Easy mood busters

Moods come and go. It’s normal for moods to change depending on what else is going on in your life.

Sometimes we all need a ‘quick fix’ to help transition from a low mood to a good mood.

Here are some easy mood boosters to have up your sleeve. These activate your ‘happy hormones’ – such as oxytocin, serotonin or dopamine – providing a chemical boost to improve your day.

  1. Read or watch stories about characters you like. Caring for fictional characters boosts your oxytocin levels.

  2. Spin the Wheel of Kindness (found in the Mentemia app). Commit to a random act of kindness today. Helping others makes you feel good, too.

  3. Learn something new. Even something as simple as learning a new word can release endorphins.

  4. Reflect on happy memories. According to Denmark’s Happiness Research Institute, thinking about happy memories can help to counteract feelings of loneliness or anxiety.

  5. Watch a comedy show on YouTube. Laughter really is the best medicine.

  6. Breathe. Deep belly breathing helps to stop your body’s stress response. Try the guided breathing exercises found in the Mentemia app.

  7. Smile at a stranger. Hello, oxytocin!

  8. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Practising gratitude is another powerful way to boost your dopamine and serotonin levels (and, therefore, your mood).

  9. Look for the helpers. Pay attention to the problem solvers. Read good news headlines. Seek out inspiring stories.

  10. Stretch. Pause to stretch your body in a way that feels good.

  11. Dance like nobody’s watching. Put your favourite music on and dance around your living room. Bonus points for singing, too!

  12. Fill your ‘Goody Bag’. Sir John Kirwan fills his ‘Goody Bag’ every day with things to look forward to, such as cooking, playing guitar, or reading. What could you put in yours?

  13. Call a friend that makes you smile. Just to say hello.

  14. Listen to a guided visualisation. Be guided to somewhere else for a moment (or ten). Search ‘Spring Escape’ in the Mentemia app.

  15. Go for a walk. Even a five-minute walk around the block can boost your mood.

  16. Treat yourself. Run a bath, cook your favourite meal, put your feet up. Treat yourself as you would a loved one.

  17. Do something just for fun. Having fun for fun’s sake releases dopamine. Win!

  18. Spend time in nature. Watch the sunset, listen for birds, look for flowers. Nature is a powerful mood booster.

  19. Listen to a podcast, audiobook, or radio show. Listening to people you like (even strangers) can boost your oxytocin levels.

  20. Make someone laugh. You’ll almost always end up laughing, too.

  21. Support a local business. Buy a voucher or leave a positive review online.

  22. Give someone a sincere compliment. Share anything that will make them beam with happiness – and you’ll feel good, too.

  23. Set aside time for reflection. Whether through meditation or a quiet moment by yourself, make time to gather your thoughts. This can be surprisingly calming.

  24. Get lost in a good book. Escapism is a great way to distract yourself and let your imagination run wild.

Mentemia is an app that coaches mental wellbeing. Their digital platform gives you daily content like this, plus evidence-based tools and techniques you need to feel happier, stress less and build resilience. Download Mentemia for free today in your favourite app store.

Acknowledgement

Article provided by Mentemia, a mental wellbeing platform for workplaces that released a free app to support the public during COVID-19, with support from the Ministry of Health, Kiwibank and Westpac.