Here’s a list of 101 ways to cheer yourself up! Some of them are a little weird, but bear with me — there are some really fun ones in here…
Try them out and let me know what you think! And remember, we all have tough days and go through weird moods. It’s natural. But the longer you stay in a bad mood, the less time you get to be happy and enjoy life!
*Note, a couple of the links within the list below are amazon affiliate links…
Fun Ways to Cheer Yourself Up
- Paint or draw 2 pictures. First one that describes the crap mood you are in currently, then a different one that represents the good mood you want to be in. Hang the happy one on the outside of your fridge, and put the crappy one at the back of the freezer. Or, burn the crappy one… it’s time to cheer up!
- Write some positive affirmations on flash cards. Look up your favorite motivational quotes and write them down. Then, stick the cards all over your house in random places.
- Write a letter to your future self (or your future kids!). Describe the awesome things in life and best secrets you’ve learned or discovered so far in life.
- Open your curtains and make sure you’re getting as much natural day light as possible. Sunshine cheers people up! If you don’t have any windows, cut a hole in your wall. (just kidding!!!! DON’T cut holes in the wall)
- Hang Christmas lights over your bed. Better yet, decorate your whole house with bright cheer. I keep my Christmas lights up all year round above my bed (pic below). I have a set above my couch, too. Turning these on cheers me up 🙂
- Go to the store and pick up your fav snack under $2. Candy, chips, soda, or whatever. Treat yourself to the small but awesome things you enjoy! While you’re there, pick up a gift for your neighbor too? 🤷♂️ Doing good deeds will release negative thoughts from your mind!
- Ask yourself this question… “whatever you’re worried about right now, will it really matter in five years time?”. Usually, the answer is no. So stop worrying about it and cheer up!
- Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in years. Or email them and tell them 5 good things that have happened since you last spoke with them. Then, ask what 5 good things have happened in their life.
- Dress up in your favorite outfit. When you’re in the clothes that you love, you just feel more relaxed, happy, and ready to tackle the day.
Quickest Ways to Cheer Yourself Up
- One of the absolute quickest ways to cheer yourself up is to do good deeds for other people. Making other people happy → leads to self happiness. Think about your spouse… how can you make their life a little easier today? How can you help a friend? Prosocial activity leads to joy.
- Take a bath or shower. Just the act of stripping off your clothes will release some of the negative emotions or sad energy. Washing and soaking also gives you a rinsing feeling to put you in a better mood. Candles, bath salts and music can make you relax quickly too.
- Blast some music! Make it fun, upbeat, and if you know songs that make you dance, you get to release some endorphin too! Music carries emotion, so it’s one of the fastest ways to cheer up on bad days.
- Turn off your phone! Many people think the opposite — when they are having bad days they believe searching for good news will cheer them up. But, scrolling social media or watching shows on a tiny screen actually does the opposite of cheering you up. It can induce further negative thoughts. So turn off your phone, take a break from technology, and get in touch with real life.
- Pretty yourself up! Shave, give yourself a haircut, tweeze, spend a bit of time in front of the mirror caring for yourself. Reminding yourself how great you look gives you confidence and cheers you up.
- Appreciation for the small things. Gratitude is one of the quickest self care things a person can do to improve their mood. It’s as easy as thinking about all the good things going on in your life, and focusing on all your blessings. Start with the basics — food in your fridge, roof over your head, loved ones around you, health, etc.
- Watch some comedy, read some jokes, or call an old friend for a laugh. Laughter reduces anxiety, stress, and clears up a bad mood.
- Take a nap! Sleep is one of the simple ways to get you out of your funk. When you wake up from your sleep time, you’ll feel different!
- Think of just 1 happy thought, just like Peter Pan. Happiness starts with just a single happy thought, then things multiply from there into multiple happy thoughts. What is your 1 happy thought? (Mine is my wife and how lucky I am to have met her when I did. She changed my entire life!)
- Lace up and go for a run. The combination of being outside, and getting some exercise is one of the quickest ways to cheer yourself up.
Ideas to Cheer Up When You’re Bored
- Watch this cucumber video, then learn all the words to the rap. (Then go and eat a cucumber to cheer yourself up! 🥒
- Go down to the nearest pub, and bring a bunch of those blank name tags that say “Hello, my name is ___________”. Also bring some sharpie pens. Then walk around and label everyone in the pub with funny and weird names. Keep it nice, funny, and see what happens. You won’t be bored anymore!
- Calculate your net worth. I bet you it’s more than 90% of people on this planet. Cheer up, you wealthy bugger!
- Download your last 3 months of credit card transactions. Organize them into categories and see where you can afford to make some cut backs. Then, think of something cool and FUN you can do with the money you’re saving! Personally, I use Mint.com to track all my spending — it’s free!
- Sit on an office chair and swirl around as many times as you can in a circle. After about 50 turns, get up and try to run across the house. Bonus points if you videotape yourself and post it to Facebook or Instagram!
- Go build a fort. Either a pillow fort inside your house, or a sticks and stones one outside. Or a tree fort! It’s hard to be grumpy inside a fort with a secret password to let people in.
- Complete a happiness checklist. There are several free ones online you can google if you’re bored. Better yet, WRITE YOUR OWN happiness checklist! Doesn’t have to be massive tasks. In fact, the smaller the better to start with. As progress builds, so does your sense of accomplishment and improved attitude!
- Having sex can cheer you up… 😘 Spending time with someone you love is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
- Go out and get a massage. Having your body pressed and squeezed will release negative thoughts from your mind and leave you relaxed and happy.
- Write down a big list of your friend’s names. Then, next to each name, come up with random nicknames for each friend. Make them really weird and fun, based on personal characteristics of the person. Then, text everyone their new name and start calling them that from then onwards.
- Write your own manifesto. Here’s a guide to write your manifesto that might help you.
Creative and Getting Weird Ideas
- Spend the rest of the day pretending that you are the Queen of England. Speak in a British accent like her, walk slowly, pretend to pet your invisible corgi dog, and have tea with your family. Being weird like this will snap you out of your funk.
- Turn your frown upside-down… literally! Go over to the mirror and do a downward facing dog yoga move, putting your head upside down facing the mirror between your legs. Check out your frown (it’s now upside down). Also, check out your awesome buttocks while you are in that position.
- Say these words out loud… “Beep. Boop. Beep. Boop.” Repeat them over and over slowly, and it will cheer you up. Maybe.
- Have a conversation with your dog, or cat. Now I know you’re thinking “that’s dumb, they can’t talk back!”… But think about this… Your dog is thinking the same thing when looking at YOU. They think you are dumb because you don’t speak their language. Try barking, howling, or growling at your dog. For cats, purr and meow and see what they say back.
- Blog about whatever you’re feeling, or write in a journal. Not a sad journal, a happiness journal! What’s getting you down?… and what can you do about it? As you write, focus on the stuff that could be good coming from your current situation, not the bad stuff.
- Write a long ass to-do list. Include a few things that you have already done, then, check them off. You’re half way to getting your list done already, so cheer up!
- Write down your big goals in life! Or start a someday maybe list. I have one that has about 200 big goals and fun things I’d like to try one day. Fun to create, look at, and eventually DO!
- Compartmentalize the things you’re worried about. Picture a room of doors to organize your thoughts. Dump all of the unimportant and negative emotions and thoughts into a bucket that you no longer have to worry about.
- Put a “Just married” sign on the back of your car and drive around. People will yell out happy sayings and congratulations everywhere you go and honk with smiling faces. Soak up all the happiness! (Don’t want to lie about being married? No worries – add any sign to your car. Recently graduated? Got a new job? Celebrating xyz? Share your good news with the world and people will share their happiness in return)
- Prank call one of your old aunties or uncles. Call their landline telephone and tell them an old car that was registered in their name back in 1984 was recently involved in an illegal drug deal. They are now a suspect in an FBI investigation.
- Buy some fake poops on Amazon. This 8 pack of fake turds is only $12, and can be used in a variety of situations. Get funny and go play some pranks on coworkers, strangers, or family within your own house! Everyone like poop jokes.
Build or Cook Up Some Happiness
Making things with your own hands has a healing effect. Try some of these…
- Bust out your old Lego set and build something cool! Or, do some puzzles, or bust out those 3d puzzles and weird problem solv-y games. That will take your mind off of negative things and change your feelings.
- Build some furniture. Nothing too big or crazy… maybe like a shoe rack, coffee station, small nightstand, box to hold electronics, or coffee table for your loungeroom. Spending time in the garage can cheer you up and get your mind off of negative things.
- Build a treehouse. Or, if you’re not handy, you can just go play in someone else’s treehouse. Just need to know the secret password to get in.
- Make a massive feast or try making a meal you’ve never made before. Baking can be very therapeutic, not to mention DELICIOUS!
- Create a Whole Life Dashboard. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture of your life is inspiring. Remind yourself that you are in charge and designing a life that you LOVE.
- Clean your house! Try and declutter all the crap that you haven’t used in the past 5 years. Cleaning your house will also clean your mind and feelings.
Reflect On the Good Times!
Research shows remembering happy events releases serotonin. (Serotonin is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness)
- Think back to The happiest day of your life. Write down 5 to 10 cool things that happened that day you will never forget. For me, it was my wedding day!
- Who was your favorite teacher back in grade school or high school? Look them up and connect with them. Shoot them a message to see if they remember you. Just seeing your note will probably boost their happiness too!
- What were your fav movies growing up? Look up the actors and see what they’re up to these days.
- Write your favorite celebrity a fan letter! Sounds silly but they will probably get a kick out of it.
- What was the nicest gift you have ever received? Who gave it to you and what did you feel like when you opened it? My brother once bought me an Apple Watch. It was totally unexpected, and one of the most thoughtful and expensive things I’ve ever received. I will never forget how awesome that moment was.
- Picture your grandparents living during the world wars. Your life is SO MUCH easier than theirs was. Cheer up!
- Look through your old photo albums. On your phone, or physical albums. You can even head over to your parent/grandparents place to see if they’ve got some oldies that you haven’t seen in a while. (pic below is my wedding day. One of my favorite days where everyone was happy and having a good time)
- Watch an old favorite movie. I watched Beethoven the other day and it cheered me right up! Home Alone is always a classic. You can’t be in a bad mood watching your favorite funny movies!
- Remember, you are living someone else’s dream life! There are billions of people on this planet that would swap places with you in a second! Cheer up because YOU HAVE IT GOOD. Trust me.
- Go sit under a huge tree, one that’s been alive for over 100 years. Close your eyes and imagine all the stuff that tree has seen and gone through over time. Next, plant your own tree somewhere and think about who will be underneath in the future.
- Practice meditation and mindfulness. These take time to master, but are worth practicing to improve your overall mental health!
Go Outside and Get Exercise
Exercise releases endorphin and makes you happy! (Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body to relieve stress and pain)
- Drop and give me 20! Getting your blood pumping will release endorphin which reduces pain and boosts pleasure! Can’t do 20 push-ups? Start by doing just 1!
- Windy day? Go fly a kite!? You can make your own little kite with a newspaper. Or, buy some decent ones on Amazon, they are like $10 for 2 kites!
- Go to the gym. Lift weights, punch a punching bag, take a yoga class or HIT workout class. Whatever you do, get your body moving and release all those negative thoughts!
- Go to a petting zoo. Or go to a nearby dog park to play with the dogs. Animals can cure temporary depression and heal your sad feelings. Pets also show unconditional love, so if you have a dog, take him or her for a walk or play time.
- Do some gardening. Both the physical activity will cheer you up as well as being a part of nature doing its thing will make you think differently.
- Go to a garage sale. Or better yet, try and find some estate sale deals. I love walking around other people’s houses and looking at all their crap. Gives you perspective, plus you might find a sweet deal!
- Put your phone down, lace up your shoes, and go outside for a 10 min walk. While you’re out there, look at the sky, the clouds, the trees, the people… life truly is beautiful.
- Climb a tree! Did you know that 82% of tree species can actually feel when a human is climbing on their branches and then they release a small chemical out of their tree leaves that makes the human happier? Well, I totally made all that stuff up… but just try climbing a tree and it’ll cheer you up.
- Take off your shoes and walk around barefoot. There are some really interesting studies done about the healing qualities of walking around barefoot. I talk about some of it here — walking barefoot gives me more energy!
- Stargaze. If you’re in a weird mood at night and need to cheer up, get out and look at the stars. See if you can find a shooting star, and be sure to make a wish!
- Get out and go to the theatre! Either the movies for a new release, or the actual theatre to watch other people perform. What I love about the movies is there is no cell phones allowed, and it will distract you from whatever is going on in your little world for a few hours.
Cheer Up Your Day At Work
Feeling down at work? That’s OK, try some of these ideas:
- Set a date in the future when you want to quit. Can be a few years out, or even decades out. Input the date into your calendar. Check out this guy – he set a 1-year goal to quit his job, and actually did it.
- Recall a time when you helped someone (a client, coworker, boss, business partner) and really made a difference. Remind yourself of the value that you provide in your current role, and feel better knowing that you are absolutely needed.
- Call your boss up on zoom and ask how they like your new haircut (find a wig, act like it’s your new natural hair.) You can also do this to a coworker, your IT team members, or the new hires in the office. Making fun at work and playing jokes will cheer you up, as well as anyone else too.
- Get a desk plant! (I write a recent post about this) This is actually a productivity trick, but it can be used to boost your happiness. Research shows that your mood lightens up when you have something living on your desk, and it allows you to focus and relax more. Plants and landscaping also reduce crime, and make sick people heal faster!
- Send out some memes, office jokes, or Friday puns to your team. Just googling funny things for the workplace will cheer you up and change your mood.
- Write a thank you letter or compliment for a coworker. Remember, the quickest route to happiness is making others happy. Make someone’s day with your compliment note, and make your own day in the process.
- Write a personal credo. My friend Steve has a credo you can check out, and I’ve written some recent posts about how he is implementing it in his life!
- Write your favorite positive affirmation and stick it on your desktop screen. Say it over and over to yourself in your head. The reason you are working is to earn money and better your life. Don’t forget your overall mission and why you are there.
- Step away from your computer for a little bit. Throw on some music in your headphones and take a walk to get those negative thoughts out of your mind. Return when you’re feeling better
- Take a mental health day! People don’t do this enough in life, and employers are realizing more and more that mental health days are extremely important to avoid burnout.
Stay Away From These Activities
These are on the NOT to do list. They might seem fun, but they will actually do more harm than good in the long run to your mood.
- Retail therapy is not a good idea! As much as you think it might improve your feelings, the cost could have negative effects on your life. And it’s not a sustainable activity to do every time you experience bad days in life. Stay away from expensive shopping!
- Try not to binge watch TV 📺 . You’re trying to reverse the lethargic feelings, not double down on them 🙂 Studies show TV actually brings your mood down, not improves it.
- Try to eat healthy foods, and stay away from multiple junk meals. Though it might feel good in the moment to head out to McDonald’s and grab a delicious meal, you probably won’t feel that great afterwards.
- Don’t take it personally. When you’re having a bad day, sometimes it’s sparked by depression or negative feelings about yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of blaming yourself, thinking negatively, or having self pity. Instead, think of your positive qualities. List the good thing you like about yourself. Small or big, focus on the good!
- Avoid taking it out on others! Negative moods can be contagious, so be careful who you hang around. If there are extreme negative things on your mind, it’s best not to share your thoughts with anyone, and stay quiet!
More to come on all this! I’m constantly thinking of new things and ways to boost happiness. If you have any new ideas, please email me and share!
**Feature pic by Eric Brehm. Thank you!