When one’s emotional state peters out, everything else often seems to go down with it. Important work responsibilities, social obligations, and fitness intentions often fall to the wayside as a dark cloud of apathy consumes you.

While you can’t necessarily avoid the bad days altogether, you can prevent those descending spirals by refusing to let the small things throw you off. Take a look at the following list for some lesser-known techniques in improving your mood and use them to get back onto your feet in no time at all.

1. Help Others

While it may feel like you’re the one who needs help, it’s important to remember that there are always people worse off than you. Reach out to a friend in need or volunteer for a cause you believe in, as this will give you a sense of usefulness while putting your own worries into perspective.

2. Eat Delicious Health Food

A large plate of raw vegetables doesn’t always sound appealing, hence why it’s good to know that tasty foods can also boost the mood. Try yogurt for probiotics, nuts for magnesium, and watermelon for lycopene, all of which have been shown to elevate emotional wellbeing. For dessert, eat some dark chocolate to stock up on antioxidants, then relax with a steaming cup of herbal tea.

3. Declutter Your Surroundings

How can you think straight when you can’t even see where you’re going? Fix this by organizing your immediate environment, the benefits of which include a constructive distraction with a tangible outcome and the general therapeutic effect of grouping compatible items. Once everything is where they should be, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.

4. Fix Your Posture

All spinal concerns aside, the act of straightening your posture has also been linked to an increased perception of one’s self-worth. By elongating your body upwards, you appear confident and dominant, which should help you to recognize yourself as the important individual you are. If this is a suggestion that you struggle with, then get some assistance by using a posture-correcting back brace while exercising, playing certain sports, or even just sitting at your desk.

5. Human Contact

Picking up the phone to hear a familiar voice is often exactly what you need to escape the blues, but what about those times you just don’t feel like talking? Simple! Go get a massage. This leisurely activity has been proven to increase your serotonin production while minimizing the stress hormone called cortisol. 

6. Play With an Animal

Much like human contact, your furry friends are famous for bringing joy into the world. With their abundant energy, unconditional devotion, and adorable features, they are a fast-track resource in simplifying everything around you (and science agrees). If you don’t have a pet of your own, why not visit your neighbor’s dog? Or better yet, take it for a walk, allowing you to get some exercise while breathing in that outside oxygen too.

7. Drink Coffee

If you find yourself in a rut of sluggishness, a lot can be said for the kick of caffeine. It’s no secret that many businesses run primarily on this stimulant alone, using its dark powers to shake a drained brain awake and assist with all of the complicated tasks on hand. But even without these energizing properties, coffee is still a great excuse to take a short break while filling your stomach with warmth. Just be careful not to overdo it! As an excess of caffeine is known to cause anxiety.

8. Pull a Funny Face in the Mirror

Fake it until you make it, and if you can push yourself towards laughter, then your sadness will only fall further away. There is a genuine strategy behind this seemingly ridiculous notion too, with various studies showing a link between stress relief and humor. On that note, watching a funny film or a comedy routine should work to much the same effect.

9. Get More Light

The partnership between your mood and the sunshine has long been discussed, but what happens when there is no light to be found? In times like these, consider utilizing a SAD lamp to bring the sun indoors, or simply wear your brightest outfit to cover yourself in happiness.

10. Sing and Dance

While studies are yet to prove the oft-reported therapeutic value of belting your voice out, the cardio workout from a dance routine is a verified method of flowing those happy juices around. Put on your favorite song and bounce all over your room, performing a private show for your walls while encouraging your serotonin to sing too.