How to Make Yourself Happy

how to make yourself happy
{via dsamn via Pinterest}

No-one is seriously ill, no-one has lost their job, no-one’s relationship is breaking down. But it’s still a really shitty day.

Dog poo on the floor, teething kids, a headache or PMS, a messy kitchen, piles of laundry and just a bad. freaking. mood.

You know the ones, right? It’s not just me, is it?

Yesterday morning, as I felt the urge to shout at the kids (unfairly – they’re just being kids), to rant and rave at Sparky (unfairly – the man is a gem) and to write it off as a bad day before I’d even had breakfast, I found myself stopping.

“Surely the day isn’t destined to crappiness? Surely I can do something about this horrible, cranky feeling that’s welling up? Surely there is a way to make yourself happy?”

So I decided I would turn my day around. And here are three simple tips to help you make yourself happy:

1. Music Soothes the Savage Beast

What song makes you really, overwhelmingly happy every time you listen to it? It can be stupid, or make you want to dance or sing at the top of your lungs. Whatever it is, listen to it. Let it shift that crankiness from your mind. Even just a little bit.

For me, it’s Girls by the Beastie Boys (RIP, MCA).

2. Do Something

We all have endless lists of things to do. Sometimes that feeling overwhelms us and contributes to our overall shittiness by making us feel like there is no point. Why bother starting when the work keeps piling up?

Instead, force yourself to do something. Just one thing. Do that load of washing. Make that phone call. Pick up that dog poo. (No, seriously. Pick up that dog poo. Someone’s going to step in it and squash it into the carpet.)

And once that thing is done, allow yourself five seconds to celebrate. You just had a win!

Shitty Day = 0 You = 1

3. Tell Yourself that Today is Going to be a Good Day

Say it out loud. Say it while standing in front of the mirror. Say it in a ridiculous accent. I don’t know why, but it helps.


These three things worked in turning my bad day around. And, while it wasn’t all sparkles and unicorns, it was a hell of a lot better than crying into my coffee at 9am. If, however, these three tips fail you, it’s always helpful to go back and read the first paragraph of this post.


Do you think you can turn a bad day around? What do you do to fake your happiness until the real deal takes over? And what’s your favourite happy song?

11 Responses to How to Make Yourself Happy

  1. I love the sentiment and idea of these. And I do agree that we all need to do more of what makes us happy and less of what doesn’t. But I’d say for me that when those shitty days descend (and they do more often than I like), it’s almost always because of something deeper than dog poo or counter clutter. And the only way I can really banish it is to figure out what the hell is really bugging me and deal with it. The only way past is through and all that…

    • I would tend to agree with you, Rita. I think if there is a recurrent feeling of anger or crankiness or moodiness, there likely is something deeper going on. Sometimes (actually, most times) we just need to get through to the end of the day with a good feeling in our hearts, and when we get a few moments of quiet, hopefully we can figure out what’s bothering us on a deeper level.

      But I also have days where I think I just turn into the monster bitch from hell overnight. And for those days, dancing and silly accents definitely help!! :)

  2. You like beastie boys!!!!!! egg man always gets me moving!!!
    Must be something in the water I’m completely unmotivated to do ANYTHING! Thanks for the handy tips to help banish this feral mood, I now have a date with “Paul’s Boutique”. cheers

    • Nice one, lady!! My hubs and I saw them in Sydney a few years ago, and we both had a bit of a sad moment when we heard MCA died. Such awesome memories tied up with the music. But, seriously, best happy-making music you can find!!

      Enjoy your Paul’s Boutique boogie. And I’m glad to hear it’s not just me. Feral is a great way to describe it!! x

  3. Love it! I’ve so been there, and it gets worse because I feel guilty for being so b****y to the fam which only enhances my wonderful mood. Just ordered some excellent motown classics! And am about to dig for my old BB cd!

  4. I love this post. It can take a lot to shift a bad mood, but if you want to badly enough, you can make it happen! My fave things to do are put on The Cat Empire (loud) and diffuse some happy oils in my oil diffuser and start listing everything I am grateful for !

    • The gratitude list is ace! I’ve recently just started to mentally note things I’m grateful for as soon as I wake up and just before I go to sleep, and I’m amazed at the positive impact it’s had. Even if I’m being woken at 4am by a teething toddler!

      I agree though, that you can shift a bad mood if you want it badly enough. (Other days though, I find myself having a little pity party. So I guess I need to work on this some more!)

  5. Oh I really needed to read this. Yesterday at about 8am I was actually sobbing at the kitchen table. Pathetic I know but I am in a battle royale with my 5yo son who has autism and he just pushed me over the edge at that moment.
    Today is better and to celebrate I’m going to follow your advice and whack on some great music. I’m going to get another load of washing in the machine and one on the line (that’s two points right?) and every time I pass the mirror I’m going to tell myself it’s a great day (it is a school day after all!!). So thanks

    • Rose, I’m so glad you found what you needed in that moment. Battles with the little people are so hard, because aside from being aggravated by them, we (or at least I) get frustrated that I’m even arguing with a three-year-old. Shouldn’t I be able to convince her to eat her dinner/wash her hair/stay in bed? Considering I’m the adult? But, no…

      I hope your day today is better, and if all else fails, celebrate that load of washing by doing a ridiculously awesome dance to your favourite song! xxxx

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