Follow College Fashion on Twitter!

How to Fix a Bad Mood: 10 Ways to Beat the Doldrums


How to beat a bad mood

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.

Organized 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:

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!

6. Exercise.

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!

Girl dancing

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!

Posted on on August 28, 2011 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , ,

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

39 Responses to “How to Fix a Bad Mood: 10 Ways to Beat the Doldrums”

  1. 1
    August 28th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    This couldn’t have come at a better time… God bless!.

  2. 2
    August 28th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    You have perfect timing. This post is EXACTLY what I needed right now. Thank you so much!

  3. 3
    August 28th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Great post! I’ve never heard of Spotify before, but it seems like a great website. Does anyone have the invitation code to get an account?

  4. 4
    August 28th, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    perfect timing! I have been feeling like I’m in a rut for the past few days now and didn’t really know what to do about it… I tried going out and stuff like that, but that din’t work… so thanks a lot for this post!
    oh and btw I love your music list! I’ve got a pretty similiar taste in music myself ;)

  5. 5
    August 28th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Wow, this article came at a really good time! I’ve been in a bad mood today because I’m so stressed with homework, family issues, etc. I think I might go paint my nails and listen to some music to help me get out of this rut. Thanks for the advice!

  6. 6
    August 28th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    There’s something about singing the first few lines of Lion King’s “Circle of Life” that always gets a smile on my face. Or awkwardly dancing around to the Spice Girls.

  7. 7
    August 28th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I mostrly agree on the Beyonce concert watching method. It always works for me ever since I went to one of her concerts a few years back and I always feel like superwoman after watching one.
    Loved the article.

  8. 8
    August 28th, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I loved that you suggested “Hello,Dolly”! My favorite quote is when she’s talking to herself about her late husband and she says “There comes a time when you’ve got to decide whether you want to be a fool among fools, or a fool alone.”

    As much as I love Hello, Dolly though, my favorite is “Funny Girl”. When she looks into the mirror and says with absolute conviction, “Hello, gorgeous” I totally fell in love. It’s been my mantra for a self-esteem boost ever since.

  9. 9
    August 29th, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Awesome post! Love the music.. gotta love Paolo Nutini ;)

  10. 10
    August 29th, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Going to the park (or even just getting out in nature in general) is a great idea for busting the blues! I find it hard to be depressed about much of anything when I’m walking a dog in a pretty neighborhood or a park. :) And I’ve fallen into the singing-my-favorite-songs trap while doing so, too.
    The doing something nice for someone else is a good idea too! Over Christmas break last year I was really depressed about something, so I tried to take my mind off it by helping out a lot more around the house, washing lots of dishes, etc. My parents really appreciated the help and told me so, and I felt better when I was thinking of other people than when I was focusing on my own problems, so in the end everybody won!
    Sometimes it’s good to write down what’s worrying or depressing you, so that the worry/depression stops running around inside your mind and maybe you can come up with a few ideas on how to take action regarding it. I know this article is about the “I just feel bad, no known reason why” phenomenon (been there too!), but it’s just a thought.

  11. 11
    August 29th, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Thanks for these–I just had a dance party with my friends to Taylor Swift :) mood boosted!

  12. 12
    August 29th, 2011 at 2:32 am

    I think this is a very good list. Dressing up, listening music and doing something nice for someone else are my favourites. I can feel really bored and tired about the forthcoming lecture while I’m on the train, but getting up for an old lady who cannot believe her eyes that the young sometimes still show respect for the elderly actually gives a good feeling. Also, talking with people. Especially at the moment I totally don’t feel like it, it occurs to me that there are at least 3 people who want to talk to me and the moment they approach, the smile gets back on my face.

    Another advice: smile! You receive but what you give, so when you smile at people, some aware ones will smile back at you :)

  13. 13
    August 29th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    I’m glad you love Barbra Streisand as much as I do. && Hello Dolly is such a feel good movie!

  14. 14
    August 29th, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Sarah… How did you know? Haha. Crazy! Thanks for the tips Ill definately have to try these until something works.

    Now if only I could get my hands on a Kinect & a Dance Central game, I would totally have a one-person dance party.hehe.

  15. 15
    August 29th, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Lauren L. – Just sent a Spotify invite to the email address you used for your comment. Let me know if you have any problems and enjoy!

    I have some more Spotify invites for anyone who wants one – if you want me to send you one, just leave a comment saying so and include your email address in the “email” section of the form – first come, first served and I’ll send them out later today!

  16. 16
    August 29th, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    This post is awesome! Love your playlist, by the way. I love listening to feel good/girl power music when I’m down. (Watch Me Shine by Vanessa Carlton from the Legally Blonde soundtrack, happens to be a great motivational song btw… no judging!)

    Zephyr, I would love a Spotify invite! Thank you so much :)

  17. 17
    August 29th, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I’d like an invite to spotify too! thanks so much :)

  18. 18
    August 29th, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Invited you guys – check your emails!

  19. 19
    August 29th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I feel better just reading about how to feel better!

  20. 20
    August 29th, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one going through a rut! That’s actually how I got the idea. Life can be oddly inspirational sometimes!

    @Mina: I can’t believe I didn’t think to put anything from “The Lion King”! I usually go for singing “Gaston” from Beauty and the Beast. My favorite part is “with biceps to spare” haha!

  21. 21
    August 29th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    @Allison: I agree with you on the writing frustrations down! I do that sometimes when I can’t really tell people what is bothering me. At least I get it out on my paper! It makes me feel so much better.

  22. 22
    August 29th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Yes! You have Elvis on your list! “A Little Less Coversation” is one of my favorite songs, and he’s my favorite singer! =D That’s awesome.

  23. 23
    August 30th, 2011 at 1:38 am

    These are great, I made a similar list for myself for when I was sad. I like to spray myself with amazing perfume. That instantly fixes my crappy mood.

  24. 24
    August 30th, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Ha ha! I love your taste in music! :D ~Definitely gonna make this playlist for meself.

    I also find that spending time with animals, reading uplifting blogs (like Gala Darling), and good eatin’ are a great way to spend your time. That and some sun and surf. ;) ~I live in the tropics.

  25. 25
    August 30th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Aww, I’m a little late. Can I still get the invitation code?

  26. 26
    August 30th, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    I love how you put in a song from Palo Nutini! No matter how I’m feeling listening to Palo always makes me feel better.

  27. 27
    August 30th, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Nothing like having a dance party in the library to boost your mood during exam time! It’s totally Femme Flamboyante ;)

    For a fun (and tasty) homemade facial scrub, try adding honey, olive oil, and a drop or two of vanilla to brown sugar.


    of Tiossano

  28. 28
    September 1st, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Thank you so much! I’m leaving home soon and really needed this!
    If you have any more, I would love a spotify invite :)
    Thanks again!

  29. 29
    September 9th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    You also can write your thought in a diary… It helps… Right now I am in a bad mood for several weeks but reading your two posts about how to fix it, I can’t do anything but feel better, thank you :)

  30. 30
    September 29th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Whenever I’m in a bad mood, cleaning while listening to my Ipod on full blast seems to always do the trick! I always find clothes I forgot I had, and get to put together new outfits!

Links to This Article

Leave a Reply


* Comment Rules: CF is a positive place and our comments section is no different. Constructive criticism is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your comment. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. For more info, see our Comment Policy. Have fun & thanks for adding to the conversation!


* Want a custom avatar to show up next to your comments? Sign up for a free Gravatar.