20 Ideas to Lift your Spirits on a Bad Day

life spirits bad day

You’re not above having a bad day, are you? Neither am I. The problem is when a bad day feels like a bad life.

Any number of things can get us down. Kids not cooperating. A package didn’t come. Your spouse is doing that annoying thing again. And then there are the huge disappointments.

Forget all that. Let’s focus on lifting spirits.

Here’s the brainstorm:

  1. Remind yourself that it’s just a day, not a life.
  2. Take a walk.
  3. Think of something to do for someone else.
  4. Take 10 minutes to process the bad feeling.
  5. Call a friend and confess what’s going on.
  6. Exercise like crazy.
  7. Do simple, constructive things around the house.
  8. Take the rest of the day off.
  9. Have a glass of wine.
  10. Listen to music.
  11. Watch old reruns of Seinfeld.
  12. Think about what you’re learning today.
  13. Ask yourself what you’re grateful for.
  14. Make a long list of what you’re grateful for.
  15. Keep making that list until you feel grateful.
  16. Compare yourself to people from the Dark Ages.
  17. Plan a vacation.
  18. Talk to an old friend from high school.
  19. Candy Crush.
  20. Write in your journal (start one).

How long it took me to make this list…

Five minutes!

If I can write 20 things to do to lift your spirits on a bad day – in five minutes – you can too. More importantly, you can choose one or more to actually do. The question is: Are you willing to do it?

If so, you’ll need to let go of the bad day feeling. That can be difficult because sometimes we want to hang onto negative feelings. We feel entitled to them, as if we’ve earned the right to feel crappy! It’s self-sabotage.

Three NLP Questions to Get you Unstuck


NLP questions can be the key to getting unstuck.

NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. If you need to know more about it before moving on, check out this post.

Otherwise, suffice it to say that asking the right questions when you’re stuck is an absolute must. Most of us ask questions like this:

  • Why me?
  • How can this happen?
  • What on earth?
  • Why is life so unfair?

Throw them out.

Instead, ask NLP-informed questions that are intentionally designed to get you unstuck. I know, there may be part of you that doesn’t want to get unstuck – a part of you who wants to give up, give in and embrace failure.

That’s ok. Don’t fight this part of you. Ask the following NLP question anyway.

NLP Question #1

The question: Where in my body do I feel stuck?

How’s that for a question to make you slow down? Where do you feel it? In your head, throat, chest, solar plexus, or belly? Where, specifically?

NLP Question #2

The question: What do I call this feeling?

Label it. Is it fear, sadness, discouragement, or frustration? It could be so many things, right? Labeling your feelings puts them in perspective. It’s critical to knowing which of your inner resources to apply

How can you know what to do when you aren’t clear on what you’re feeling?

NLP Question #3

The question: Which of my resources do I need the most right now?

In NLP, resources are the positive qualities, experiences, and inner strength that you have. When you’re stuck, chances are very high that you are not actively drawing upon those qualities.

Asking yourself which resource you need the most will help single one out as a priority. The word courage, or compassion, or patience may come to mind. Accept the answer and begin to wonder how applying this resource to your situation might look.

An additional resource:

Keep in mind that the tendency to suppress positive feelings is a key obstacle to feeling empowered (good). If you label your negative feeling and begin to find a resource, you need to let that resource out.

Check out this article: Take the Opportunity to Feel Good

Three Questions to Ask When you’re Depressed in the Morning

morning depression

Call it morning depression. Call it just being groggy. Some of us have a harder time getting the day going.

Is this you?

Depending on how severe your morning depressed state is, it’s relatively easy to pop out of it. We’re not talking about major depression here. If you’re down in the mouth, gloomy, or somewhat listless in the morning hours, try out these three questions.

Don’t just think of them…

Answer them for real!

Better yet, write them down in a morning journal. Take five minutes. It’s worth the effort if it lifts your morning depression, right?

We can become so accustomed to our moods, positive and negative, that we subtly prefer to stick with them even though there are better alternatives. This is called being stuck in a rut. If we do it long enough, chronic self-sabotage is the only way to think of it. Don’t stay there, tempting as it is.

Three Questions to Ask (and Answer) when you’re Depressed in the Morning

1. What, specifically, am I feeling right now?

Label it. Is it sadness, discouragement, resentment, or fear? Give it a label and locate the specific place in your body where you feel it? Is the feeling in your belly, solar plexus, throat, or head?

2. Even though I feel this way, what am I grateful for right now? 

Write a list. Keep writing until you actually feel a feeling of gratitude.

3. What am I looking forward to today?

Find something. It could even be going to bed tonight. Doesn’t matter. Identify at least one thing you are genuinely (if mildly) enthusiastic about today.

And there you go. You’ll never know if these morning depression questions work unless you do the exercise of asking them, will you?