How to Boost Your Happiness Levels When You Feel Sad

Sadness can affect many different aspects of our lives. In this article, we'll share some things you can do on those days when it all gets a bit too much.
How to Boost Your Happiness Levels When You Feel Sad

Last update: 26 May, 2022

We often don’t know why we’re sad, or how to change the way we feel. Sadness is one of the most common emotions for human beings and it can be triggered by a variety of causes. In this article, we’ll tell you what you can do when you feel sad.

Tips to stop feeling sad

Obviously we can’t expect magical solutions from one minute to the next, but we can at least do everything within our own power to improve things. If you’re feeling sad these habits will come in handy:

1. Let it out

Crying or expressing our emotions is often viewed negatively in our society, however, it’s often what most of us need to do to start feeling better.

If you don’t want to talk to anyone, then note down your thoughts, fears, and anxieties in a notebook. Sometimes this can help us have a better view of the big picture, our emotions, and can help us find a solution.

It doesn’t matter how organised it is. Nor does it matter if you note down lots of different things jumbled up. Let your emotions flow. The idea is that you let everything out and into the notebook.

2. Give your mind a rest

When we’re sad, we don’t really want to do things that require too much concentration or effort. This is why it’s hard to do exercise, or do errands, or be effective at work. A good way to feel better is to enjoy a pleasant activity without thinking about anything in particular.

For example, you can watch an episode of your favourite TV series, or a comedy film. Another choice is to sit down in a comfy chair and read a good book, whilst you enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. You can also watch funny videos to entertain your mind and not thing think about anything that bothers you.

3. Laugh

Just like that. Even if it’s a force laughed. The actual act of laughing improves your mood because you are releasing hormones called endorphins. Try to do it infront of a mirror. First, stretch out a smile, and then laugh as much as you can.

And if this doesn’t work, remember the bit about watching funny videos or a comedy film? You can even ask a friend or colleague to tell you jokes. Whatever makes you laugh!

4. Walk the dog

There are as many advantages to this for you as for your dog. When we’re tired we often don’t want to leave the house. However, if you have a dog, you have a certain responsibility, such as at least taking it out to do its business. This can be the perfect excuse to get a little fresh air.

Without realising it you’ll be oxygenating your lungs and doing exercise. You’ll be able to clear your mind and pay attention to what’s going on around you: looking before you cross the street, finding a bench in a park, collecting your dog waste, etc.

5. Focus on the good things

Sadness tends to be caused by something negative that later expands to affects many different aspects of our life. Don’t give it the chance! When we feel sad, we can see the colour grey as if we had a dark cloud hanging over our heads. How can we reverse this feeling?

One good way is to think about nice things. All around you you’ll find dozens of situations, people, or objects that make you feel lucky and appreciated. Think of all the good memories, the travelling you’ve done, about your friends and loved ones, the food you eat every day, your personal achievements, etc.

Every day make an effort to find something new to make your smile and feel happy. It could be something very small, like managing to get a seat on the metro on your way home, or something huge like meeting the love of your life.

6. Order

So that your mind can think clearly, you need order around you. Therefore, if your room, or lounge, or office is full of stuff, it’s difficult to feel good. Furthermore, this task can help to distract you. You’ll need to think about where each object needs to go, what needs to be thrown away, things to be fixed or cleaned, etc.

7. Dance and sing

In the same way that you’ll feel good forcing a smile, your whole body will change completely if you listen to some dancy music. Especially if you start moving with the rhythm! Put the radio on, or a selection of internet videos whilst you do your chores. There’s nothing more fun than cleaning the house listening to some fun music.

If even that doesn’t work, you could try singing in front of the mirror. Use your hairbrush, a bottle of water, or a pen as a microphone. You’ll have a lot of fun and leave the sadness in the corner.

8. Eat a piece of fruit

Or a little piece of chocolate. Food can be very enticing when we’re sad. But, of course, you need to be careful with your choices. Although in the moment you’ll want to eat something fatty or sugary, try to choose something healthy: some fruit, a handful of nuts, or some jam on toast. These foods will help your brain release serotonin, a hormone related to feeling happy.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Power, M. J. (2010). Sadness. The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology, 1-2.
  • Gao, J., & Kerstetter, D. L. (2018). From sad to happy to happier: Emotion regulation strategies used during a vacation. Annals of Tourism Research, 69, 1-14.
  • Williams, A. (2013). When You’Re Sad, You Cry. Xlibris Corporation.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.