Some days are just bad. People get sick, relationships end, jobs can suck, and there are some days where the sun isn't shining and it's just hard to smile.
Here are 10 surefire ways to beat the blues and get back to being happy:
1. Shake it off.
2. Cuddle up with a furry friend.
There has been a lot of research about using animals for therapy, as stress levels decrease considerably when cuddling puppies, kittens, and other furry creatures. This effect is so strong, some universities even create areas for students to interact with animals during finals in order to reduce stress and boost academic performance.
3. Just go ahead and cry.
There's a lot to be said for just embracing being sad and letting it all out. Sadness is just part of life, and constantly repressing it doesn't do anybody any favors. Cry with reckless abandon, be it on a friend's shoulder, into a pillow, or in the shower, but feel the sadness fully, let it all out, and move on.
4. Go for a run.
When it comes to running, it's typically a love it or hate it deal, with very little middle ground. Running releases certain neurotransmitters that cause incredibly positive feelings, often called a "runner's high." If going for a jog just isn't in the cards, the same effect can be gained from any aerobic exercise.
5. Unplug for a while.
Power down the phone, step away from the computer, and just breathe for a little while. Getting away from devices that bog you down with stress from incessant emails, social media notifications, and text messages will allow you to de-clutter your mind.
As a bonus, getting away from the glaring artificial blue light of phones and tablets will also improve sleep quality. While a bad mood can make one day a wash, getting a good night's rest will help make the next day much better.
(Don't panic; not being in constant communication will not cause the world to end. People did it all the time in the olden days of the 1990s.)
6. Drink something warm.
Researchers announced in 2008 that there was a connection between physically feeling warm and warmer, happier emotions. Sipping on some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate will help bust up your blues and get you feeling better in no time.
7. Try some yoga.
Yoga employs balance, stretching, and diaphragmatic breathing, which all contribute to lowering your stress and improving your mood. Research has shown that engaging in yoga poses for a mere 7 minutes can boost happiness, which is short enough for anyone to commit to!
8. Get back to nature.
Getting back to nature is a great way to overcome sadness. Though the research on this front is still early, scientists have found that in addition to improving mental health, overall physical health gets a boost from strolling through a forest as well. If taking a hike through the trees isn't an option, get a bouquet of flowers and bring nature inside.
9. Soak in the tub.
For much the same reason as drinking a warm drink will cause warm and fuzzy feelings inside, taking a bath will also cause increased happiness. Using a generous amount of bubble bath is also a good way to crank up the happy vibes, because absolutely nobody can still be sad while rocking a beard made out of bubbles.
10. Read a book.
There is a connection between reading for fun and overall happiness. Reading books is a great way to escape sadness by slipping into someone else's mind for a while, and having incredible adventures along the way. Not sure what book to pick up next? Check out the A Plus list of classic books you need to read.
[Header image: iStockphoto/stevanovicigor]