Join our community of Solution Seekers!

How Do You Snap Out of a Bad Mood?

Here, Real Simple readers share the tips and tricks that get them out of an emotional slump.

Illustration of woman with a red balloon riding a red horse in the sky with cloudsChristopher Silas Neal

An instant antidote for a bad mood is an evening curled up in front of a movie based on a Jane Austen novel. I’m a huge fan of the BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice, but my favorite scene is from the 1995 made-for-TV adaptation of Persuasion. When Captain Wentworth professes his love for Anne Elliot, giving her a letter that reads, “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope,” I always smile. It reminds me that good girls can win in the end.
Lauren DeBueriis
New York, New York

I google “funny pugs” and browse the image results. Photographs of these bug-eyed, wrinkly, expressive pups would make anyone grin.
Carin Bagguley
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Champagne, darling! In the midst of performing the dreariest task, I’ll pop the cork to liven things up. Take, for example, the time I painted my basement. I hated it at first, so I placed a flute in my left hand, a roller in my right—and finished the job with a big smile.
Nancy Brand
Petoskey, Michigan

Riding my horse always takes my mind off my grumpiness. As we gallop across a field, I leave all my troubles and worries behind.
Roberta Monnier
Richmond, Virginia

Writing letters to my friends helps me get out of an emotional rut. I’ll describe what’s bothering me, or I’ll just ask my pals questions about their own lives. Knowing a surprise awaits in a friend’s mailbox brightens my mood. So does the prospect of receiving a response.
Taylor Reyes
Clinton Township, Michigan

Talking on the phone with my young grandchildren. Jacob, five, always asks me what I ate during the day, and his little brother, William, makes kissing noises. Two-year-old Olivia invites me to visit her castle. (She thinks she owns Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.) And the two infants just breathe—and occasionally giggle—into the receiver. Listening to them, I feel the purest form of love.
Linda Garcia
Plainville, Connecticut

One word: pedicure. I grab a friend who needs a few hours of relaxation and we head to the salon—my treat. It’s amazing what nail polish, a massage chair, and helping out a friend can do for your mood.
Heather Kennedy Eden
Wollongong, Australia

Read More About:Emotional Health

Related Content

How To: Relax and Breathe

How To: Do Relaxation Breathing

Follow the simple breathing exercises in this video and see what a difference they make for you.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments

Quick Tip


Juice may serve up vitamins, but it won’t do much to ease hunger: Unlike solid foods, liquids don’t trip the brain’s satiety mechanism. For a more effective snack, pair a glass of 100 percent juice with a few nuts. Get more tips.