How to Always Be in a Good Mood

Three Methods:Adopting a Healthy LifestyleMaking Happiness a HabitGetting Involved

Frustration and disappointment are inevitable, but you don't have to let them ruin your mood. With a few behavioral changes, you can alter your experience of life. By focusing on being or doing good, you'll feel good. Happiness is a choice.[1]

Method 1
Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle

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    Exercise your way to a good mood. Exercise stimulates the release of the biochemicals endorphins and norepinephrine. Endorphins decrease the sensation of pain and norepinephrine may contribute to the regulation of mood.[2] In addition to the chemical effects of exercise, regular workouts will help you feel good about yourself.
    • Workout for at least half an hour, at least five days a week, to maintain the mood-elevating effects of exercise.
    • There's no need to join a gym or hire a trainer. A brisk walk is usually all it takes to get your chemicals flowing.
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    Eat a healthy, well balanced diet. A healthy diet also contributes to general feelings of wellbeing, but some vitamins and minerals especially may help to boost mood. B vitamins may help improve mood, so load up on green vegetables, like asparagus. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and eggs, may protect against the effects of stress.[3]
    • To satisfy your sweet tooth, eat two ounces of dark chocolate each day. Chocolate with at least 70% cocoa has been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.[4]
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    Sleep well. Sleep deprivation can contribute to irritability and poor mood regulation. [5] Quality sleep will increase energy and help you manage stress. The optimum amount of sleep varies for individual, but for most adults it's between seven and nine hours.[6]
    • Sleeping more than this generally will not improve your mood and may actually make you feel depressed or tired.
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    Learn to reframe negative thoughts. Notice when your self-talk or thoughts become pessimistic, abusive, defeatist, or negative. Then consciously take that thought and reframe it in a positive way. This corrects faulty thinking and gives you a better chance of being happy and successful.[7]
    • If you catch yourself thinking, "This project is too huge. I'll never finish it by the due date," try reframing your thinking to set yourself up for success. Instead, say "This is going to be a challenge, but if I break the assignment down into smaller parts and manage my time, I will get it done."[8]
    • If your friend snapped at you and you immediately think, "She hates me," reconsider. Reframe with something like, "I know she's going through an extremely stressful time and probably isn't aware of her attitude and demeanor. That response had nothing to do with me."
    • Reframing takes a conscious effort on your part, but it can help you change the tone of your self-talk into something positive, supportive, and kind.[9]

Method 2
Making Happiness a Habit

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    Smile, even if you don't feel like it. Facial expression seems to have a moderate effect on mood, though scientists don't fully understand why. The act of smiling may induce feelings of happiness, so smile frequently.[10]
    • The more you smile, the more others will smile at you. This will also improve mood and make social interactions more pleasant.
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    Listen to upbeat and inspirational music. Happy music can instantly improve your mood and increase awareness of positive attributes of others and your environment.[11] Try starting each day by listening to upbeat music while you get dressed.
    • Keep headphones with you so you can give your mood a boost periodically throughout the day.
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    Find a hobby you love. Spend a little time each day doing something you enjoy. This will give you something to look forward to and provide a brief escape from stress.
    • For added benefit, start hobbies that require you to go outside. Spending time in nature will contribute to positive mood.[12]
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    Meditate regularly. Meditating helps to manage stress and improve mood.[13] Schedule 20 minutes each day to maintain the benefits of meditation, and take breaks for additional meditation during times of stress.
    • Meditating takes practice, so be patient.
    • Find a quiet place to practice meditation.
    • Close your eyes or focus on a central object, like a candle flame, to reduce visual distractions.
    • Focus your attention on your breathing. If you struggle with distractions, counting the duration as you inhale and exhale may help.
    • Consider taking a class for guided meditation to improve your technique. Local yoga studios may offer classes.
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    Keep a gratitude journal. Take time each day to acknowledge all of the things you have to be grateful for. This will help you maintain a positive attitude and a pleasant mood.[14]
    • Share your good mood by sharing entries of your gratitude journal with those whose actions made it into your journal.

Method 3
Getting Involved

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    Engage your social network. Connecting with others increases self-worth and establishes a sense of belonging, contributing to general wellbeing.[15] Maintain and strengthen relationships with friends and family through regular contact. Schedule time to make phone calls and visits each week.
    • Schedule walks with friends to combine outdoor exercise and social interaction.
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    Serve others. Volunteering to help others will improve your self-esteem and help you gain a little perspective. Realizing you are in a position to offer something to others will help you to focus on your strengths and resources, improving your mood.
    • Contact your local community center or look up volunteering opportunities online.[16]
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    Join a club or team. Combine a new hobby or exercise and socializing by joining a club or community sports league. This will improve mood by fostering a sense of belonging, and provide the added benefit of spending time doing something you enjoy.
    • You can find descriptions of local clubs and social groups online, with a list of scheduled events.[17]
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    Perform random acts of kindness. Random acts of kindness are a great way to boost your mood quickly, without requiring ongoing commitment. The acts don't need to be grand. Consider small gestures like buying coffee for the person behind you in line at a coffee shop, or giving a homeless person your lunch.
    • Commit to performing a specific number of acts of kindness each day or each week.
    • Write down each act and how it made you feel for an additional boost to your mood.


  • A healthy lifestyle can improve mood by decreasing the effects of stress.
  • Enlist the help of friends and family to remind you to be positive.
  • When thinking negatively, express your gratitude. This reminds you of more things to be happy about which makes you positive. Positive outlooks quickly changes pessimistic moods.


  • Don't participate in negative conversations. This may influence your mood.
  • Avoid use of drugs and alcohol, as they may contribute to depression.

Article Info

Categories: Happiness & Optimism