Last Friday morning I was in a bad mood.
I’d been waiting weeks for an important check to arrive in the mail and it appeared to have gone missing in action. After talking to the company who issued the check, I was advised I could either pay for another check to be reissued or wait three months for the reissue to be free of charge.
I was bummed, disappointed and in a bad mood.
I had a lot of work to get through that morning and my mood was affecting my productivity so it was time to take action.
Here are my top 20 ways to snap out of a bad mood.
Important Note: I’m not a medical practitioner or trained therapist. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or suspect you may have a mental illness, please consult a medical professional.
Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. Any compensation I receive does not affect the price you pay.
1. Break the loop
Often we need to break the loop running in our heads.
When we get in a bad mood and start stewing about something, we tend to play negative thoughts over and over again in our heads, which only helps to make the situation worse.
You want to disrupt your bad mood and replace it with other thoughts and actions.
Awareness is the first step. To stop a bad mood, you first need to understand you are in one. Unfortunately, awareness alone might be enough.
Different techniques will work for different people depending on the situation and of course, the individual person. Distraction and focus are two of the key players.
When it comes to breaking the loop the ideas below can be helpful. One action by itself might work or you may need a series of actions to get the job done (I’ll give you an example of that later in the post).
It’s about breaking the negative loop in your head so that you can get back to doing more important things. It’s about putting you back in the right mindset to power on.
Often our negativity and fear can be connected to self-doubt. If you want to break the habit of self-doubt, I highly recommend the online course – How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence over at CreativeLive.
This online course is taught by the amazing Mel Robbins. I took this course myself at the beginning of the year and it was a game-changer for me. You can read how the course benefited me and what how I believe it can help you as well.
Break the loop and snap yourself out of a bad mood.
2. Use music
Music can have such a powerful effect on us.
It has the ability to instantly transform our mood. It can trigger memories, emotions, and feelings.
The music we love makes us feel good!
Music should be used for good and not evil. (Okay so I’m kidding with the evil part but I do remember when I used to use sad break-up songs as a self-torture device after some guy had broken my heart. What I should have been doing was using music to cheer myself up.)
Part of my plan on Friday to snap me out of my bad mood was to get out of the house and take myself for a cheap and cheerful lunch. As I was sitting at my table, ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams came on over the speaker. I love that song and I started tapping my toes and humming along in my head.
That simple process of toe-tapping snapped me right out of my mood because I allowed myself to be completely in the moment.
I forgot about the missing check. I focused solely on enjoying the music.
Find the songs and music you love. Know what songs you can use for a pick me up and a mood changer.
Related musically-inspired content –
- Motivational Songs
- My 7 Motivational Songs
- 8 More Motivational Songs
- Be Inspired by the Incredible Voice of Josh Groban
I’m the first to admit there are a few daggy 80’s songs in my motivational songs lists, but hey they work for me. Use whatever works for you. 🙂
3. Use movement
To get myself out of my bad mood, I walked to the local shops.
I find taking a walk great for snapping me out of a bad mood. Walking is also good when you are feeling frustrated. The more sweat and effort required the better.
After a frustrating workday, one of the best things I can do is walk to the grocery store. It’s usually around 5 pm, which is an absolutely beautiful time of day. The sky and afternoon light is gorgeous. Even when there is a storm brewing, it’s still beautiful. The birds are also pretty active (one park I walk past often has a flock of pink and grey galahs feeding around this time).
This walk is always a great stress buster not to mention a good form of exercise. I have to carry my groceries home up a reasonably steep hill, which turns out to be quite the workout.
If you drive everywhere, perhaps a walk could help snap you out of your bad mood?
Using movement doesn’t have to mean going for a walk. It could be any form of physical activity. Sometimes it could be something as simple as stretching.
4. Change location
At the moment I’m working from home. I work during the day in my home office, which is a small second bedroom in my townhouse apartment.
When I’m in a bad mood, it helps to get out of my office.
Even something as simple as heading downstairs and sitting out in the morning sun in my courtyard can snap me out of a bad mood.
If you work in an office or indoors, get outside and feel the wind and sun on your face. Pop out and grab a coffee if that suits your work environment.
A simple change of location, combined with mindfulness, can be just what you need to snap yourself out of a bad mood.
5. Laugh at yourself
Sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves. Cracking yourself up can snap you out of a bad mood.
I’ve been doing this a bit lately.
The dynamics of one of my close friendships have changed recently (which means I’m spending less time laughing with my friend and more time on my own).
I also work by myself, which means being able to entertain myself and not takes things too seriously is important.
Just because I spend the day alone, however, doesn’t mean that I can’t have a laugh. I’ve actually been making a conscious effort lately to make my workdays more fun. I know this may sound silly to some but I recently had a laugh over a spelling dilemma as well a laughing at a common mistake I make when using the TV remote.
I’m also learning to laugh at some of the stupid random thoughts that fly around my mind. These same thoughts would have annoyed or upset me years ago, now I just laugh them off and quickly move on.
This ability alone has made a big difference in snapping myself out of bad moods.
6. Chill out with your pet
Take the dog for a walk in the park. Sit and chill with your cat.
Animals have a fabulous way of getting us out of a bad mood. They are great at being in the moment, great at showing love and enthusiasm and excellent for getting our mind off ourselves.
They are also incredibly entertaining because they do silly, sweet, crazy things that make us laugh and fill our hearts with love.
Chilling out with my cat is one of the best ways to snap me out of a bad mood. As I type this post, he’s curled up in a white ball besides my feet. Just looking at my bub all cozy and snuggly fills me with joy.
Joy is an instant mood changer. Soak up as much joy as you possibly can.
Related post – How to Have More Joy in Your Life
7. Spend time on self-care
Self-care means different things to different people.
Self-care doesn’t have to be all taking bubble baths and getting massages (but if you have the time, then go for it!)
Sometimes self-care can simply mean being kinder to yourself.
It could mean forgiving yourself for something that didn’t work out the way you wanted it to.
It could mean not being so hard on yourself.
When it comes to self-care start by being kinder to yourself and see if that picks up your mood.
Related post – Words to Stop Using to Move Your Life Forward
You might need to take some time to relax.
People relax in different ways, so find what works for you. You might find a ten minute run on the treadmill relaxing or you might want to meditate for 10 minutes.
Whatever you decide on, calm your mind as much as possible.
If right now you’re thinking to yourself – I can’t do that because my mind is always racing, then you need to think again. I used to be like that as well.
You need to make the effort to slow your mind and relax. You need to stop telling yourself you are a certain person who always acts a certain way.
Labeling yourself can lock you into certain behaviors.
If you believe you can’t relax, are you likely to take the time to try to relax? Probably not.
I fully appreciate that we all have our preferred ways of thinking, behaving and operating but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t capable of change and growth. Remember small changes can make a big difference as well.
You might be in a bad mood because you are not getting enough sleep. If that’s the case then it’s time to get a decent nights sleep.
Lack of sleep can leave us grumpy and irritable.
Granted you can’t take a nap at work (pity!) but having a good nights sleep is something you can plan for later.
Get the rest you need and start again tomorrow.
10. Get in the moment
Mindfulness is one of the quickest ways to snap out of a bad mood.
Being mindful means being in the moment. This moment right now.
Not an hour ago when you were ticked off by a telesales person ringing you or 30 minutes ago when the cat vomited in the hallway.
Focus on right now. Take a deep breathe in and out. Sit up straight if you are slouching. Take another deep breath.
Focus on the now.
Related post – The One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Feel Happier and Less Stressed
11. Be grateful
I know that the practice gratitude message is everywhere at the moment but there’s a good reason for that.
Because it works.
If it doesn’t work by itself straight up then use it with one of the other actions on this list. As mentioned earlier, it might take a series of actions to disrupt your bad mood.
Here’s an example – you take the dog for a walk, laugh at his antics, think about how grateful you are to have such a wonderful dog, be mindful of what a gorgeous day it is and appreciate the fact that your body feels good after the exercise.
Be grateful and a lot of other things will fall into place to snap you out of your bad mood.
12. Understand feelings are temporary
Feelings come and go. Our feelings aren’t permanent and the stuff that generally puts us in a bad mood in the first place, shifts and changes all the time.
You don’t want to be held hostage by every feeling you have.
Get comfortable with the ebb and flow of your feelings. Learn to know the feelings that are not worth getting invested in and let them go.
13. Take the focus off yourself
Sometimes we can get in a bad mood because our heads are full of ME, ME, ME.
We get so bogged down in our problems, that we back ourselves into a self-obsessed corner.
One way to distract yourself from your problems is to connect with someone else.
Join an interesting group discussion. Have a one on one with a co-worker. Grab a coffee with someone and ask them how they are doing.
This doesn’t necessarily mean talking about their problems either. The goal (other than snapping you out of your bad mood) is to not dwell on problems at all. Start a conversation about something interesting you saw on the news or on television.
Get the topic off yourself – it will help with your mood.
14. Read something motivating
There are a lot of things you can read to get you inspired and motivated.
This blog is always a good starting point! 🙂
Motivational quotes can put you in a more positive mindset. Make sure you pop over and follow me on Pinterest for lots of great content and inspiring quotes. Sometimes it’s about not allowing ourselves to slip into the bad mood in the first place.
Related content –
- 20 Inspiring Happiness Quotes
- 12 Thought-Provoking Travel Quotes
- 10 Behaviors That Stop You Growing as a Person
- 6 Life-Changing Steps to Becoming the Person You Want to Be
15. Plan something fun to do
If you find yourself in a bad mood or feel yourself sliding into a bit of a funk, plan something fun for the not too distant future.
When I am feeling like this, I text a friend and book in a movie, breakfast or lunch over the next couple of days. It gives me something to look forward to.
It always works to shift my mood.
If you can’t take action right now and plan something how about a little daydreaming. Don’t underestimate the power of daydreaming about something fun during a boring work meeting.
Related content –
- Are You Having Enough Fun?
- Have You Been All Work and No Fun Lately?
- Do You Need to Connect with Old Friends?
16. Don’t take on other people’s bad moods
Sometimes it’s not our bad mood we are carrying around. I’ve written a couple of detailed posts on this topic, so make sure you check out the links below, particularly if you are prone to taking on other people’s moods and emotions.
I used to be really bad at this but I’m making a real effort to change my behavior.
For years I was like a sponge taking on other people’s moods and emotions. It was exhausting.
I’d be in a great mood then a friend would ring, dump all of their troubles on me (without so much as asking me how I was) then go on their merry way. I’d be left with a bad mood that I had to deal with.
Be there for your friends and family as much as possible, but work at not taking on their bad moods and emotions.
Related content –
- 7 Signs You Are Taking On Someone Else’s Problems
- How to Support People Without Taking on Their Moods and Emotions
17. Take back your power
Did you get into a bad mood because of something a stranger said or did?
In the whole scheme of life was it something important or something that even matters?
Are you letting your entire morning be ruined and unproductive because someone cut you off in traffic or something equally irrelevant?
If that’s the case, you are giving your power away.
The better you get at disregarding the trivial and not letting it bother you, the less you will be in a bad mood.
Take back your power. Don’t get bent out of shape over irrelevant things that don’t matter.
Related post – 11 Ways You Have More Power Than You Think
18. Focus on what’s important
A great way to snap out of a bad mood is to get your focus back on what’s truly important.
Don’t let something trivial put you in a bad mood or keep you in one.
Focus on your goals and what steps you need to take today to get closer to achieving them. Focus on what you want to achieve in the next hour.
Related post – How to Achieve Your Goals – The Key to Setting Goals and Achieving Them
19. Know yourself
An important part of snapping yourself out of a bad mood is knowing yourself.
It’s about knowing your moods but more importantly knowing how to change your mood. The more you know yourself and the way you think and act, the easier it is to snap out of a bad mood.
The better you know yourself (without also putting restrictive limitations on yourself) the better off you will be.
After reading this post, take the time to get specific about your top five actions to snap yourself out of a bad mood.
20. You need to WANT to get out of a bad mood
Okay, I’m going to be a bit harsh here. Sometimes I think we embrace a bad mood because we want to use it as an excuse for not doing something.
We use our bad mood as an excuse to procrastinate.
Your bad mood might be summed up in the words – I don’t feel like it.
You don’t feel like doing the task and you don’t feel like snapping out of your bad mood either!
An important part of getting out of your bad mood is wanting to get out of it in the first place. If your main goal is to through yourself a pity-party, you’re not going to be inclined to change our mood.
You need to want it.
I’m thrilled to report, I checked the mailbox in the afternoon and my check had arrived. I did a happy dance in my driveway, plus another one in the kitchen when I got inside. Happy dances all round baby!
I’d gotten myself out of my bad mood well before the check arrived so that made it all the sweeter.
We all experience bad moods. Know yourself, know your worth and know how to snap out of a bad mood. Bad moods disconnect you from joy. Learn how to snap back into the happiness and joy in your life.
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