10 Weird Things That Make You Happy, Even When You're Having The Absolute Worst Day
So you're having the worst day of your life. It happens. We all end up in the pits on some days, but that doesn't mean you have to stay there for the rest of the day. Of course, it's not always easy to get yourself out of the downward spiral that a bad mood can lead you into. But there are tips and hacks for turning your bad mood around. There are so many weird things that can make you happy, it's almost overwhelming to decide which route to take.
We tend to associate good moods with specific moments, or certain events. Someone might consider their weekly run around the park to be their "happy time," while another person thinks a 10-hour Netflix marathon is the ultimate form of relaxation.
Neither of these are wrong, as long as it's what makes you happy. The point is, there's an advantage to learning how to make yourself happy in any situation, like when you're stuck on a crowded subway, or spending the weekend with your least favorite in-laws. You can't always be in the place you want or with the company you love, but you can figure out little ways to keep yourself happy in spite of the negative vibes that may surround you. Here are 10 weird ways to make yourself happy, even when you're in a sh*tty mood.
1. Watching Something Really Sad
Confusingly enough, sad movies can actually end up making you feel happy. According to an Ohio State University study, people like watching sad movies because it makes them think about their own relationships, which tend to be a source of immense happiness. Go figure, right?
2. Walking Around A Museum
If you're feeling a little bit down in the dumps, try using your free time to do something cultural. A study from Norway revealed that people who participate in cultural activities, like visiting a museum, reported higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress and depression.
3. Writing In A Journal Every Day
Keeping a diary might seem like extra work, but you'll thank yourself later if you make time to jot down a few thoughts every day.
Research has shown that looking back on old journal entries makes people feel happy. If you're not really into journaling, maybe consider turning it into a game, or focusing on writing about a different aspect of your life each time to switch it up.
4. Faking A Smile
According to a University of Kansas study, giving a genuine smile (one that makes your eyes crinkle) will actually inspire feelings of true happiness and decrease stress. Plus, for all you know, it might trigger a domino effect with the people around you, increasing everyone's mood overall.
5. Holding Out For Thursday
Forget Friday, because Thursday is officially the best day of the week. According to a study by the London School of Economics via their smartphone app Mappiness, people are usually happiest on Thursdays. It's probably because you're past hump day and still have the full weekend to look forward to, but you're also still keeping yourself busy with everyday tasks.
6. Eating More Fruits And Veggies
Eating fruits and vegetables every day can make you feel happier, but it doesn't stop there. According to a study by the British Journal of Health Psychology, making a point to include fruits and veggies in your everyday meals will also lead to higher levels of curiosity and creativity, especially for young adults.
7. Keeping Your Mind Busy
Sometimes we associate happiness with doing absolutely nothing, like lying on the beach with a drink in your hand, but in fact, sometimes we're the happiest when we're busy. One study by Ohio State University revealed that multi-tasking may make us less productive, but it also makes us feel happier.
So, maybe don't multi-task when you're under a work deadline, but consider filling your brain for an hour or two on the weekends.
8. Breaking A Bad Habit
Though it may sound counterintuitive, working to break a bad habit actually doesn't make people feel more stressed out, but rather increases their feelings of happiness — even if the attempt to break the bad habit fails. Just the attempt, in and of itself, is apparently enough to increase overall feelings of well-being, which is definitely inspiring news for anyone struggling with addiction, or even just anyone looking to make general, positive changes in life.
9. Doing A Few Chores Around The House
Doing chores is one form of multi-tasking that's almost guarantee to make you feel a bit better. Research shows that doing chores and errands is an effective way to boost your mood and relieve stress.
For men especially, doing chores around the house can put you in a much better mood on a crappy day.
10. Resisting The Urge To Push For A Raise At Work
Mo' money, mo' problems, right?
Well, sort of. Research shows that money can increase happiness, but only up to a certain point, which is lower than you think. The salary cap for increased happiness is right around a $75,000 year salary. After that, the return on happiness sort of peters off. So, instead of focusing on your next big raise, think about what you already have, and how to maximize your contentment within that range.