The 31 Most Effective Daily Mood-Boosters (That You Can Start Literally Now)

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happy woman in an office

Building a happier life starts with adjusting your outlook. The best way to do that is to boost your mood daily, with consistent habits that are do-able and easy to start.

With that in mind, I wanted to share 31 tips to help you boost your mood, improve your mental well-being and increase your EQ so you can start your year out in a good way — though these tips can be utlized starting any day of any month, any time of year!

RELATED: 7 Hobbies You Can Do For One Hour Per Week To Improve Your Mental Health

31 daily habits to boost your mood & build a happier life 

1. Create your well-being routine

Pick a practice that you can consciously choose to do consistently each day. Something that lifts your spirits and puts a smile on your face. Practice this new routine every day for at least 5 minutes each day.

Bonus action: Set a reminder on your phone so you get into the habit of practicing this new routine each day to develop a new habit around it as you strengthen the neural pathways in your mind.

2. Try mindfulness

Take 5 minutes during your day to pause, breathe and focus on quieting your mind. This form of present-moment awareness with yourself can help calm your nervous system and create new perspectives from which to see old challenges. 

The benefits are numerous, from lowering your blood pressure to decreasing stress and bolstering your immune system.

RELATED: 6 Essential Skills That'll Help You Practice Mindfulness Like A True Zen Master

3. Write down three things you’re grateful for today

When you stop to focus on what you’re grateful for on any given day, from the cup of coffee or tea in your hand to the roof over your head, it creates a positive reaction of happy chemicals in your brain which can boost your mood and quiet your nervous system.

4. Check for ANTS

Automatic Negative Thoughts are pesky little buggers that can play on repeat in your mind and pull you down into the pit. Notice what negative thoughts are constantly playing in your mind. Identify what is the positive exact opposite of that negative thought.

Choose to tell yourself a positive thought instead. Doing this can help you reclaim your power from your fears.

RELATED: 23 Life Coaches & Experts Share Small, Daily Habits That Help You Keep A Positive Outlook

5. Automatic writing

Just pen to paper, no agenda. Just write whatever comes to mind. Journaling every day is a great way to get the noise out of your head and onto paper. Freeing up the mental space for your next big idea to come through.

6. Pay attention to your emotions

Your emotions are feelings and energy that your body needs to process and release. When you try to ignore or stuff your emotions, you’re only putting off feeling those feelings for another day.

And if you repress those emotions long enough they can manifest as physical issues in a myriad of ways.

Taking the time to feel what you need to feel and let it go by writing in your journal, taking a walk, or talking to a trusted friend or therapist (who can just listen, not fix), are all healthy ways to release those emotions from your nervous system.

RELATED: The Simple Way To Know How Emotionally Intelligent Someone Really Is

7. Get your body moving

Exercise is a fun and easy way to elevate your mood as it triggers those feel-good endorphins. You don’t have to train like an Olympic athlete! Just 20-30 minutes of activity each day that helps elevate your heart rate is good for your mind, body, and spirit.

8. Goodness in, goodness out

Your body is a well-tuned machine. What fuel you put into it makes all the difference. If you’re eating a lot of processed food, it can negatively impact not only your mental well-being but your physical health as well.

Eating a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats for your particular body type will give your system the good fuel it needs to be your best. 

RELATED: 10 Healthy Foods That Make You Happy (& Are Healthier Than A Pint Of Ice Cream)

9. Practice makes progress

What’s one skill that you’d like to improve upon personally or professionally? Make a habit of strengthening that learning muscle each day as it helps to build your confidence, and self-esteem more and more as you improve your skills, talents, and abilities.

10. Spend time with your pet(s)

Pets provide us with unconditional love while keeping us in the present moment. And, as you pet your furry or feathered friends, it also helps lower the stress hormone cortisol and boosts your oxytocin levels which create a feeling of happiness and calm. Don’t have a pet, spend time with a friend or volunteer at your local favorite charity.

11. Random acts of kindness

When you take time to smile at someone or buy a cup of coffee for the next person in line, no strings attached, it puts a smile on their face. Not only does it make you feel good, you’ve also now spread that good feeling to a perfect stranger. And you never know what positive consequences their uplifted mood can create for others.

RELATED: What Kindness Should Really Mean In Today's World

12. Talk to yourself  

If you find you need some encouragement, then talk to yourself. Create your own mantra that you can repeat to yourself in moments of stress such as “ I am enough. My perspectives matter. I bring value to my work. I am loveable.” Remember, your brain likes repetition so the more you tell yourself positive thoughts, the stronger those mental habits and neural pathways become.

13. Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep hygiene is a thing. Turn off all your devices at least an hour before bed.

Read a few pages from your favorite book and keeping your room cool between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for a good night’s rest. The more you practice these sleep hygiene habits, the more you train your brain to rest fully and deeply, waking refreshed and ready to face your day.

RELATED: Train Yourself To Fall Asleep Faster & Overcome Your Insomnia With This 9-Step Program

14. Boost your mood with Omega-3 fatty acids

When you can eat a handful of walnuts or add some fish oil supplements into your diet, it not only helps build healthy gut bacteria but Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to decreased rates of depression.

15. Unleash your creativity 

Creativity comes in many forms from writing to painting to gardening to cooking, to programming and so much more! Find a hobby or a DIY project that you love and spend some time working on it today. As you let your creative mind roam about the cabin, it helps your subconscious mind to do the problem-solving in the background for you.

This enables you to come back to your focused work with greater clarity and inspiration.

RELATED: Traits The World's Most Creative People Share That You Can Learn, Too

16. Forgiveness is an act of kindness (toward yourself)

While you may not like what someone else did, you can still forgive them. When you harbor anger or hatred towards another, all it does is poison your spirit. Let it go and keep moving forward.

17. Strengthen your relationships

We all have people in our lives that we care about. What’s one small thing you can do to connect with someone important to you each day? Letting them know that you care is a way to fill your own cup and help fill the cup of another as well.

18. Take time to laugh

Laughter really is the best medicine. It’s proven to boost your immune system as you release endorphins into your system which promotes an overall sense of well-being in your body.

RELATED: 7 Amazing Things That Happen To You And Your Body When You Laugh

19. Quiet your mind

Taking time to breathe as you focus on an adult coloring book (yes, that’s what I said), for about 20 minutes. It can be very soothing to an anxious mind. Finding a geometric design that’s a little complicated that you can embellish with colored pencils or pens is a great way to calm your nervous system as you focus on a singular task. Check out hundreds of free printable coloring pages here.

20. Learn something new

Research shows that learning a new skill helps build your self-confidence and sense of purpose. Tie that new skill to a goal and boom, you’re on your way. Like a trip to Italy to cook your favorite dish or speak Italian or paint the next Mona Lisa.

RELATED: 6 Most-Effective Ways To Stop Thinking & Clear Your Mind

21. Baby steps

Tackling a new project or goal can feel daunting, especially at the beginning of the year. Start by taking the first steps necessary in the direction you want to go. You don’t have to have the whole path mapped out, just take one step at a time, and learn as you grow.

22. Permission to eat dark chocolate

The flavonoids, theobromine, and caffeine in dark chocolate work together to enhance your mental alertness and skills. A little bit goes a long way toward improving your mental clarity.

23. Finding the silver lining

Even when life throws you curveballs, when you can find something within it that you can be grateful for, it can help to lower your anxiety about the situation. When you learn how to turn your pain into power, you’ll find greater freedom.

24. Spend time with friends or family

Have a meal together, go to the park, play a game. It’s been proven that social groups provide emotional support which helps increase your overall well-being and can enhance your sense of purpose.

RELATED: The Time-Tested Ritual That Deepens Relationships & Builds Intimacy

25. Go old school — send a thank you note

Find a nice piece of stationary or a card and send someone a thank you note. Not for a material item but just a reminder of what you appreciate about them for who they are Being (versus just what they do for you.) These hand-written notes of gratitude are linked to increased happiness.

26. Disconnect from the Matrix

Leave your phone or computer at home and get out into nature. Go for a walk, take in the beauty and sunshine, and reconnect with yourself. As you take time to ground and get away, you’ll find more clarity and peace of mind.

27. Practice smiling

You use a whole different set of muscles in your face when you smile. And it actually activates the neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin in your brain which are associated with increased feelings of happiness and lowering your stress levels. Not to mention smiles can be contagious, so pass it on!

28. Be a flower

Getting into the sunshine for at least 15 minutes a day helps your body produce vitamin D. Experts believe it helps elevate your mood, opens your heart, and raises your energy.

29. Volunteer

When you spend time helping others, it has a myriad of benefits from increasing your self-confidence and self-worth, to making new friends and social groups, to giving you a sense of purpose and passion. All of these boost your happy chemicals: Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins, making your whole body feel good and boosting your well-being.

RELATED: How Great Conversations Create Deep Intimacy & Happiness

30. Zoom time

Schedule regular check-ins with family, friends, or colleagues to connect and see how others are doing in your circles of influence. This can be done over zoom or in person (really, it’s true!). When we connect energetically with others it helps raise our own vibration and makes us feel a sense of lightness and ease.

This can boost your well-being and strengthen your ties with the other person.

31. Create your win list

Every time you have a small or large win, write it down in a special notebook. This might be a compliment someone gave you or a recent accomplishment in your work. Anytime those negative thoughts intrude on your peace of mind, review your win list to remind yourself of the good work that you do, the kind person that you are, and that you matter.

Remember, the world needs your unique brand of expression, talent, and perspectives.

Each of these 31 habits can be done throughout the year to boost your mood, expand your confidence and raise your sense of self-love

All of these can continue to level up your mental well-being, giving you the positive mindset and energy to accomplish your goals and dreams this year!

RELATED: The #1 Most Effective Self-Care Ritual — According To 34 Healing & Wellness Experts

Michele Molitor, CPCC, CHt, is a certified coach and hypnotherapist, and co-author of a best-selling book. She assists high-achieving professionals in reducing their overwhelm and reclaiming their self-confidence, calm and clarity to create a thriving life and career.