Listen to melancholy music
You heard that right! You officially have another excuse to listen to Adele on repeat (as if you even needed one anyway). Studies suggest that blasting some depressing and sappy tunes can actually help boost positive and peaceful feelings, which can be therapeutic, cathartic, and calming. Colour can also affect your mood.
Actually speak to the person next to you on the train or bus
People are happier during their commutes when they chat up their seat neighbor, even if they think it will make the trip less positive and productive, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Try to get over your fear of speaking to strangers or worrying that you’re bothering them — you could bring some joy to both of you! “The biggest source of misery in the workplace is actually getting there and back,” says Art Markman, PhD, director of the program in the Human Dimensions of Organization at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Brain Briefs. “People are generally unhappy when forces outside their control are affecting their lives.” Obviously, you can’t control other drivers or the schedule of public transportation, so it helps to find aspects of your commute that you can control. “Get in conversations with random strangers on the train or bus,” says Dr. Markman. “The more you take control of the situation, the happier you’ll be.” Check out these other 14 ways to boost your mood instantly.
Know that money sometimes can buy happiness
“They say money can’t buy happiness,” says Nancy Etcoff, PhD, an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Program in Aesthetic and Well-Being at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. “But it can if what you buy is extra time, or pay to delegate tasks.” So don’t feel guilty ordering in Chinese food or hiring a house cleaner. A study found that people who spend money to save time tend to be happier than those who don’t. Yes, it might be overkill to order takeout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, or to have someone clean your home more than once a week. But consider sending out your dry cleaning this week to save you the time of ironing yet another shirt.
On a budget? These expert tips will help you and your partner save money.
Call your mom
When was the last time you picked up your smartphone to actually make a call? Research has found that hearing your mom’s voice can help reduce stress, which means a happier you. Talking on the phone was found to reduce a key stress hormone and release the feel-good brain chemical oxytocin that is thought to play a key role in forming bonds. It goes without saying that you’ll also make Mom’s day. Find out how else you can wake up happier.