6 Ways to Turn a Bad Day Around

You wake up late. You spill coffee all over your clothes. Traffic makes you late to work, and let’s not even talk about what happened at work because that really pushed you over the edge.

Having a bad day? Read 6 ways to turn a bad day around!Sounds like you had a bad day, but that is okay! Today is just one bad day and this one bad day does not have to rule your life unless you let it.  When I’m having a bad day or I’m in a funky mood, I use some techniques to help brighten my day.

Do Something Good

I am all about some volunteerism. For myself, volunteering has helped me bring purpose to my life and I feel amazing afterward. If you can’t volunteer your time, you could also do a random act of kindness or a lend a hand to someone in need. You may be thinking, “How is that going to make my day any better?”. However, I can almost guarantee that you’ll start to feel better because being selfless is extremely rewarding especially when you do it without an expectations (no acknowledgment, money, gift, mutual action, etc.). Doing something good does not always have to involve money either. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger at the grocery store, offering to help someone carry his or her grocery bags, picking up a box that was knocked off the shelf by someone else, or putting carts away that are stray in the parking lot. There are a lot of little, easy things that you could try that actually go a long way. Not only are you making an impact on the world and on others, but you are impacting how you feel about yourself.

Workout, Do Yoga, or Meditate
Working out is virtually my cheap therapy. When I’m having a down moment or a bad day, I tend to crave going to the gym. I can divert my negative energy into a positive and healthy outlet. Your form of exercise may vary. Maybe for you, running a few miles outside will bring you more peace on a bad day. Perhaps, you need something to de-stress you after a hard day at work, so you go for a calm yoga class. Others may want to look inward by attending meditation. I personally have not tried meditation classes, but my sister attends a weekly session and she loves it! When you exercise your body naturally releases endorphins which are a chemical that make you feel happy. So, get out there and move around!

Watch Something Funny
I love laughing and sometimes you just need to laugh to feel better about a cruddy situation or day. So, if your day didn’t start off right, try watching a funny YouTube video, TV show, old home video, movie, comedian, or attend an improve show. It’s hard to hang on those angry and stressed emotions when you are busy laughing. My favorites are: Stepbrothers (movie) and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory (TV show).


“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

~Carlos Castenada

Be Outdoors
If it is a nice day out, you should totally go outside if you are the nature, outdoorsy type. I typically feel like my mood and attitude can be affected by the weather. It doesn’t set the tone for my entire day if it’s pouring outside. However, if we get a week of rain, I start to feel bummed and lose motivation. So when it’s a beautiful day and the sun is shining, you should take advantage of that. Sit outside on the porch with some snacks and your favorite book. Have a mini picnic in the park. Lay out in the grass. Plant a garden. Take a walk (bring your dog(s) if that applies to you). When you see how serene nature can be, your mood might start to adjust as well. Sometimes we just need some fresh air to bring us down from the stress of our bad day.

Do What You Love
This is going to vary for every single individual, and it may seem obvious to say this. Do what you love and enjoy. If you’re an artsy person, pull up your DIY Pinterest board and start crafting away. If you love being around animals like myself, play with your pets or go to your local shelter.  Do you love being with your friends? Give them a call and arrange a get together that you can look forward to after your bad day. Maybe you just need to spend time with your family by having a family game night. Throw your favorite bath bomb into the tub, turn on some peaceful music, and relax. Whatever it is that you love, do it. It’s sure to shed some light on your gloomy day.

Practice Gratitude
We live such fast lives that we take things for granted and forget to practice gratitude. Even though it really stinks to wake up late, spill your coffee, or be late for work, in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big of a deal. When I start to get hung up on the “what’s going wrong on this day” train of thought, I try to step back and think about the reality. When you look at the big picture, you can see that things could be a lot worse. All these bad things happening throughout the day are temporary and do not equate to you having a bad life. So when you feel yourself wound up in the short-term stressful situations, pull back, and practice gratitude. You could keep a gratitude notebook and write down what you are grateful for or just think about it. You can even start your day off right by practicing gratitude as soon as you wake up. Say to yourself what you are grateful for or reach out to someone each day to tell them how much you appreciate their friendship. When you practice gratitude, you realize you do have a lot of greatness in your life. Plus, it makes those annoying stressful moments seem more manageable.

“I can choose to let it define me, confine me, outshine me, or I can choose to move on and leave it behind me.”

Remember, it’s just one bad day, not a bad life unless you allow it to take over your life. Not everyday will be fantastic, but it’s about how you handle challenging moments that determines the overall state of your life. 🙂

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