Caveat: this is meant to be a lighthearted list. Serious depression is, of course, an entirely different matter than occasional "blues" or bad days and requires professional assistance. If you or someone you know is truly depressed or having thoughts of self-harm, PLEASE get help. Please, please, please.
So... understanding that I am not a therapist, or in any way qualified to give out medical advice, these are a couple of the things I rely on to fix an unhappy day—aside from the usual talking to my mom or a friend, taking a nap, or that tried-and-true (but less healthy) solution, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s:
- Reading Harry Potter and/or watching a Harry Potter movie. If Harry doesn't do it for you, try a different book (romance novels are always great options!) or a funny movie and see if that doesn't lift your spirits!
- Spending time playing with my cats--studies have shown that time with animals can make a big difference in people's moods, especially animals of the furry variety. Find a cat or dog to pet or play fetch with!
- Taking a long, luxurious bubble bath--I love my bubble baths. Love-love-LOVE. And I don't need a bad day as an excuse to enjoy one, but if I am having a downer day, a warm soak cheers me right up. I have a portable whirlpool gizmo that sticks to the side of my tub and creates a ton of bubbles. It's awesome and makes me feel like I'm in a spa.
- Listening to some favorite music—hard rock only! Love songs and anything else similarly slow-paced need not apply. Give me some AC/DC, some Poison, some Def Leppard… Dancing and singing along at the top of my lungs!
- Playing my flute or the piano--if rock music doesn't suit my mood, dragging out my own music and playing often helps.
- Making some childhood comfort food: Black Bean Soup (the recipe is on my website, if you want to try it!), chicken noodle casserole (which is like tuna casserole, only with canned chicken instead), mom’s peanut-butter cookies, or chocolate-chip cookie dough.
- Working out (if I’m down but also feeling virtuous.)