Several books are open on a white bed. Next to the book is a cup of coffee, and oatmeal-colored knit blankets.
The small act of reading a good book or having a hot drink can transform a bad day into a better one.

14 Ways to Make a Bad Day Better

Feeling down? Try these simple acts of self-care.

by Mia Bencivenga


August 24, 2021

Bad days are unavoidable — but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing we can do to make them easier to deal with! Here are a few simple self-care tips that can help make a bad day a little brighter.

1 ]  Give yourself permission to be sad
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do when you’re having a bad day is to let yourself have a bad day! But no amount of feeling guilty for not being happy can make a tough day easier. Letting yourself feel your feelings is the best way to start feeling better.

2 ]  Get some rest
Whether you’re hurting physically, received some bad news, or just woke up feeling rough, having a hard day can zap your energy. Let yourself take a quick nap or just lay down to recharge your batteries.

3 ]  Take a walk
If you're feeling on edge, walking is a great way to relieve stress! When you walk, it stimulates the release of endorphins which can help us relax and lift our spirits.

4 ]  Meditate 
When the voice inside our head gets loud, the last thing we want is to sit in silence. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Why? Because meditation can help ease anxiety and mental stress.

5 ]  Brew some soothing tea
The ritual of making yourself a hot cup of tea can be very soothing in and of itself. If you’re feeling anxious, try something decaffeinated that will help you unwind. Chamomile, lavender, kava, and peppermint teas are great for relaxation.

6 ]  Make yourself a delicious snack or meal
We can make a bad day worse by not prioritizing ourselves and our needs. When you take the time to make yourself something — whether it’s your favorite meal or a simple snack, the act of treating yourself to something tasty and nourishing can bring a little joy into your life. 

7 ]  Watch a comfort movie
Is there a movie that always makes you laugh? How about an old film that was a childhood favorite? Whatever it is, put it on! Even if you can’t pay full attention to it, having it on can make you feel comforted and help distract you from your troubles for a little while.

8 ]  Call a loved one
Many of us feel guilty about reaching out to others to tell them about what’s bothering us. But having someone you trust to confide in is what friends and family are for! Whether you need to vent or get out of your head, hearing a loved one’s voice can be the perfect balm to a bad day. 


9 ]  Make fun plans
Whether it’s something simple like a hike or a day out with friends, fun plans can make the future a source of excitement rather than anxiety.

10 ]  Get some sunshine
If you’re having a bad day, the small act of getting outside can feel overwhelming, but is so worth the effort! Exposure to sunlight can help increase your levels of serotonin, which can help improve your mood. 

11 ]  Get lost in an activity
Whether it’s painting, playing video games, or solving a puzzle, doing an activity that takes up mental space can be a great way of redirecting your energies towards something that makes you happy.

12 ]  Read a book
Reading something light and fun is a great way to forget your worries and dive into someone else’s story. Plus, it’s also considered to be a form of meditation! You can read more about that here.

13 ]  Play some loud music
Did you know listening to loud music can release endorphins?There is a part of the inner ear called the sacculus that has direct connections to pleasure centers in the brain. It releases endorphins when stimulated by loud music. 

Want to give it a try? Just be sure to keep the volume at or below 82 decibels if you’re going to listen to music for eight hours a day. However, if you want it a little louder, 89 decibels is safe for 90 minutes. 

14 ]  Having a lot of bad days in a row? Talk to someone.
A bad day here or there is normal for just about everyone. But if you’re struggling to get through most days, please reach out to a mental health professional or your doctor.

And remember, the next time you’re having a bad day, asking for help from others isn’t a sign of weakness — it can be the strongest thing we do!


Mia Bencivenga is a regular columnist with The Green Voice Weekly Newsletter