25 ways to feel good for free

Everyone has days when their mood is low and focus or energy is lacking. We’ve created a list of things to do for little or no cost to banish the blues and boost your mood. 

Feeling good starts with the simple things. What we eat, how much we move and the quality of our sleep underpins how our mood is. When you’re stuck in a bit of a funk, it’s great to have some go-to ideas to help shift your outlook and elevate your sense of wellbeing. 

  1. Go outside. Vitamin D promotes wellbeing and sunlight is a natural source for us. Daylight and fresh air can help us feel invigorated and refreshed. Sounds and sights can stimulate us too. 
  1. Eat happy food. Serotonin is a mood boosting chemical that helps us feel good. Though we can’t get it directly from food, we can eat foods containing tryptophan which our bodies convert to serotonin. Sources include milk, tuna, oats, turkey, chicken, nuts and seeds. 
  1. Read a book. Choose a novel to escape into another world or a non-fiction book to learn something new. Don’t forget your local library is a wonderful free resource. 
  1. Practice gratitude. Reflect on things, people, events, achievements you’re grateful for and you’ll see joy in your life. 
  1. Phone a friend. Catching up with someone you care about gives you an opportunity to get perspective, support and offer them a listening ear too. Humans crave connection and feel good when it happens. 
  1. Jump around. Get active in whatever way you fancy, jumping jacks, trampolining, jogging on the spot, just move your body. A quick burst of activity will boost your circulation and heart rate, sending oxygen rich blood to the brain and flooding your body with feel-good hormones called endorphins. 
  1. Play with a pet. Spending time with animals is grounding, rewarding and very fun. Can you teach an old dog a new trick? 
  1. Tick a task off your to-do list. Progress, however small, offers big mood pay offs as you feel a sense of accomplishment—and even relief that you’ve got a long standing task out of the way. 
  1. Massage your body. If there’s no one around to help, you can do a self-massage. Rub, squeeze and knead around your neck, shoulders, lower back and feet. This releases endorphins, reduces stress and gives your lymphatic system a boost which supports the immune system. 
  1. Meditate. A simple meditation or guided relaxation promotes mindfulness, being in the present moment. Focusing on breath is relaxing and a great way to clear your head.  
  1.  Laugh. Pop on your favourite film or stand-up show and have a chuckle, it’ll stimulate breathing, reduce tension and release endorphins. 
  1. Have a cuddle. Whether it’s with a pet or a loved one, cuddling releases oxytocin. Known as the love hormone, it promotes a feeling of happiness and wellbeing. 
  1. Clear up or clear out. Chaos and mess isn’t good for our mood so pop on your marigolds and have a cleaning session. Not only will you have a sparkling home and clearer head, you’ll have burned some calories too.  Clearing out stuff you no longer need or use frees space in your home and your head. Try rearranging some furniture, changing our environment is a great way to reset.  
  1. Help someone. Being useful is a nice feeling and supporting others develops connections and can boost our sense of confidence and optimism. Offer to go shopping or do some chores for an elderly neighbour or get involved in the community with a little pick or other volunteering. 
  1. Kitchen disco. Whack on some tunes that make you wanna move, then dance like nobody’s watching. Music is a tonic that helps lift the spirits and movement boosts our circulation and endorphins. Use headphones if you’re worried about disturbing others. 
  1. Take action. If you’ve been experiencing low moods regularly, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss potential treatments and solutions to support you.  

Sometimes we don’t want to talk about how we’re feeling, and that’s OK. Just spending time in others company can lift a low or anxious mood without actually talking about it. Here’s a few things you could do with friends or family by your side: 

  1. Go for a walk in the park, the woods or by the coast. 
  1. Play sports. 
  1. Cook a healthy meal. 
  1. Watch a film. 
  1. Get green fingered in the garden. 
  1. Look through old photos. 
  1. Play a game of cards. 
  1. Get arty. Paint, draw or create with whatever materials you’ve got. 
  1. Planning something, a trip, a challenge, a fitness goal. Discuss the possibilities then commit to making it happen. 


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