12 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Day

Everyone has a bad day now and then. You only have two choices: you can either ride it out or do something to turn the day around. A time machine isn’t an option, but there are plenty of tactics you can apply to put your day on a more satisfying path. You might have woken up on the wrong side of the bed, but there’s still time to salvage the day and extract some value from it.

I mean… seriously! When it comes down to it and you realize your day isn’t going the way you want, wouldn’t you rather have a good day?!?

A pity party is ok if it only lasts a few minutes… maybe half an hour. But anything longer than that and it is time to brush yourself off, and turn that day right around.

Here are 12 ways to get the most from a day that’s gotten off to a rough start:

  1. Take a shower or bath. A hot tub might be even better. It doesn’t matter if the water is hot or cold. Just the sensation of the water on your skin can change your mood and perspective. It will certainly snap you out of any negative thinking.
  2. Take a nap. A short nap can give you a chance to start your day over with a fresh attitude.
  3. Speak with a friend. You know that friend that can always cheer you up? Give her a call and allow her to work her magic. She’s probably dying to hear from you anyway.
  4. Eliminate something from your schedule. Determine the least significant thing on your schedule and drop it. Once a day gets started on the wrong foot, accomplishing everything on your to-do list can seem hopeless. Give yourself some hope.
  5. Spend time with a pet. You might feel better after watching your fish or hermit crab wander around, but petting a dog or cat might be more effective.
  6. Make yourself laugh. Watch a funny movie. Read a few jokes. Make good use of YouTube.
  7. Listen to music that makes you feel better. You already know which song always makes you smile. Listen to it. In fact, create a playlist of songs that you can listen to at a moment’s notice. Keep them handy. Your cell phone might be the perfect storage location.
  8. Go for a run. Any sort of exercise will do. Lift some weights or play some tennis. Get your blood pumping and your lungs working. As long as you don’t overdo it, you’re bound to have a more positive perspective on your day.
  9. Create a gratitude list. When you’re feeling down, there’s a good chance you’re too focused on the parts of your life you perceive negatively. Put your attention on something positive. Make a list of the good things and remind yourself of how terrific your life is already.
  10. Look at some photographs. Pull out your high school yearbook or check out your friends’ photos on Facebook. Remind yourself of what you and your siblings looked like 30 years ago. Keep a few photos on your phone that always make you smile.
  11. Have some chocolate. Chocolate is an effective way to enhance your mood. Dark chocolate is even good for you! A bad day isn’t an excuse to eat a pound of chocolate, but few small bites might be the solution to your bad day.
  12. Meditation has become a popular stress solution. Many large companies are even adding meditation rooms to the workplace. Regular meditation can greatly uplift your mood and strengthen your focus.

Remember that what seems like a bad day might only be a bad minute that has soured your perspective. Bad days can seem to occur at random, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through it. You can turn your day around. Take a deep breath and make the best of it. You know plenty of tactics to fight back!


  1. Phoenix Grace on September 11, 2021 at 3:12 pm

    Excellent post Paul. One thing that really helps me out of a funk is intentionally finding something to be grateful for and saying it out loud. I find that when I do bedtime prayers with my son I always start with “I am so blessed and grateful”. Then I say what I am grateful for and the getting-my-son-to-bed stress (parents know what I mean) washes away. Many of the things I am grateful for relate to my mom and son and when I say them out loud to them as part of my prayer it elevates all of our moods.

    • Paul on September 11, 2021 at 9:01 pm

      You cannot experience gratitude and bad moods at the same time. Way to go, Phoenix!

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