If you’re feeling gloomy or sad, how can you boost your mood? While you might turn to your bed or salty potato chips, these solutions are bad for your health and don’t offer long-term improvements. 

Luckily, there are plenty of unique things proven to boost your mood you may have overlooked. 


Drinking Enough Water

Dehydration — not consuming enough water throughout the day — comes with far-reaching consequences. It upsets the body’s natural balance, including physical, mental and emotional health. If you find yourself feeling tired, sluggish and unable to concentrate, it may be time to drink a tall glass of water. 

Lack of water, which makes up most of the human body, can throw off the balance of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, natural chemicals that affect mood. If you’ve been through a stressful event, drinking lots of water can flush out cortisol, a stress hormone that’s bad for your body in high quantities. 

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Instead, try to consume fluids before each meal, which will keep you hydrated and make you feel fuller faster. You can also increase your water intake through certain foods, including celery, watermelon, cauliflower and dairy. 


Choosing Appropriate Colors

Colors are more than something pretty to look at — they also impact your mood. The idea of color psychology is especially prevalent in marketing and design, where researchers have observed how it affects one’s feelings and behaviors. 

Colors on the blue side of the spectrum, including purple and green, are often associated with feelings of calm. Warm colors, on the other hand — including red, orange and yellow — evoke feelings of warmth and comfort. Peoples’ reactions to colors are often personal, rooted in experiences and culture. 

Many ancient societies, including the Egyptians, practiced chromotherapy, the use of colors to heal. Experts also refer to this practice as light therapy or colorology. Practitioners would use red to stimulate the body and mind. Yellow excites the nerves and purifies the body, while orange can increase energy levels. 


Exposure to the Right Light 

Your body’s circadian rhythm is a natural biological clock that controls when you feel tired and energetic. At night, your body needs darkness to rest and rejuvenate. During the day, however, access to the right type of light is vital. 

During a bright and sunny morning, stepping outside will help you feel awake and revitalized, similar to sipping on a cup of coffee. Even sitting next to a window with sunlight streaming through can improve your mood and well-being, easing symptoms of depression. 

If you’re indoors, soft LED lighting can regulate your mood. Experts often use bright light therapy to treat individuals with depression, and researchers believe this treatment has the same impact on the disorder as antidepressants. 


Playing With Animals

Studies have shown interacting with your favorite furry friend can decrease cortisol levels in the body and lower blood pressure. Pets can also reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support and boost your mood. Researchers believe interacting with animals can aid child development, including with kids who have autism, ADHD and other disorders.

Watching fish swim around in their tank can boost feelings of calmness. If you own a dog, you’ll likely go for walks several times a week, increasing your physical activity and lowering stress. In hospital settings, dogs can also reduce patients’ anxiety. 

According to one study, children with autism are calmer in the classroom while playing with guinea pigs. A mere 10 minutes with these furry creatures leads to a dramatic drop in anxiety levels. Since these animals offer unconditional love and acceptance, children who interact with them have better social interactions and engagement with peers. 


Boost Your Mood With These Surprising Things

Don’t relegate yourself to feeling blue all day. Instead, try these surprising things to boost your mood.