Quick mood boosters


It’s no fun feeling sad, lonely, homesick, bored, upset, irritable, annoyed or melancholy. Everyone experiences low moods but sometimes they last longer than is good for us or they can even set in and become chronic. Here are some easy ways to lighten your mood:

  • Research shows that music has a profound effect on mood. So put something uplifting in the CD player. Avoid mournful songs about heartbreak. Any upbeat, toe-tapping music that makes you feel like you want to dance is great for cheering you up.
  • Researchers have also found that humour is a great mood tonic. If you think about what most of us absorb when we watch films, DVDs and TV it’s a wonder we are not all severely depressed. We are daily served a diet of serial killers, mass murder, rape, kidnap, mutilation, corpses, war, torture and miscellaneous violence in the name of entertainment. Just imagine what all that does to our psyche. Find things that will give you a laugh. Taste in humour is very personal but I always get a laugh from such old favourites as Fawlty Towers and The Life of Brian.
  • Go for a walk, a run, swim or get into that upbeat music and dance. Physical exercise releases endorphins, nature’s feel-good juice, which helps banish the blues.


  • Lose yourself in a good book—a gripping novel, a romance, adventure, fantasy, biography or inspirational or self-help guide. It must not be anything disturbing or depressing though, so avoid true crime for example. A friend of mine credits books for getting her through a horrendous divorce. She read voraciously for months and those hours, transported to another world created by the author of the moment, took her mind off her troubles and allowed her to recharge her psychological batteries.

  • Listen to a relaxation tape. Meditation can be hard to do on your own if you are not used to it, especially if you are upset and having trouble concentrating. A tape or CD that guides you through the stages of relaxation and perhaps also uses visualizations makes it much easier.

  • Plan something you really want–a holiday, a new wardrobe, redecorating, a new house–something you can get enthusiastic about then use the hope and optimism the project inspires to lift your mood.
  • Tap into your sense of the ridiculous. Most of us take everything, including ourselves far too seriously.
  • Write a gratitude list. Most of us focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do. Even people who think they are hard done by can find things to be grateful for—living in a developed country for a start, having doctors, dentists, and clean water for example. We should be grateful for not being homeless, disabled or ill. See how long you can make your list.
  • Think about all the good things that ever happened to you. Constantly thinking about negative events is linked to depression.
  • Write down three things that went well today.

  • Imagine the future you and your life (in ten years say). Either write down your imaginin