50 Ways to Kick Your Mood Up a Notch

50 Ways to Kick Your Mood Up a Notch

YafaYafa Crane Luria
Teacher | Author | Positive Discipline Trainer
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How do you celebrate when you don’t want to celebrate? When times are tough or you just don’t have a lot of time or money, what brings up my spirit is a celebration of things the HAVE gone right. It’s sort of a gratitude list but peppier! There is action involved, not just a thought or feeling  (BTW, did you know that gratitude lists and celebrations are scientifically proven to improve your health? Here’s a great article on that topic.

I asked a group of moms what suggestions they had for raising the roof when they’re feeling down: Below are 50 ways to kick it up a notch when you can’t motivate yourself to get it done (By the way, lack of motivation could signal a chemical deficiency, like with Dopamine… Do you know about increasing the “Feel-Good Chemicals” in yourself and others? Check this out too: “Anxious, Angry, and Arguing: How to Help Your Super-Emotional ADD/ADHD Child or Teen”)


  1. Cook or bake something! Sometimes it’s comfort food, but often it’s a new recipe that helps give me a new perspective. Often it is to celebrate a random holiday just because.
  2. Move furniture. Nothing like rearranging my house to give me a new outlook (This includes doing some decluttering)
  3. Have a bath. Put some Epsom salts or essential oils in that bath to super-charge it. Essential oils like orange, bergamot, and tangerine are very uplifting. Lavender is a calming scent.
  4. Pop on some lively music and sing or dance to it.
  5. Get a massage or other body treatment that is soothing. Having people touch in safe ways can be very uplifting. Giving or receiving massages help the giver and the receiver.
  6. Play with my kids, even if it’s a computer game. It can make it easier for kids to transition from gaming to another activity if you play with them for 15-30 minutes.
  7. Have a phone call with my best friend.
  8. Stretch, Go for a walk, walk up and downstairs.
  9. Do yoga
  10. You can focus on one word, one phrase from a book or from a song, or something affirming.
  11. Guided meditation is a way to meditate while following someone else’s voice. Check out these free apps: “Headspace” and “Insight Timer”
  12. Pray
  13. Take a nap
  14. Craft/sew (you can even order supplies online)
  15. Grin (the act of grinning – a big cheesy smile – will actually improve your mood. Weird but true)
  16. Strike a superhero pose – same thing as with grinning. You can’t help but feel better.
  17. Drive through the woods, the mountains, by the seashore, through the countryside. Take time to look at it all.
  18. Do some shoulder shrugs – it will help you relax.
  19. Create/listen to an uplifting playlist
  20. Get off the internet
  21. Read a book or two
  22. Read a passage from a favorite spiritual or uplifting book
  23. Journal your feelings
  24. Hug a tree
  25. Eat some protein or dark chocolate to raise Dopamine levels
  26. Take a hot shower
  27. Take a cold shower (it doesn’t feel great but it raises Serotonin levels)
  28. Play with an animal
  29. Watch something calming like fish swimming, a fire in the fireplace, a flickering candle, or trees waving in the wind
  30. Listen to white noise for 5 minutes. The app “Relax Melodies” has a good selection of free sounds.
  31. Yup. These nuggets are apparently super powerful
  32. Same thing.
  33. Bang on something
  34. Have a stuffed animal that you can talk to.
  35. Paint, draw, mold clay (very tactile) or do some other artsy thing.
  36. Do something for someone random. Smile at them, offer a compliment or pay for their coffee.
  37. Read something funny. I like “Thunder Dungeon” (Google it)
  38. Watch a comedy
  39. Take a break from something that depresses you (for me it’s TV, politics, Facebook). You can even take a break from your family when you need to.
  40. Omega 3 fish oil or flaxseed oil can help with mood regulation
  41. Make a doctor’s appointment to see if there is something medical you can do
  42. Email Yafa and ask for some guidance or a virtual hug.
  43. Drink something soothing that you love – a favorite tea, coffee, or other beverage
  44. Put a blanket in the dryer and let it run for 10 minutes. Then put that warm blanket around yourself. Sooooo nice.
  45. Gardening
  46. Walk in nature
  47. Stand still in nature, close your eyes, and pay attention to the sounds for 5 minutes.
  48. Do a crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or play solitaire (but not on the computer or phone – that’s too mind-numbing
  49. Learn a relaxation technique from another culture
  50. And last… APPARENTLY, taking a probiotic is helpful as well, since the most current research is current research equates gut health with mental health.


xo, Yafa

Copyright 2020 Yafa Crane Luria All Rights Reserved

Yafa Crane LuriaAbout Yafa Crane Luria

Yafa Crane Luria specializes in helping families who are new to ADD/ADHD, who are facing a new stage in ADHD parenting, or who have tried nearly everything and are still frustrated and confused by their child’s or teen’s Blocked but Brilliant brain. A true ADHD trailblazer and fierce advocate, Yafa is a 35-year veteran teacher and school counselor, a certified Positive Discipline trainer, and an award-winning author. In 2018, after decades of working with ADHD kiddos and families, Yafa designed an ADHD- and neuro-divergent brain-specific behavior program that is customizable to individual families in every way. It addresses the unique challenges of parenting a child/teen with a “Big Heart and a Noisy Brain™.”

Fun fact: Yafa’s nickname growing up was “Mountain Goat” because she climbed EVERYTHING. You can listen to Yafa’s personal ADHD story and get more information on her website: BlockedtoBrilliant.com

To get more expert tips view all posts by Yafa Crane Luria here.



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3 Comments on “50 Ways to Kick Your Mood Up a Notch”

  1. Great tips! Can’t wait to try them. Personally I doing my skincare with natural beauty products, it just makes me feel good about myself. I have been trying this brand called the moms co and they are quite nice.

  2. I need to print this and frame it as a reminder on how to get myself in a better mood. Great article! Two thumbs up!

  3. Thank you so much for all of the ideas. Some days I feel like crying as it can be so daunting. I have been making a lot and just the smell of freshly baked cookies can really help me relax and smile.

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