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9 Dead-Simple Activities I Do To Feel Better When I’m Unhappy (And That You Can Do, Too)

I’ve been feeling pretty unhappy lately.

And it’s during these times I start to (re)prioritize simple activities that make me feel joy again.

So, let’s dive in.

Here are 9 dead-simple activities I do to feel better when I’m unhappy (and that you can do right away, too).

1. Do Deep, Focused Work That Brings You Closer to Your Goals

This might sound strange (or even sad), but, this is the #1 activity I know I have to do to feel happy.

Over the years, I’ve noticed if I don’t carve out time to work on something meaningful, to work towards a big, purposeful goal, then I start to feel resentment.

I start to resent my work. I start to resent the people in my life. And I start to resent myself for not having the discipline, ambition, and commitment to work on a project that gives me purpose and fulfillment.

Even if it’s 30 minutes a day, I know I need to prioritize it.

In my case, my most important project is building my writing business. This means I need to set aside time every day to write articles and comments, engage with other creators on platforms, and record YouTube videos.

For you, your most important project might be:

  • Building websites

  • Filming TikToks or reels

  • Creating Notion templates

  • Ghostwriting social media posts

  • Designing social media graphics

  • Scripting, recording, and editing YouTube videos

It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you’re living your life with direction.

And that your direction is aligned with your interests, values, and plans for the future to build a happy and purposeful life.

2. Spend Time With Family and Friends Who Energize and Uplift You

Recently, I realized just because someone is part of my family doesn’t mean they’re actually my family. Blood doesn’t define family. So, if you have “family members” who bring you down, then, you don’t need to spend time with them.

You have a choice to spend time only with people who make you feel better about yourself, who want what’s best for you, and who support and encourage you.

Now, these aren’t necessarily people who will coddle you, tell sugarcoated lies, or say yes to every idea you have even if it’s horrible.

These are people who will also tell you things you might not want to hear, might not see, and might not want to accept. But, they’re things you absolutely need to hear to become better. To elevate yourself. To become the best version of yourself.

So, next time you’re feeling unhappy, call a friend or your mom, anyone who you know wants what’s best for you and brings out the best in you.

3. Make Your Favourite Drink

Lately, I’ve been swapping my iced Americano for a matcha latte. And in the last week, I’ve noticed that I’ve slept better throughout the night. I don’t randomly wake up. My sleep feels deeper. And my mood is more stable.

So now, I look forward to my morning ritual of:

  1. Boiling water

  2. Spooning the matcha powder into a cup

  3. Adding hot water

  4. Whisking the powder

  5. Adding ice cubes

  6. Pouring in milk

  7. Putting in a straw

  8. And finally, taking that first sip

Now, you don’t necessarily have to make a matcha latte. Make anything, a “special” drink that makes you happy, and one you can look forward to every day.

4. Clean Your Apartment, House, or Wherever You Live

“Clutter is the physical reflection of a disorganized mind.” – Joshua Becker

There’s something incredibly relaxing about cleaning your apartment.

First, you’re moving your body, and, any form of movement is good for you. So naturally, you’ll feel a boost in vibes after cleaning.

Second, it’s a mindless activity, meaning you don’t have to put much cognitive effort into it. Instead, as you clean, you can daydream, make connections between ideas, forget about problems you can’t control, and reflect on your day. It lets you process your feelings and thoughts while keeping your hands busy.

Third, the state of your apartment is a reflection of your mind. If your apartment is cluttered or messy, your mind is (probably) disorganized.

This is why I do a light cleaning before I go to bed every evening. I’ll wash the dishes. I’ll sweep the floors (because my hair falls out a lot and everywhere). I’ll make sure everything is neat and in place.

Then, Sundays are dedicated to a deep cleaning of the apartment. This is usually when I do the laundry, wash all the sheets, broom, swiffer, mop the floors, clean the countertops, clean the bathroom etc.

By the time I’m done cleaning, I feel lighter and calmer.

So, next time you’re feeling down, try cleaning and organizing the clutter on your desk, in your apartment, or in your house.

5. Make (And Eat) A Wholesome, Nutritious Meal

As the saying goes, you are what you eat.

Whenever I feel sluggish, bloated, or unhappy, most of the time, it’s because I haven’t been eating as healthy as I could be. This means I’m maybe eating more carbs like rice which make me feel tired, bloated, and heavy.

One of the simplest ways I start to feel better about myself (and my body) is by eating something healthy.

Usually, this means something light, with natural ingredients, with lots of fruits, vegetables, and a good source of protein.

My easy, simple, and go-to meals are:

  • Toast with avocado and egg

  • Sugar-free low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit

  • Chia pudding with oats, banana, and a scoop of peanut butter

In short, when I eat well, I feel well. And I feel happier.

First, because over time, what I eat reflects in my body (I’m more toned). Second, it feels good to take care of yourself.

There are loads of simple and healthy recipes available for free on YouTube. So, next time you’re feeling unhappy, look for, make, and eat something that nourishes your body to help you feel better.

6. Go for a Walk

When I’m tired, I go for a walk. When I have writer’s block, I go for a walk. When, I’m angry, anxious, stressed, or unhappy, I go for a walk. And always, without fail, I feel better afterwards.

Without going into too much detail (because I’ve written about why walking is good for you), walking:

  • Helps you move

  • Sparks creativity

  • Helps you sleep better

  • Has the power to heal

  • Improves your self-esteem

  • Gives you more inner peace

  • Helps you have more gratitude

7. Cancel All Your Plans for the Day (And Do Nothing)

I’m an introvert. And on the days I feel absolutely drained, I’m not afraid to cancel all my plans and lay in bed and do nothing.

In the past, I was completely against this idea. I believed I had to be productive all the time. And whenever I wasn’t, I felt immense guilt.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

I strongly believe a life worth living is one where you’re in control of yourself, enjoying yourself meaningfully, working towards goals vital to you and investing in your relationships. Because we aren’t meant to simply exist.

But on the flip side, leisure, rest, and self-care are important for you to function at your best, physically and mentally.

So now, whenever I have those off days, instead of berating myself, I just accept it. I accept that rest and doing absolutely nothing is what I need to feel better, and that I’ll bounce back more quickly after I take this time for myself to recharge.

So, don’t be afraid or feel guilty about laying in bed, scrolling your phone, or watching Netflix (Obviously, this should be done in moderation). Sometimes, it’s what you need to feel better and bounce back with energy and momentum the next day.

8. Have a Hobby (And Do It)

It’s important to have a hobby that one, you don’t have to be too serious about, two, that you can do without caring about the results or what other people think, and three that keep you present in the moment.

Why? Well, I think we’re happier because of it.

And for me, playing the piano (at a very amateur level lol) and singing (sometimes, slightly off-tune) is exactly that for me.

I have no desire to be the next Chopin nor do I have any desire to showcase myself doing it.

But I do it simply for the pure pleasure it gives me. Every time I play, I’m so absorbed in the present moment. It’s just me, the piano, my voice, and the chords I’m learning. It’s crazy how time flies as I get lost in the playing and singing.

Now, it doesn’t really matter what the hobby is. For you, it might be playing the violin. It might be rock climbing. It might be mountain biking. What’s most important is that you have at least one hobby you do simply for pleasure rather than excellence.

9. Be Silly

Life is hard enough as is, so, it’s important we intentionally add more laughter into our lives, to let loose, and to have fun whenever we can.

One of my all-time favourite ways to do this is to sing at the top of my lungs (sorry, neighbours, though, it’s always during appropriate hours) and dance however I want in front of my mirror.

It feels exhilarating to move your body to the beat and rhythm of a song without having a care in the world (temporarily).

So next time you have the blues, put on your favourite upbeat and positive tune, and move your body!

Bonus tip: The type of music you listen to affects your mood! Meaning, if you listen to sad, ballad songs, you’re going to feel down. If you listen to something more cheerful, you’ll feel happy and positive.

Wrapping Things Up

Here are 9 dead-simple activities I do to feel better when I’m unhappy (and that you can do right away, too).

  1. Do deep, focused work.

  2. Spend time with family and friends who energize and uplift you.

  3. Make your favourite drink.

  4. Clean your apartment, house, or wherever you live.

  5. Make (and eat) a wholesome, nutritious meal.

  6. Go for a walk.

  7. Cancel all your plans for the day (and do nothing).

  8. Have a hobby (and do it).

  9. Be silly.

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Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash

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