This article was written by Dirk. Dirk was born in Amsterdam but now lives in South Africa where he writes about personal development on his popular blog Upgradereality.com.
Sometimes it’s just not your day or your week, and all of life’s daily obstacles—the problems that you usually handle without blinking an eye—seem to have the power to drive a dagger into your heart and make you want to give up on everything.
Everyone feels vulnerable, sad, and lonely from time to time but if you know how to cheer yourself up, then you’ll get through many of those tough moments just fine. In fact, you’ll learn to appreciate the sad moments because when you experience them, you know you’re alive and life has both ups and downs. That’s what makes life so great.
Here I’ve listed 17 different ways that can cheer you up when you feel sad, and you’ll be sure to find at least one way that will put a smile on your face when everything else makes you frown.
Take five minutes and consciously breathe. Count your breaths, inhale and exhale. When you focus on breathing, you will notice that you become more relaxed and your worries and troubles melt away.
2. Take a long walk.
Even if you have big troubles, usually a long walk through a scenic environment like a forest, park or mountain will take your mind off your worries. Nature is beautiful. Let it soothe you.
3. Watch an episode of Friends.
I have probably watched every episode of Friends, the sitcom series from a few years ago, ten times and it always gets a smile on my face. Feeling down? Just watch an episode or two and your mood will lift.
4. Listen to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Just Google “Arnold Schwarzenegger switchboard” and you’ll see what I mean. It’s an online switchboard with recorded clips from Arnold and his awesome accent. Guaranteed to make you feel better!
5. Browse saying images.
Since I found this site I’ve been in love with it.
No essays or articles, just unique and original pictures with a message. Very cool.
6. Pig out on ice-cream.
Stuffing yourself with your favorite flavor of ice-cream always does wonders. It might not be healthy, and it might not be a solution, but damn, it tastes good—and makes you feel better!
7. Play with a dog.
Dogs never seem to have big troubles. They are always energetic and up for fun. Ask someone who has a dog if you can borrow it for a couple of hours, or the day, and take your new best friend for a run.
8. Take a bubble bath.
Draw a nice warm bath full of bubbles and bath salts. Relax and soak your troubles in the water—and leave them behind when you get out.
Get a canvas or a wall or something that you can paint on, and let your emotions flow. Let the paintbrush and colors flow freely and your mood will lift.
You may not be in the mood to sing, because generally people only sing when they are happy. But put on your favorite song and sing along. You will begin to feel better, and it might even change your mood completely!
11. Create something.
I mentioned painting earlier, but you can do anything you want. Pottery, drawings, carpentry, paper-mache, a song, and Lego are just a few ideas. Be artistic and just make something with your own two hands! I wrote a post on how to be creative if you need inspiration.
12. Make a list.
Get a pen and paper and make a list of something. It can be a list of why life is awesome, a list of goals you want to achieve, a list of your favorite things in the world … you name it.
13. Bake a cake.
Even if you never bake, baking a cake once in a blue moon can be fun. It can be cool to whip up all the ingredients and create something delicious—especially when you are feeling a little down. And you can devour it to make you feel even better (or at least get a sugar rush…)!
14. Enjoy friends, food, and movies.
Ask your best friends to come over for the night, get some good movies and great food, and just hang out. You don’t even have to say anything to each other—just enjoy the movies, food, and each other’s company.
15. Buy yourself flowers.
A fresh bouquet of beautiful flowers always cheers me up. They smell amazing and look so pretty. I can often notice a big lift in my mood when I have flower in front of me for a few hours.
16. Blow bubbles.
It’s so simple, and yet so fascinating. Dip the little stick in the soapy water and blow on it to make a bubble that floats through the air. See how effortlessly it floats and let that take your mind off whatever is bothering you.
17. Happiness comes from within.
Even though many of these suggestions will cheer you up and put you in a better mood, true happiness comes from within. The only person who can ultimately make you happy is you.
If you feel down because of other people, remember that it is you who gives those other people the power to let you be down. If you allow them to hurt you, they can … but not always. I find that the less I rely on other things or people for my happiness, the easier it is to be happy. Don’t you?