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Proven techniques to boost your mood in just three minutes

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

How much better would your life be if you could shake off your sluggishness and feel revitalized, anytime you want?

Imagine you could, for instance, feel energized before a meeting, or in a good mood when meeting a friend you haven't seen for a long time.

That would be great, right? Unfortunately, the truth is that sometimes it just feels like you have absolutely no control over your mood.

On a positive note though, we ran a study and found techniques that are effective for boosting mood quickly. The most effective techniques were:

  • Cuteness overload: Viewing photos of funny, cute, ridiculous, and stunning animals.

  • Love potion: Reliving via imagination a tremendously good time with someone you care about.

  • Your future self: Writing out a future vision in which you've fulfilled your goals.

  • Successes: Thinking about recent successes you’ve had and how they impacted your life.

  • Hodge podge: Doing a dozen pleasant things rapid fire (like relaxing your muscles, breathing deeply, and smiling).

Our study had 360 participants, and tested 9 interventions, with a control group of 54 (who received no intervention). Participants were asked to rate their mood on a scale of 0-24 and answer a series of questions about how energized, anxious, etc. they were feeling - both before and after their assigned intervention.

After subtracting pre-intervention scores from post-intervention scores, five mood interventions did substantially better than the control group. Their results looked like this:

Of course, these are not miracle cures; they’re not likely to take you from a 0 to a 24. Instead, it’s better to think of them as simple, short activities that have shown to have modest but real positive effects on people’s moods. Effects that can help you, right now.

Do they sound too simplistic to you? Since they proved to be effective at helping people feel inspired, rejuvenated, relaxed, and/or happier in very little time, we invite you to try at least one of them. It only takes three minutes!

If you want help trying one (or all of them) in a more interactive way, you can use our Mood Booster tool. By using it, you can also measure your mood before and after, or just skip to sampling the activities.

It's worth noting that this program is very clearly not a substitute for treating mental health issues in ordinary ways (such as therapy and medication).

We hope though that you can use it to brighten your disposition and boost your mood with these scientifically-tested exercises. As one of the most influential thinkers in the 19th century would say:

"For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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