re doing. And a good lipstick can help you conquer the world. (If not the world, at least you’ll be able to better get through the day.)” — Hallie Gould, Senior Editor