7 Healthy Habits to Boost Your Mood

These simple habits can help lift your spirits and boost your mood

Mar 6, 2019

Life can challenge us all at times, which makes it so important to develop healthy ways to stay happy. Whether it means spending time with friends, getting enough exercise, or listening to inspiring music, these simple habits can help lift your spirits and boost your mood.

1. Get Your Heart Pumping

Sure, regular exercise can help you look better, but it will make you feel better, too. Working out improves mood and relieves depression. As Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School puts it, “For some people it works as well as antidepressants." Try finding activities that you’ll enjoy and will keep doing. That doesn’t have to mean intense weight lifting. Low impact sports like yoga or going for a walk can still boost your mood.

2. Listen to Your Favorite Music

Bob Marley sang, "One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain." Any music lover knows the feeling of relief and joy at listening to a good song. Organizations like the American Music Therapy Association even use music as a method for healing. So if you’re feeling down, try putting on some catchy tunes or heading to a concert to lift your spirits.

3. Spend Time With Friends

Nothing beats spending time with good friends. We are social animals, after all, and having the support of others makes us feel good. Hanging out with friends, even if just on the weekends, helps lower depression and makes us feel happier. So make sure to set aside time to laugh and chat with your pals regularly.

4. Do Something Good for Others

Volunteering has proven benefits. Helping others gives a sense of purpose, decreases depression, and helps build new relationships. Find something you feel passionate about, whether you want to help out at a dog shelter, teach kids to play a sport you love, or work at a soup kitchen. You’ll boost your mood helping out the community and making the world a better place.

5. Count Your Blessings

Sometimes when you feel down, the best antidote is gratitude and remembering what you already have. Focusing on the good in our lives helps reduce negative emotions like envy, resentment, and anger. You can benefit from writing down a list of the things you feel grateful for having or simply counting your blessings each morning to start the day.

6. Make Sure to Get Enough Sleep

A lack of sleep can have a huge impact on mood and lead to anxiety and depression. Researchers found that those who got 4.5 hours of sleep during one week felt stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. So make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep each night (doctors recommend seven to eight hours).

7. Pick up a Book

Speaking of getting enough sleep, those who find a hard time going to bed should try picking up a book. Reading helps relax the mind and get to sleep sooner. At the same time, it keeps the mind engaged, keeping it clear of toxic thoughts.

ALLISON MICHELLE DIENSTMAN, CONTRIBUTOR
Working from her laptop as a freelance writer, Allison lives as a digital nomad, exploring the world while sharing positivity and laughter. She is a lover of language, travel, music, and creativity with a degree in Chinese language and literature.

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