When a friend of mine got laid off, she told me she was resorting to retail therapy to make herself feel better. Turns out, that shopping when you're down can make you feel better. A study by Northwestern University found that retail therapy actually works, and if you do it before a stressful event, it can even help to insulate you from the negative effects.
Although I'm all for indulging in activities to boost your mood, retail therapy is definitely a pricey way to do it. And it might make you feel worse in the long run if your shopping expedition makes a dent in your bank account. Here are some wallet-friendly ways to turn around a bad day:
- Start planning a trip. Make a plan to take some days off and start researching destination ideas. Research has shown that planning and anticipating a trip has an even greater effect on happiness than the actual trip itself.
- Make yourself a happy meal. No, you don't have to re-create an artery-clogging meal from McDonald's. A happy meal is basically comfort food you can make at home that will help you feel better. Perhaps it's a childhood favorite like Oreos and milk or maybe a secret family recipe.
- Set a goal and accomplish it. Set a small and reasonable goal and complete it before the end of the night. It can be simple tasks like washing the dishes or finishing up two chapters of a mystery novel. You'll feel better when you're getting things done.
- Do something nice for someone. Doing a nice act for someone can make you feel better, studies have shown. They can be small acts like sending an email to your best friend telling her how much you appreciate her, or making dinner for your partner. Here's a list of ideas for nice things to do for people.
- Remember the good. Write out a gratitude list of things that you're grateful for. Noting down a list of things that you are grateful for can renew your appreciation in things that you've been taking for granted. Writing a gratitude list will cause you to put more focus on the positive and less on the negative.
Read on for more.