How to Stop a Bad Mood From Ruining Your Day — 10 Simple Ways to Instantly Feel Better

Bad moods are the worst.

They can totally ruin your day and if you’re a mom, they can ruin your children’s day (and even your husband’s day).

You now the saying: happy mom, happy house.

And when we can stop a bad mood from ruining our day, we’re cleaning up the emotional environment for everyone.

Moods are highly contagious and none of us wants to be ground zero for the grumble germs, especially when we’ve got children.

So, in this post, I’m sharing 10 super simple yet reliable ways to quickly travel out of grumpy town and get back on our groove.

Aka, feel better fast 🙂

Are you with me?

Fab. Before we head off though, a quick pep-talk:

4 Quick Reminders When a Bad Mood Is Looming

1. Life Is Made of Moments

Bad moods set us on hyper-alert for disaster. After all, bad stuff comes in threes, right?

Yet torturing ourselves with fears of what might be, isn’t helping our mood. And reveals much more about our human tendency to look for patterns than any cosmic conspiracy to ruin our day.

With our emotional reserves running low, we’re bound to be wary of more stress on our system. And that can leave us prone to freaking out at the merest hint of hassle.

Yet we don’t have to deal with everything at once.

And we don’t have to write the whole day off either.

We get to live one moment at a time and we can use this moment, as well as the suggestions ahead, to gently tip the scales of our day. Finding a glimmer of hope or joy in this moment. And the next. And the next.

You get the idea. 

2. Small Steps Add Up

Sometimes we get stuck, convinced if only we had a holiday or a whole day to ourselves, we’d feel better. And maybe we would.

Yet self-care can come in all shapes and sizes and even small doses transform how we feel.

Like the smallest course correction will send a plane to a completely different destination. Tiny steps one way or another can radically alter the path of our day.

3. Be Your Own Best Friend

If we’re able to call for reinforcements, great. But when that’s not possible, let’s be our own best friend.

Imagining what others might say if they were here. Or what we might say to our children or friends in the same situation can help reframe our thinking. Watch that self-talk. If you wouldn’t say it to others, don’t say it to yourself.

We don’t define those we love by their mistakes or bad moods, we see them as complex, messy, and beautifully human. Give yourself the same gift. And be nice 🙂

4. Bad Moods Mess With Our Minds

Our emotions can be a highly efficient warning system alerting us when something within or close by needs our attention. And we owe it to ourselves and our children to make time for nurturing and strengthening our mind, just as we do our body.

But when we’re drowning in Lego and laundry, with hungry children stalking the fridge and the boiler’s broken again – now’s not the time for soul searching. And not just because there IS no time.

Bad moods mess with our minds. Lending more weight to the niggles and the negative, clouding our judgment and blocking the view. Before we know it, digging too deep in a downer can lead us adrift in a desert of despair.

Luckily our emotional alarms have super-smart snooze functions. Nothing that matters gets left behind. There’ll be plenty more chances to explore and soothe our troubled minds. Right now, we need to stop that bad mood and feel better. Fast.

Give that brain a break. Let’s get physical and practical, raising our mood and energy levels, so we can get on with our day. 

10 Simple Ways to Stop a Bad Mood Fast and Instantly Feel Better

1. Reset the Day

Resetting the day sends a loud and clear signal to our brain, we’re clearing the decks and beginning again. Setting a new tone for the rest of the day.

All it takes is five minutes, imagining we’ve just woken up and replaying our morning routine. Getting dressed or changed, checking beds, and cleaning teeth can all help freshen us up. And if we can fit in a quick shower, great, but let’s not push it, hey?

2. Re-Fuel

And I don’t mean comfort eating.

First off, our bodies need water and many of us aren’t drinking enough. Grab a big glass of water and bring your attention to drinking. Take a moment to revive the body and relax the mind.

Next, check-in on your state of hanger hunger, and fix yourself a quick snack if you need to. None of us can run on empty for long, we need fuel to keep going. Give your body what it needs.

3. Smile

We’ve all heard it uses more muscles to frown than smile. But some days cracking out that grin takes a monumental effort. Yet, it’s so worth it.

Not only can smiling lower our heart rate, boost our immune system and reduce the impact of pain, it also makes us look younger and more attractive. And smiling’s infectious, so busting out that beam is a win-win all round 🙂

4. Get Some Fresh Air

The calming effects of nature are well-known. Getting out in the garden or going for a walk makes us feel better.

But even when we’re pressed for time and can’t get outside, opening a door or window can give us a burst of fresh air that might just blow some of our troubles away.

5. Spice up Your Senses

Looking out the window or even just at images of nature can calm our minds.

And getting some of our other senses onboard can speed up these calming effects. Listening to music, lighting a scented candle, and putting on hand cream. Simple steps we can take to sharpen our senses and return to the present moment, rather than stressing about the past or future.

6. Get the Heart Pumping

Physical activity benefits our bodies in so many ways. But it’s also good for our mind.

Not only does exercise release feel-good hormones but it encourages the discharge of stored emotions. In turn, helping to prevent the classic dam-bursting, final-straw outbursts we often live to regret.

Any activity will do, crank up the walking speed while out and about, host a dance party in the kitchen or choose your own adventure.

7. Do a Quick Burst of Cleaning

Getting us physically active and knocking an item off the to-do list, what’s not to love?

A five-minute room rescue, cleaning the sink or my favorite, a quick burst of hoovering, not sure exactly why that always makes me feel better, but it does. It’s amazing what we can get done in a short amount of time and how effective this can be at lifting our mood.

And if your house is so super clean and tidy there’s nothing left to do, make sure to share your secret in the comments, we all want to know.

8. Lose Yourself in a Good Book

Okay, with a busy family, sneaking off to lose ourselves in the latest Brandon Sanderson might be too much to hope for. But if you get a chance, I say go for it.

Luckily for us and our children, Brandon writes books for them too 🙂 And reading aloud to our children is good for us and them. Choose a story you love and allow yourself to be whisked away to another world.

9. Or a Sad Movie

Put on the kids’ favorite show and you might get a minute to yourself. But put on something you all enjoy, snuggle up close, and the benefits increase exponentially.

Reading an emotional book, or watching a tear-jerker on tv, can also provide a healthy prod to release some of those backed-up emotions.

Anger might seem more acceptable than crying these days. Yet allowing our children to see us tearing up fosters emotional intelligence and acts as a powerful model that crying is okay. A good cry releases tension increases our sense of connection and comfort and even dissolves many of our worries.

10. And Check Those Lists

As busy mamas, we’re used to writing and checking lists. Menu plans, shopping lists, packing lists, to-do lists, need I go on?

But not all lists are created equal. Some of them have magical powers and can transform our lives.

Take joy lists. Literally, a list of all that brings us joy. Like a gratitude list but with a more long-term application. Creating joy lists, especially with our children is a fun activity in itself. And provides us with a quick and easy reference tool whenever we’re looking for something fun to do.

And self-soothing checklists. A collection of soothing activities that help us feel better. And a go-to resource in times of stress, perfect for stopping a bad mood in its tracks.

Let’s be honest, we all know this bad mood business isn’t a one-time deal, it’s bound to be back.

But armed with a self-soothing checklist, we can push that pity parade right out of the park and get on with our day.

Tell us, what’s on your self-soothing checklist?

We’d love to know what helps you feel better.

All suggestions are gratefully received.

After all, this is one list we want to see getting longer and longer 🙂

Hayley is a freelance blogger, writer and grateful mama of 4 young people. Often found eating carrots, wearing odd socks and dreaming of life in a van, Hayley writes about respectful parenting, natural learning and intentional living at She can also be found soaking up the socials on Instagram and Pinterest, often with a giant cup of tea in hand :)

Leave a Reply


love this read! I think I needed this reminder for sure!Reply to Nicole
Thanks for your comment Nicole, so glad you liked the post 🙂Reply to Hayley
Brilliant!!Reply to Arty
Thanks Arty. I’d love to know your favourite way to stop a bad mood from ruining your day 🙂Reply to Hayley