I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. You can download a free printable list of hotlines here and join the free mental health support group on Facebook here. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed or unworthy. You were created to be victorious.
— Joel Osteen
I spent an entire year of my life grieving once but in that dark truly craptastic year these small things are what brought me through the toughest parts of my life. The small moments when I was able to laugh with friends or find relief swimming in the ocean on a summer day felt sacred. They were so precious during that time that I still remember some of them. That time taught me to marvel at any small happiness I could find because when the grief and sadness lifted for a moment it felt like real magic. Like precious sacred never to be taken for granted fucking magic. Sometimes the only thing you can do is seek some small dose of joy to distract yourself from how truly shitty things are. These are the things that have given me relief and showed me magic. I hope they do that for you too.
Go for a walk Go to the prettiest place you can think of and listen to your favorite music. I used to go on what I called “strolling quests” which is just where I would walk for a really freaking long time until the sadness lifted or I was too exhausted to walk anymore.
Watch a favorite movie I find kids movies really comforting. When I’ve had a total shit day I make spaghetti and watch Monsters Inc. I also like classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Roman Holiday. Let yourself take a break from your struggle and get lost in a movie for awhile.
Take a bath A bath and a book always helps me get out of a funk. Put epsom salt and essential oils in the bath for ultra relaxation. Sometimes I combine the favorite movie and take a bath steps and watch a movie in the bathtub on my laptop. It’s the ultimate in luxury.
Talk to a Therapist If you want some instant advice via a certified therapist checkout Better Help. I’m a huge fan of this service. For less than the cost of one traditional therapy session per week you can get unlimited texting, phone and video sessions with a counselor. I love being able to get text message advice whenever I need it.
Make a cheer up playlist Add any song that puts you in a good mood. You can checkout mine here. Music is really powerful. When I’m in a bad mood sometimes I make myself listen to that playlist even when I don’t really want to. It really does help improve my mood.
Write a list of what you are grateful for When I’m having a bad day I try to take spend some time thinking about what is going right in my life. It’s easy to get down when you’re having a crap day but thinking about the good things in your life can give you some perspective.
Have a dance party Sometimes I do this in the morning if I wake up in a bad mood. I have found that it’s hard to feel depressed and anxious if I’m dancing my heart out. After a crap day at work try a solo dance party.
Read outside I like to spend time in my hammock but any outdoor space will do. Take a blanket and head to the park. Doing any activity in the sun makes me feel better.
Make cards to give your friends I like to send mail to my friends that I don’t get to see often. Doing something nice for someone else usually makes me feel better. I’m not the most crafty person but I really like to make cards for people.
Write in a journal I have a list of journal prompts you can download here. I’ve been keeping a journal since I was 13. Writing helps me sort out my problems, plus it’s nice to document your life and your progress.
Order comfort food and have it delivered This feels like the ultimate luxury to me. Having someone bring hot food to your house is the best feeling. If I were rich I would order takeout every night. It’s my favorite thing. Having food delivered makes a boring night in feel fancy and exciting.
Do a crazy intense workout If I’m feeling really depressed the only thing that will make me feel better is a really intense workout. That is the absolute last things I want to do but it works if I can get it done.
Plan your dream vacation Every awesome thing I’ve ever done started as a daydream. There’s so many magical places to visit, I love looking at travel pictures on Pinterest.
Cook a fancy meal I like to do thanksgiving themed food. One of the last times I had a terrible day I made stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and peanut butter pie. Make a meal of all your favorite comfort foods.
Take the 1/2 gallon water jug challenge I can’t quite bring myself to carry one of those giant jugs around in public though. I have been trying to do it while I’m at my house though. I haven’t finished one yet.
Start a blog I love having this blog because it means I always have a project I can be working on. Nothing makes me more miserable faster than too much free time.
Visit a park I have been trying to visit every park around where I live. I was surprised how many there are. Do a google search and see what parks are in your area.
Go for a drive and listen to your favorite songs My best friend and I used to do this in High School. I think it brings back feelings of excitement and freedom.
Find a dog to pet Adopting my dog was the best thing I ever did for my mental health. If you don’t have a pet go visit a friend that does. Animals really do help.
Volunteer I used to volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and it made me feel like a total bad ass. Find an organization in your area doing cool stuff and find out how you can get involved.
Call a friend and catch up I love having a glass of wine and an hour long phone date with one of my friends that lives out of state. It’s so nice to have friends you can talk on the phone for hours with.
Watch videos of cute animals I look at pictures and watch videos of baby animals all the time. It’s starting to become a problem.
Read an inspiring book I really like The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle Laporte. That books makes me want to get shit done.
Plant a garden I really like to go to Home Depot and pick out flowers to plant. When I get my paycheck I almost always go buy flowers to plant. Plus they last way longer than the flowers you keep in a vase in your house.
Take yourself for ice cream Go get the fanciest ice cream you can get your hands on. There’s a place here that makes homemade ice cream with organic ingredients and it is freaking life changing.
Listen to stand up comedy I really like Aziz Ansari
Put together a planner Shameless plug: you can get my free mental health planner here. I love planners because I love setting goals and making plans for the future
Look at positive quotes Shameless plug: checkout my Instagram 🙂
Buy yourself flowers I just buy cheap ones at the grocery store but they do the trick. I love how they look in my kitchen.
Give yourself a pedicure Never underestimate the power of binge watching Netflix and painting your nails.
Get some really fancy chocolate I get mine at the health food store.
Write some goals Pickup the Desire Map and the 12 week year if you need some inspiration. I love to spend time writing my short and long term goals. Spend some time imagining your dream life and then figure out what steps you need to get there and make a damn plan.
Pin your dream house on Pinterest There is some amazing interior decorating happening on Pinterest.
Meditate I am pretty bad at meditating but like anything it takes practice. Checkout this article for some tips to get started.
Unplug from the internet I use the internet to distract myself when I really need to figure things out. Sometimes bad days mean you really need to sit with your shit. When I need to have a good hard look at my life I turn my phone off.
Write poetry I just really like poetry. Checkout this 30 day poetry challenge.
Organize Pick a closet, drawer or room and get to it. There’s something really great about having a really organized house. My next project is to get my junk drawer out of control…well junk DRAWERS because there are two now. My first one got too full….
Dress up and do your makeup Spending a really long time doing my makeup always feels really luxurious.
Do your christmas shopping Buying gifts for people is one of my favorite things. Pick out some stuff for your family for Christmas. I like finding gifts on Etsy.
Karaoke I actually hate karaoke but I like to hangout in karaoke bars. Everyone is always in good spirits.
Sign up for a lesson to learn something new I want to try pole dancing but tennis or something would work.
Rearrange your furniture I love to do this when I need a fresh start. Moving the furniture around can make everything feel fresh.
Watch the Sunset Golden hour is the best hour. I wish there was a rooftop bar where I live. If there is one by you please go have a drink up there and watch the sunset for me. Send it to me on SnapChat (I try to always follow you guys back <3)
Take a yoga class Find a good yoga studio that makes you feel zen as soon as you walk in the door. The place I used to go do yoga made you feel like you were at the fanciest spa retreat.
Ride a bike Bike rides make me happy.
Go to a bookstore Hang out in a bookstore and find some books that really speak to you. This is how I started reading Bukowski.
Get a massage This is the best luxury treat ever. I love massages.
Get pictures of your friends printed Having pictures of my friends around puts me in a good mood. I don’t have enough actual pictures in my house.
Go swimming Bonus points if it is in the ocean, there is serious magic in the ocean.
Purge Every once and awhile I like to go through my closets and all my drawers and get rid of as much crap as possible. Bag everything up you’re not using and donate it. You’ll feel immediately lighter.
Ask for help If you’re really struggling let someone know. Call a hotline if you need to. Make an appointment to see a therapist. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.
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