There comes a time in everyone’s life when you find yourself in a rut, or the doldrums, or just a plain bad mood. You are upset about something but you can’t seem to figure out what. You are hungry but nothing in the pantry looks good. You want to go out and be active but nothing sounds fun. You think you need to be around people to cheer yourself up, but you wouldn’t want to be a party pooper and poison the rest of the world with your shlump. I get it. Every once in a while, I get like this, too.
When I get into a rut, I try a bazillion (yes, a bazillion) things to get myself out of it! Who has the time to stay in a rut for more than a day? No one.
Below, I’ve come up with 10 things to try to get yourself out of a bad mood. Some of the things on the list may seem strange, but you’re in a rut, what do you have to lose? Keep reading to get the smile back onto your face!
1. Have a spa day!
You work hard! Give yourself a little credit and indulge. Do your nails, make a homemade facial, go get a haircut, whatever! Treating yourself to a little pampering will do wonders for your state of mind.
2. Watch Hello, Dolly!
You probably have your favorite “feel good” movie, and Hello, Dolly! is mine! Barbra Streisand at her finest! Dolly Levi’s character is quick-witted, smart, and so completely funny that you will feel like you can sweet-talk your way out of anything. Bonus: the costumes are phenomenal.
3. Clean out your closet.
When I am in an emotional rut, my closet feels extra boring and I just. can’t. stand. it. So clean out your closet – get rid of the stuff you haven’t worn in a long time and make room for the new!
4. Make a fun music playlist.
Here’s what I’m telling you to do… literally make a playlist called “Rut-Getter-Outter”. Fill it with fun dance music or songs that remind you of a late summer night when you were 15! I like to include songs that make me dance, make me happy, and make me feel empowered.
Some songs on my list — please don’t judge my music taste… this list is admittedly a bit cheesy:
- “Queen Bee” by Barbra Streisand
- “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys
- “Gonna Make You Sweat” by C+C Music Factory
- “She’s A Bad Mama Jama” by Carl Carlton
- “Dark Lady” by Cher
- “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child
- “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley
- “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
- “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oats
- “ABC” by The Jackson 5
- “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega
- “Shake It” by Michael Franti & Spearhead
- “P.Y.T.” by Michael Jackson
- “Pencil Full of Lead” by Paolo Nutini
- “Sadie Hawkins Dance” by Relient K
- “Super Freak” by Rick James
- “That Don’t Impress Me Much” by Shania Twain
- “All Star” by Smash Mouth
- “Wannabe” by Spice Girls
- “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice
If you want to listen to the whole playlist, we made it into a Spotify playlist you can listen to for free.
5. Go to the park and play!
Sometimes you just need to go to the park and play! I love swinging on the swings and sliding down the kiddie slides because it makes me feel seven years old and crave fish sticks. How high can you go? Can you still swing on your stomach? How fast can you spin if you twist the ropes? TOO MUCH FUN!
Thanks to Legally Blonde, we now know that “endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill their husbands”. When you exercise, endorphins go to your brain and give you energy. Running, jogging, walking, or anything else helps give you energy and let out life’s stresses! Want extra incentive to get going? Buy yourself some cute workout gear!
7. Do something nice for someone else.
The other items on this list have focused on things you can do for yourself, but sometimes the greatest joy comes from doing things for others. Hold the door open for someone, buy someone lunch, offer someone a ride to the other side of campus, etc. When you do something nice for another person, you not only make them happy, but you walk away feeling like you have an invisible feather in your straw fedora. It is just the best feeling!
8. Have a one-person dance party!
A-la Cameron Diaz in Charlies Angels, dance around to fun music by yourself. Practice your sweet moves and dance it out!
9. Watch a Beyonce Concert.
Some channels show Beyonce concerts every few months and I can personally attest to feeling really really awesome after I watch them! I feel like I can do anything afterwards. If your TV channels do not show anything like this, check her site here for concert DVDs you can buy. It is so, so, so worth it. Even if you aren’t a big Beyonce fan, you can’t deny that she’s an incredible performer and you may be surprised at how pumped up you feel after watching her!
10. Dress UP!
One of the best ways to snap yourself out of a funk is to make yourself look fabulous – when you know you look good, you naturally feel more confident and happy. Need more excuses to don your favorite clothes? See: 25 Reasons Why You Should Dress Up Every Day.
Do you have any tried and true methods to get yourself out of a bad mood? What are your favorite feel-good songs? What about your favorite feel-good movies? We want to hear your recommendations in the comments!