Being happy needn’t cost the earth. We’ve found 100 sure-fire ways to cheer yourself up.
1. Smile, smile, smile
Even if you don’t feel like smiling, do it anyway. “Your facial muscles send messages to your brain telling you to experience that positive emotion,” counsellor Luke Sheedy says.
2. Enjoy the sunshine
About one-third of Australians lack vitamin D, which can cause depression. During summer, get a few minutes of sun in the morning or late afternoon. In winter, you need 20 minutes.
3. Dress up
A UK survey of 100 women found that wearing clothes that flatter the figure helps to set a positive vibe for the day.
4. Take up yoga
“Yoga will give you more energy and focus,” instructor Charlotte Dodson says.
5. Say “Ohm”
Meditation improves brain and immune function, a US study shows. Just 30 minutes a day can make a difference.
6. Stop and smell the flowers
Students exposed to a floral scent used three times as many happiness-related words in an essay.
7. Use fruity scents
Citrus scents have been proven to banish negative moods. Add some to your bath, oil burner or even grate some peel into a salad.
8. Read this book…
What’s the best book for happiness? Novelist Susan Elderkin recommends The Darling Buds Of May by H.E Bates. “Because spending time in the bosom of this family is such a joyous experience,” Elderkin says. “They love and laugh and gorge on life’s fecundity and don’t let themselves get bogged down by annoying details like taxes.”
9. Take a dance class
Swedish researchers found that dancing boosts mental health and mood.
10. Watch a tearjerker
Forget comedies. Apparently sad movies cheer us up more.
11. Be social
“Catch up with friends: it’s good for your health and happiness,” Sheedy says.
12. Have a hug
“Touch can increase the happiness chemicals oxytocin and serotonin,” author Gretchen Rubin says.
13. Grow older
Stanford University found ageing leads to more emotional stability and compassion.