Feeling a little grouchy today? It happens. But waking up on the wrong side of the bed doesn’t have to translate into a whole day of grumpiness. Try these simple tips for bidding a bad mood buh-bye:
Listen to Music
Music might be your mood-boosting secret weapon. In a study published in 2011 in the journal Nature Neuroscience, researchers found that when participants listened to their favorite tunes, large amounts of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine were released, causing the participants to feel happy, excited and joyful. In another study published in the journal Ergonomics in 2012, researchers found that listening to music in the car can positively impact your mood while driving, which can have positive implications for driving behavior. Mood-boosting take-away: Skip the podcasts and talk radio, and turn up your favorite tunes while commuting to work. If you can, bring headphones into the office to keep the feel-good effects going strong all day long.
Go For A Walk
Add another benefit of walking to the list: Getting moving is great for your mind—and your mood. In a study out of California State University, people who walked more reported being in a better mood, feeling more energetic and having more self-esteem and happiness than their non-walking peers. Bonus: There also seemed to be an association between walking more and making better food choices.
Flash Those Pearly Whites
Ever hear the phrase “fake it till you make it?” When it comes to a good mood, we completely agree—and so does science. In a study published in 2012 in the journal Psychological Science, researchers found that when subjects smiled despite feeling stressed, they experienced a slower heart rate and decreased perceived levels of stress than those who didn’t smile. Too grumpy to grin? Place a pen or chopstick in between your teeth. The researchers found that just engaging the same muscles required in a smile can yield the same mood-boosting effects.
Sit Up Straight
Perfecting your posture isn’t just good for your back—it can help you feel better, too. In a study published in the journal Health Psychology in 2015, researchers found that people who were made to sit up straight reported having higher self-esteem and being in a much better mood than those made to sit in a slumped position. Research out of Harvard University suggests that maintaining “power postures” (expansive and open body positions as opposed to contracted and closed) for just two minutes can cause an increase in testosterone, a hormone tied to confidence, and a decrease in cortisol, the infamous stress hormone.