26 Things to Do When You’re Having a Bad Day

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Sometimes we have bad days.  In that case, just whip out this handy list of 26 things to do when you’re having a bad day.  It’s like a bad day toolbox that you can take anywhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

Things to Cheer You Up If Youโ€™re Having a Bad Day
Things to Cheer You Up If Youโ€™re Having a Bad Day

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 26 Things to Do When You’re Having a Bad Day | Bad Day Toolbox

First, I want you to know that no matter who you are or what your circumstances are, your struggles are valid.

You are allowed to have a wide range of emotions, including being absolutely depressed and miserable, or totally blissful and happy.

Even if people tell you that you should get over it and just be grateful for what you have, you’re still allowed to have emotions.

You’re allowed to have bad days.

You can even have times when, even though you KNOW that you have a roof over your head and the literacy and internet to read this post, it’s really, really hard to be grateful for anything.

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You’re allowed to complain.

You’re allowed to be totally ungrateful and unreasonable once in a while. (Just don’t make it a habit ;)).

Even if people try to tell you otherwise, your struggles are valid.  Your problems are just as real as anyone else’s.

But at the end of the day, after you’ve had a good cry and complained about it all, remember to always come back to gratitude.

No matter where you are in life, there is always, always something to be grateful for.

A roof over your head.

Food to eat.


The ability to read.

A phone or computer that you’re using to access our blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

But even if you don’t have these things, you still have this: you are alive, and that alone is a gift.

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In the meantime, here’s what to do if you’re having a bad day.

1. Hug a cat

Cats (or dogs) are the best.  A little furry input makes everything better. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Talk to yourself like you would a good friend

If your head is full of negative self-talk right now, stop and ask yourself, “How would I treat my best friend in this situation?”

Would you tell her she’s a loser and she’s going to fail at life and everyone hates her?  I don’t think so!  Like it or not, you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life, so you might as well make friends with yourself.

3. Call someone

Or text someone if you don’t like phone calls. Or talk to a therapist.

4. Read

Something happy or fun like Harry Potter (just not the fifth book!  Or the end of the 6th or 7th.. -tears-  Ok maybe just read The Poky Little Puppy).

5. Listen to music

But not emo screamo music.  And nothing depressing.  Or breakup music.  Ok you can listen to it for 15 minutes and then you have to listen to some happy Pitbull dance music.  It will make you feel better!

6. Walk / run

Exercising gets your endorphins going which makes you happy!  Yay!

7. Meditate
Meditation is proven to reduce your stress and make you happier and calmer.  Just sit and don’t think. ๐Ÿ™‚  Or if your brain is going in all sorts of directions, think about a single word like om.

Get a free list of 26 things to do when you have a bad day

8. Deep breathing

Just a few deep breaths in and out.  If you’re REALLY stressed out, commit to doing 100 breaths right now (just don’t start hyperventilating).  Nice and slow, taking time to pause in between.  This calms down your nervous system.

? Related Post: The Best Weighted Blankets for Calming

9. Photography

Take a picture of something!  I always find it calming to do macro photography with my camera because there are a lot of settings to mess with and adjust, but you could also just use your phone in a pinch.

10. Look at cat pictures ?

Cat pictures are the best!  The very best ๐Ÿ™‚ Or any other baby animals you prefer.

11. Sing

In the shower, into a hairbrush, doesn’t matter – just sing your heart out! #Bieberlicious?

12. Watch funny videos

Watch something funny on Youtube!

13. Read inspirational quotes

There are tons around our website!

14. Pray

Whether you believe in God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster (R’amen!), sometimes believing in something greater than this world can give you a lot of comfort.

15. Organize something

Maybe I’m just weird but organizing always makes me feel better.

16. Clean something

Same as organizing.  It just makes me feel empowered and in control of my own life. ๐Ÿ™‚

17. Plan something positive

Similar to the previous two, you can either plan out something like your day or week or plan something exciting to look forward to in the future.  Maybe you’ll get ice cream or watch that new movie on Netflix after you survive this week.

18. Read a spiritual book

Some of my favorite spiritual books are Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist and When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron.

19. Read a book just for fun

Or try some mindful, meditative drawing.

20. Read about role models

Sometimes when I feel discouraged, I like to read about positive role models and historical figures who overcame something in their own life, like Oprah and JK Rowling.  It’s inspirational and comforting.

21. Say positive affirmations or write them down around your home

Repeat positive affirmations regularly to yourself until you start to believe them.  Here are some ideas:

– I am happy and healthy.
– I am getting better every day.
– I am in control of my destiny.
– I can do this.
– I am kind. I am smart. I am important.  (From The Help! :)).

22. Journal out your feelings

What’s on your mind?  Write it down and get it all out on paper (or pixels).  Check out our 30+ Inspiring Journaling Prompts to Improve Your Life.

23. Watch a movie

Some of my favorite feel-good movies are Forrest Gump, Bridget Jonesโ€™ Diary, and any romantic comedy.

24. Gratitude list

What are you grateful for?  Write a list of 10 things right now!

25. Read magazines

Sometimes reading trashy fashion and entertainment magazines is fun.  I like looking at all the makeup looks and clothes even though I normally don’t care about that stuff much.  It’s just a nice break from the day to day.

26. Sit outside

Whenever I’m stressed out or anxious I like to sit outside in nature and just watch the birds or other wildlife and admire the flowers and greenery.

Well, that’s it!  If you’re having a bad day, try a handful of the things on this list.  Feel free to print it out for future reference.  You can do this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Things to Do When Youโ€™re Having a Bad Day

Things to Do When Youโ€™re Having a Bad Day

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