25 Ideas to Boost Your Mood in Stressful Times

25 Ideas to Boost Your Mood in Stressful Times

There are three chemicals in the body that can help boost our mood and positive emotion when we are down or stressed. Studies show when these levels are low we can feel down. There are things you can do to naturally boost these “happy” levels daily. First is the hormone Oxytocin*, which increases when we have positive social interactions and connections.  Second, are neurotransmitters; Dopamine and Serotonin*, which are produced by your body and used in your brain. Dopamine is connected to our senses, motivation and feeling good. Serotonin is a natural chemical that supports many functions in the body. It is sometimes referred to as the “happy chemical” because helps produce a healthy mental and emotional state and stimulates well-being and happiness. Finding ways to build these mood boosters is especially important in this season of COVID-19 as stress wears down the body.

While there are many “health” things you can do to build these levels naturally, in coaching, we talk about “activities” you can do to create that “happy” state to support a positive mental state and outlook. Consider a few of these activities to help lift your emotional state or share with a friend to support them with theirs! Let us know how it works and your ideas for “mood-boosting activities”! (Note: These “activities” might not all be scientifically validated, but are activities connected to things we can do to fuel positive mood and state of mind.)

  1. pull out some old pictures and review happy memories; make a mini photo book of your pet, a person you love, etc.
  2. find a picture of a great memory and share with that person and talk about the highlights of that memory
  3. sleep: create a sleep sanctuary (dark, comfortable, relaxing, etc.) and get extra sleep
  4. HUGS: give yourself a hug (really, this still produces serotonin) / give someone else a hug/snuggle with a pet
  5. fitness: stretch, yoga or workout (YouTube or Google whatever home working seems fun)   
  6. massage: give yourself a hand or foot massage (bonus…use some great oils); give someone (person or pet) a massage (in your house)
  7. set a goal for the day and accomplish it
  8. laugh: watch funny videos or read jokes
  9. write down 10 things you like about yourself
  10. Take a strengths or personality assessment and review the great qualities about you
  11. tell someone you love them; send a card, email or text to someone and share 3 things you LOVE about them
  12. get out coloring pens and create a picture; send it to someone as a gift  
  13. walk/sit in the grass barefoot; be in nature; visualize yourself in the outdoors
  14. Water: drink more water; take a warm bath or hot shower
  15. play a game
  16. do virtual coffee with someone
  17. get creative … imagine, dream. play Time Machine with someone – share where you/they would go  
  18. listen to music; sing along!
  19. write a creative story
  20. read a book
  21. write 5 things you are grateful for
  22. declutter or clean off a space
  23. do something to show kindness to someone (serve others, give a gift, be thoughtful)
  24. meditate / deep breathing (clearing mind and reflecting on a thought you would like to focus on)
  25. watch romance or comedy movies

What ideas do you have? What helps to elevate your mood?
Focus on what you CAN do and set time aside daily to fuel your mood.


  • *Power of Oxytocin & health benefits? Article  
  • *What is Serotonin? Article    
  • *What is Dopamine? Article
  • ** Boosting Serotonin Activity Article