Grace Notes

a blog about life’s everyday magic

May 18, 2017

56 Ways We Instantly Lift Our Moods

Photo credit: Kristen Vogt


Always acknowledge when you’re feeling depleted. 

When you feel that unwanted dark cloud of melancholy and irritation come over you, it feels nearly impossible to escape the storm of negative emotions that are taking over. The good news is, there is always an escape. Sometimes all we need is a little pick-me-up.


In “56 Ways We Instantly Lift Our Moods,” our Bella Grace fans share their favorite ways to lift their spirits and overcome that dreaded mental fog we all experience at times. This article originally appeared in Issue 9, and we’re excited to be able to share it with our Grace Notes readers.



1. I take some deep breaths and remind
myself there is something wonderful up
ahead. Maybe the air will smell of flowers
or I will see an image I must capture on
my phone.
— Anita Starkoff2.


I think of a happy song. When the days
are bad, it makes me laugh to sing “It’s a
Beautiful Day” by Michael Buble.
— Julia Ralston


3. I turn to my letters. I either read ones that
have been sent to me from beloveds, or
I pull out my lovely stationery, stickers,
cards, and pens, and write encouraging
notes or letters to someone else whose day
might be going not so well.
— Melissa Gibson Snyder


4. I remind myself how much worse it could
be. Car won’t start? If that’s the biggest
thing I have to worry about, life is good!
Your outlook changes when you put
things in perspective.
— Penny Kleiner


5. Hug one of my cats and then have a big
bowl of ice cream and watch one of my
favorite movies.
— Donna Roberts Bell


6. Breathe. Switch things totally around
for yourself. Turn on some music, drive
to the beach, a forest, even Macy’s.
You’ll be delightfully distracted.
— Frances Macias-Souza


7. I pull out my sketchbook and let art
handle it.
— Marta Paulina


8. I crank up some Bon Jovi.
— Sara Gearheart


9. I try to reframe it in my head. What is
the funny story I can tell about this?
How can I get a laugh out of it? There
is almost always a way … otherwise,
I’ll just make something up!
— Arlene Giddings

11. Get in the car with no destination
in mind, but I always end up at my
favorite bookstore with a cup of good,
strong coffee.
— Shana Miller


12. I step outside and place my bare feet in the grass and
wiggle my toes! “Earthing” is the trendy name for it,
I suppose. I simply think of it as resetting my senses.
Maybe it is because it rekindles a childlike action?
— Angie Lambert


13. Lift another human being up to love and light.
— @enchantedmakeovers


14. Reaching out to friends and visiting a bookstore or
library usually works for me. Being surrounded by
the written word in a cozy, quiet environment brings
me back to center. And then if it’s a really bad day, I
will pick up a latte (a treat that I don’t normally get)
or make myself some tea.
— Brianna L. Morehead


15. Something that makes me laugh, like @thepopcast
and my husband’s jokes.
— Laura Enfinger


16. Dress up!
— Ruby Shea


17. Put in my headphones, crank up the music, and
sing or dance, or both!
— @gibby1118


18. I take a deep breath and think of all the things
that have gone right, then I smile and move on to
the next task.
— @_brooklyndragonfl i_


19. Breathe, close my eyes, and think of a woman
on the other side of the world who would love to
have my problems. Be grateful to be able to have
a coffee that was spilled, be thankful to have a car
even if it does not start. All of this is temporary.
— @lucky_velvet


20. Listen to bad hip hop in my bedroom.
— @kenny.jane

Photo credit: jeshoots

Photo credit: Markus Spiske

23. I open the closet where I store all my quilting fabric
and supplies, take a deep breath, and think of all
the lovely things I’m going to sew.
— @beautifullysewn

24. Take a few deep breaths of lavender oil, and if I can
get some exercise, I’m always in a better mood after
getting out pent-up energy.
— Annie Lupton


25. I try to focus on emotions and the little things that
are connected to them. I may look at an old pair of
ballet shoes from my daughters first time in dance,
or pictures of when my husband and I were in
“young love.” I remember all the reasons I have to
be happy.
— Aubrey Bahr


26. Playing an old favorite song at high volume and
singing along (badly) while sitting in my car under
the carport or while driving with the windows down
on a county road.
— @sebs03isme


27. Go to my stash of good chocolate, say a little
prayer while it melts in my mouth, and take
a deep breath. My favorite quote is from
the order of St. Benedict: “Always we begin
again.” It is the mantra of my days.
— Caitlin Mallery

28. I keep a “pocket” full of positive affirmations.
On days when my anxiety levels are running
high, I step outside, focus on the sky, and run
those affirmations through my mind.
— Whitney Bilodeau


29. Dance! Especially in the car. Pitbull’s music is
great for dancing. I took belly-dancing lessons
for several years, and I learned that a good
shimmy can knock physical and emotional
stress out of my body. Plus it makes me smile
and feel sassy.
— @the_elegant_leopard


30. I watch Jimmy Fallon videos whenever I’m in
a bum mood. They never fail to cheer me up.
— Jessie Padilla

Photo credit: Kaboom Pics

37. Find the humor in it and laugh, and
then say a prayer of gratitude for fi ve
things that were bright spots in the day.
— Moira Blaney Rossi

38. I look at vintage photos. They remind
me of gentler times where love and
laughter were captured and forever
brighten my view of the world.
— Ella Wilson


39. Zendoodle and listen to music. This
creative aimlessness helps me relax
and breathe. It’s great meditation.


41. I take a short drive to our local greenhouse
where I walk in the filtered light and
among the newly seeded plants. I am
reminded that every day is a new day and
that tomorrow will likely be brighter.
— Kathy Pardell

42. Play some hardcore dancehall reggae in
my headphones and instantly I’m happy
and having a party at my desk.
— @traci.elaine


43. Journaling does it for me. I just finished a
long and rambling entry that helped clear
the cobwebs in my mind.
— Linda Hoye


Photo credit: Kaboom Pics

44. I sing along with great old songs by Joni
Mitchell and Crosby Stills and Nash while I
edit photos and write prose.
— Deanna Wisman

45. I turn on Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra,
pour a glass of wine, and watch the beautiful
sunset melt across the sky.
— @kellen813


46. I pull out my favorite book, my knitting,
turn on a The Civil Wars album, and just
get lost until the world (aka my boys)
comes calling.
— Elaine Jason


47. I hold an amethyst or another calming
crystal. The energy of the stones directly
affects my attitude for the better.
— @nefelibata1727


48. I have a very simple prescription for the
grouchiest of moods. 1 Jane Austen movie +
1 bar of expensive dark chocolate = instant
mood reboot. Add a pair of comfy granny
jammies and I totally forget what had me out
of sorts in the first place.
— Christie Smith

49. I lie on the floor and let my furry friends tumble
and kiss me until the bad mood passes.
— @floggingwally1

50. If my daughter is around, we turn on the tunes and
spin until we get dizzy, falling over in laughing
heaping sets us right again. We’ve also been known
to race our feet as quiet as we can and that burns
away the grumpies. Then when it’s quiet, I journal
my three positives for the day. There is always light
if you look for it.
— @upliftinganchor


51. I grab a pen and whatever scrap of paper I can find
and I start my list of what makes me happy. I’ve
been doing it as long as I can remember. Sometimes
the list is an entire page, filled with things like
“gardening, the smell of lilacs, frost on the leaves
in the fall, farmers on old tractors, Christmas eve,
early morning trips to the lakeshore, the Andy
Griffith theme song”… and sometimes it’s just a
scribble like, “visiting over coffee around the old
kitchen table.” Either way, those happy and magical
thoughts never fail to bring a smile to my face and
remind me how lucky and thankful I am to be alive.
— Kelly Jackson

Photo credit: Guilia Bertelli

54. I count three blessings. They can be simple.
1 – fireflies. 2 – cotton candy sunsets. 3 – the
smell of gardenias.
— @tamibug

55. If I’m ever having a bad day, my beautiful bed
never fails me. I crawl into clean cotton sheets and
fall asleep.
— @catherine.michelle


56. I grab my littles, a bag of snacks, my keys, and we
pile in the car. We drive with no real destination
in mind; they just know it will be somewhere in
nature. A trail, field, hilltop, or lake. Nature and my
littles. It’s a sure way for my mind to declutter the
negative toxins.
— Abbie McGinty


Here are some of our favorite pick-me-ups to help you relax and unwind:



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Comments ( 5 )

  1. ginger

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I love all these terrific ways & have done several of them myself.
    Yes, being grateful on a daily basis makes me a much happier person.

  2. Ella

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I really appreciate this list! I feel elated to be part of it-too. It is amazing how simple acts of self love change our focus, so quickly.
    Thank you~

  3. Terry Gassett

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Such a lovely list! I am printing a copy out to give me ideas on days when I feel depleted and am in need of a mood lift.
    Thank you for always bringing beauty into my day 🙂

  4. Jackie PN

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks everyone for sharing these.
    Very inspiring and automatic mood up lifting article!
    Jackie “)

  5. Cynthia StAmand

    April 19, 2023 at 4:25 pm

    I love these….
    And my “refresh” is:
    Sitting at the table, with a cup of hot coffee or tea in my hands, looking up and being grateful for a roof over my head and running water… How blessed we are.

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