I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how to restart a bad day. Because if you’re like me, sometimes you get a day that’s not going your way, and by lunchtime you’re thinking, “Ugh. Today is awful. Maybe tomorrow will be better.”

I know this is faulty thinking. Yes, a good night’s sleep can lead to a better frame of mind, and the dawn is a universal symbol for a fresh start.

But sometimes, I’m giving up on the present day too easily. A bad morning doesn’t mean the afternoon is a lost cause, and a bad day doesn’t mean I have to have a bad night.

I’ve done some thinking about how to make a bad day better…things that have helped me start the day over, even if morning is long past. Maybe some of these will help reboot your day, too.


5 Ways to Restart a Bad Day #how to start a bad day over #how to reboot #make a bad day better #ways to get in a better mood #cheer up


1. Reach out to others.

Most of us wish we kept in better touch with some of the important people in our lives. Getting into the habit of reaching out to others when we’re having a bad day accomplishes two things: it makes our bad days a little (or a lot!) better, and it improves our relationships.

Text the aunt, sibling, nephew, or friend from college you haven’t talked to in a while. Write a note to your grandma or grandchild — a written card or quick letter can mean so much. If you work in an office, go say hello to a coworker and ask how their day is going.




2. Say a prayer.

If you are a religious person, then besides reaching out, you can also reach up or reach within. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, or another spiritual path, remember that prayer is a powerful neutralizer of bad days. If it makes sense with your tradition, you might want to take a few minutes to say thank you for the good in your life and to ask for strength in dealing whatever you have to deal with.


3. Take a walk.

If you’ve been at home all day, take a walk if that’s possible. If you’re at work, step outside for five minutes if you can. This can help your brain step off its hamster wheel of negative thoughts. I especially think it’s healing to have the earth under your feet.

This is going to sound silly, but did you watch the 90s sitcom Friends? In the one where Ross and Rachel have a fight that leads to their breakup, Rachel says something along the lines of, “Maybe we should take a break.” Ross, misunderstanding, agrees and says it’s a good idea–they should take a walk and get a frozen yogurt or something. Rachel explains that no, she means they should take a break in their relationship.

Now, Rachel regrets this almost immediately. I know that these days, everyone thinks Ross is awful, but the truth is, if they’d done what Ross had suggested — take a walk, get a frozen yogurt — they probably could’ve saved themselves a lot of grief. Sometimes a simple change in scenery can clear your head.



4. Visualize a better place.

If you can’t take a walk–or at least, you can’t take a pleasant one–this is another way to change your environment. It might even be a more profound and positive way to do it. You can do it just about anywhere, and it only takes a few minutes.

“Go to your happy place” is a cliched punchline–in the United States, anyway. But so what? This really works.


5 Ways to Restart a Bad Day #how to start a bad day over #how to reboot #make a bad day better #ways to get in a better mood #cheer up


Close your eyes and imagine yourself in an idyllic place. It might be somewhere you’ve been before, such as a lake, a beach, or even a ballpark. It might be a place you can only get to in your imagination: Lothlorien from Lord of the Rings, or floating among the stars. It could be a different place every time.

Spend a little time there. You’ll feel refreshed when you come back to reality.


5. Change the mood with music.

Just sitting and listening to one or two songs you love, straight through, can be a great way to recharge and start over.

The kind of music is up to you. It might be soothing new age music accented with nature sounds, a hiphop song that makes you feel like you can conquer the world, a piece of pop fluff that makes you smile, or a great classical work that makes you feel like everything’s under control.

You might want to make a specific playlist for rebooting  a bad day. After all, u don’t want to be scrambling through your music library every time.


5 Ways to Restart a Bad Day #how to start a bad day over #how to reboot #make a bad day better #ways to get in a better mood #cheer up


Knowing that we can make a fresh start at any hour of any day gives us a lot more power. It enables us to have a happier week…and a happier life.

How do you hit the “refresh” button? How do you turn a bad day around? If you use creative visualization, what’s your “happy place”? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful week!