16 Ways to Improve Your Mood Right Now

When you need an immediate mood booster.

By: Lexy Parsons

Let’s face it, we all have those bad-mood days. When schedules are busy, to-do lists are long, and stress is high, sometimes a bad mood is inescapable. While “snapping out of it” isn’t a reasonable ask, there are some simple mood-boosting hacks that can have you feeling better in a matter of moments! So, if you’re wondering how to improve your mood and get out of that funk, here are the best tips to boost mood right here, right now!

Bad Mood? Try These Simple Tips 

#1 Set One Small Attainable Goal

What’s one goal you can set right now and easily achieve? It could be as simple as sipping 8 oz of water, taking 5 deep belly breaths, or replying to that email that’s been on your mind all morning. Small tasks add up to big results over time, and checking even one thing off can make you feel better. 

#2 Take a Deep Breath

Seriously, do it. Right now! Deep breathing activates our parasympathetic nervous system and can help immediately calm feelings of stress, anxiety, or frustration. 

If you can find a quiet space, great. If not, that’s ok! Close your eyes, sit up straight, and turn your attention inward. Keeping your mouth closed, take a deep inhale through your nose and imagine filling up your entire belly and rib cage with air. Inhale as slowly as possible for a breath count of 5-10 seconds per inhale. Hold at the top of your inhale, and then slowly release and exhale out your mouth at the same pace. Repeat as many rounds as you have time for! 

#3 Compliment Yourself

Speak to yourself as you would a friend. Say three nice things to yourself, and mean it! Maybe you were really productive today, crushed your workout this morning, or are looking mighty fine in your new fall wardrobe. Be your own hype girl (or guy)!! Positive self-talk is a powerful way to shift your perspective and bust out of a lousy mood.

#4 Give (or Receive) a Hug

You know those days where you don’t feel like seeing or talking to anyone? Sometimes those are the times we need human connection the most. Hugs release the hormone oxytocin (otherwise known as the “love hormone” or the “bonding hormone”), which has been shown to elicit feelings of calm, stress relief, happiness, and trust.   

#5 Pet a Furry Friend

Wondering how to improve your mood? Find a furry friend to pet! Just like hugging, embracing a pet releases oxytocin and gives us a much-needed mood boost. No wonder our dogs and cats make us feel that much better. ?

#6 Declutter Your Surrounding Environment

Yes, a cluttered space can lead to a worse mood! So, let’s tidy up, shall we? But, we’re not talking about your entire apartment, car, or even desk drawer, ok? Think small! Something you can do in a matter of minutes. If you’re sitting at work and your papers are stacked every which way, start by decluttering your immediate environment to invite in some calm. 

Maybe you toss the stack of empty beverages guarding your space, clean up the crumbs from lunch, and organize your papers so they’re facing the same direction and aesthetically neat. Then, make another actionable plan for tomorrow. Remember: small steps lead to big (lasting) changes. 

#7 Listen to a Happy Song

Need some tips to boost mood and have fun while doing it? Press play on your playlist and pump out a happy song! We’re not saying you have to dance, but we highly recommend it.  

#8 Seek The Sunshine

How to improve your mood is as easy as chasing the sunshine. We know it’s not as easy during the winter months, but with a little effort (and maybe an extra layer or two), it’s possible!! Vitamin D, the sunshine hormone, is associated with mood-boosting benefits and is known to reduce depression and support mental well-being. 

#9 Walk It Off

One of our favorite tips to boost mood is, of course, a little movement! Even one hour of exercise per week can benefit our mood and mental health. So, just a few minutes a day makes a difference! When you’re feeling less than ideal, take a stroll around the block, walk down the hall, or find a set of stairs and get your heart pumping. And if you have time, try fitting in some weekly FitOn workouts into your schedule. 

RELATED: The Amazing Benefits of Walking

#10 Reflect On Something Good 

What’s one positive thing happening in your life? Even if your life feels chaotic, stressful, and overwhelming, what’s something that’s working really well? Maybe you’ve been listening to a podcast on the way to work and learning about the latest wellness trends. Maybe you’re slaying your meal-prep game and coming to work with yummy overnight oats to curb your morning hanger. Maybe you’re setting healthy boundaries and signing off work and social media at a reasonable hour. 

Reflecting on something good can trigger feelings of gratitude, which has been shown to improve mental health and mood. 

#11 Try a Mood-Boosting Meditation

How to improve your mood in minutes? Press play on a FitOn mood-boosting meditation. Browse the meditation category in the FitOn app and press play on a meditation to bring an immediate sense of calm and joy into your day. 

#12 Visualization Your Best Possible Self

You can try this anytime, anywhere, and best of all, it only takes a few minutes. When you’re wondering how to boost your mood fast, take a moment to visualize the best version of yourself. What would you be doing? Who would you be surrounded by? What would your goals and achievements look like? According to research, just five minutes of visualizing your best self has been shown to improve self-esteem both immediately and over time.  

#13 Find A Quiet Space to Collect Your Thoughts  

Put the social media down, step away from your work computer, and give yourself a few minutes to collect your thoughts. One of the best tips to boost mood when you’re feeling overwhelmed or “off” is to take a few moments for yourself. 

#14 Watch a Funny Video Online

When your bad mood is taking over, sometimes how to boost your mood is as simple as a good old belly laugh. Laughing is healthy, free, and so effective!! Have you ever heard the saying, laughter is the best medicine? Well, it’s true. Laughter has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and help promote feelings of happiness. So have at that funny youtube or TikTok video and invite your friends or co-workers to join in on the laugh.

#15 Grab a Mood-Boosting Snack 

No need for complicated tips to boost your mood — simply reach for a snack. Yes, there’s such a thing as good-mood foods, and they’re both healthy and delicious. 

Some of our favorite mood-boosting snacks? We love foods like dark chocolate, oats, berries, and papaya! Here are three mood-boosting recipes to add to your meal plan!  

#16 Set a Goal and Plan a Reward for When You Achieve It

You know that feeling of happiness that floods your body when you accomplish a goal or make an exciting plan? It’s all thanks to dopamine, one of our happiness hormones. Dopamine is associated with motivation and reward. So, when you make a goal, reach that goal, and reward yourself for accomplishing it, you’re getting a triple dose of happiness! 

Give yourself a mood-boosting dopamine boost by setting a goal and taking small steps toward accomplishing it. Every time you achieve a step, you’ll be rewarded with dopamine — how to improve your mood made easy, if you ask me!

Plus, having a planned reward at the end of your goal helps keep you motivated and on track on a day-to-day basis. 🙂 

Mood-Boosting Healthy Hacks For A Happier You

While we’d love to be in a good mood all day, every day, that’s just not realistic! Plus, having a bad day is not only ok — it’s totally normal. So, if you find yourself feeling anything but your best, call on these tips to boost your mood. They’re simple, free, and effective!! And can be done anytime, anywhere. 

If you find them helpful, feel free to spread the love and pass them along to a friend! We could all use a helping hand!. P.S. Random acts of kindness are known mood-boosters, too. 😉