18 Little Ways to Feel Happier Every Day
Bring on the joy
We get it. Some days (mostly Mondays), your normally sunny disposition is a little bit harder to access. That’s why we rounded up 18 super-simple ways to boost your joy on a daily basis. Trust us: A little goes a long way.
1. Smile. If it sounds basic, that’s because it is, but sometimes we’re so head down in our phones, we forget. And research suggests that even forcing a smile decreases stress.
2. Speaking of which, a technology detox—even a 60-minute one—is good for your mind, body and soul. (Plus, you’ll probably get a ton of extra sh** done.)
3. According to science, you could also sniff some lemons. (Apparently, as little as ten minutes spent inhaling the scent can lead to a significant decrease in mood disturbance. Huzzah!)
4. Eat a piece of dark chocolate. The antioxidants can trigger your blood vessels to relax, which lowers blood pressure. Pretty sweet.
5. Get outdoors. Even if it’s just a walk around the block at lunch, exposure to greenery (it’s as simple as gazing at trees) can seriously boost your mental health.
6. Go for a run. A 30-minute loop will give you a mega endorphin boost, and bonus points if you blast the Beyoncé.
7. Play with your pet. Even if you only have a few minutes to snuggle up with your pup (or your neighbor’s), it can make you more joyful, according to science.
9. Go to bed an hour earlier. Research shows that not getting enough z’s can make you less optimistic, aka you should probably power down the Netflix.
10. Learn something new. Whether you listen to a podcast (here are a few of our faves) or attempt a new recipe, it’ll help you feel accomplished. Cue the mood boost.
11. Sing. Yep—just a few bars in the shower can lower stress and boost endorphins, says science.
12. Facetime a friend. Since close relationships make you happy, chatting eye to eye (even digitally) is the next best thing.
13. Buy yourself flowers. A $7 bouquet of pretty blooms from Trader Joe’s can go a long way on a dreary day.
14. Eat a pickle. Just one can lesson social anxiety. Not kidding.
15. Complain. Being happy doesn’t have to mean bottling up your stress. Be honest (constructively) about the things that are bothering you and, whoa, feel the tension release.
16. Wash your face. It’s all about the “me” time. Pampering yourself before bed will boost your mood. (Here’s how to do it right.)
17. Say thank you. Acknowledging the people around you is a simple way to practice mindfulness. Plus, spoiler alert: Gratitude just makes you feel good.
18. Put yourself first. Even if it’s just a half hour to savor a cup of coffee or read a chapter of your book, it’s worth it if it means giving yourself a chance to recharge.