You’re having a bad day and you can’t wait for it to be over so you can crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head. Things will look better tomorrow, you tell yourself. But are there other ways that you can overcome a nasty mood, erase the sorrow, ease your anger and otherwise feel a bit brighter? Check out these ten tips to change your mood.

  1. Have an ugly sweater party
    If you really want to switch things up, dig in your closets and dresser drawers to find the most hideous sweater you (or your spouse or partner) own. Then invite a few friends over and insist they wear their ugliest sweaters. This will not only be a party to remember, you’ll smile throughout it.
  2. Write a glowing letter of recommendation for yourself
    Pretend that you’ve been asked by a friend to write a letter of recommendation. The twist here is that you’re writing this one for yourself — as if you’re writing for your best friend. Make sure to highlight all the unique, creative, and powerful character traits and accomplishments for your “friend.” The process of putting these points on paper will lift your spirits and remind you that you have a lot of good things going for you.
  3. Redo your resume
    On the heels of writing a letter of recommendation for your “friend,” spend some time crafting or redoing your resume. It’s likely been a long time since you revisited this document and it almost surely needs updating.Remember those accomplishments and strong points you highlighted in the letter of recommendation. Be sure to incorporate them in the appropriate place in your resume. Like the practice of recommendation letter writing, redoing your resume will help you recall what’s really great about you and lift your spirits at the same time.
  4. Indulge in a massage
    There can’t be anyone on earth who doesn’t benefit immediately from a professional massage. Besides being therapeutic in a physical sense, a massage also helps ease tension, reduce stress, and induce a calming sense of well-being. Talk about a mood lifter. It almost doesn’t get any better than this.
  5. Get a makeover (this works for men, too)
    Whether you’re a woman or a man, going for a makeover can do wonders for your mood. Suddenly, you’ve got a different haircut, your skin glows, your wardrobe is refreshed, and you’ve got a whole new outlook with which to greet the world.
  6. Paint something wild
    Take a blank canvas and fill it with explosions of color (oil, watercolor, charcoal, colored pens — it doesn’t matter). Once you start splattering or layering on the color, allow your imagination to go where it wants. This is an excellent way to express yourself in a nonverbal fashion. Art therapy is so useful it’s used to help people recover from physical as well as mental health conditions. As for changing your mood, how can you not feel a bit better when you gaze at the wondrous splash of colors you’ve painted?
  7. Go to a costume party dressed as the person you most admire
    This is another way to express your creativity and let your hair down at the same time. It may be especially useful if you’ve felt constrained in your job, conflicted over some difficult decisions at home, work or school, unfulfilled in life, or a bit down on yourself for whatever reason. When you don a costume, however, you can put on a different persona for a while. Make it fun and enjoy yourself. After all, it’s just playacting. Everyone can use a little escape now and then.
  8. See a comedy and laugh until your sides ache
    Who doesn’t love a good comedy? The key is to watch one that’s high on the laugh scale. This could be a road trip movie with actors you always find amusing, a famous comedian starring in a buddy-type comedy, even a romantic comedy that’s heavy on the comedy. Keep it light, though, and steer clear of dark comedies.
  9. Go to open houses
    Tired of the way your home looks? Can it benefit from a minor redecoration? You don’t need to spend a lot to make a noticeable change. To get ideas, go to open houses in your area. This will give you lots of ideas on how to brighten, lighten, redecorate or rearrange rooms you live in, and give you a sense of accomplishment that’s sure to lift your mood.
  10. Clean out your closets and take items to a thrift shop
    Those clothes you never seem to get around to wearing and the ones that no longer fit, are out of fashion, or not your style are perfect to single out and give a new life. While they may no longer be your favorites, they’re bound to bring a smile to someone in need. Gather them up and take them to a thrift shop, consignment store, or charitable group. This also includes personal care items and cosmetics you can donate to a battered women’s or homeless shelter. Think how much you’re helping others. This will definitely change your mood for the better.

Sergei Bachlakov /