Boost Your Mood: 15 Quick Ways in Recovery

Everyone has bad days, but depending on what is going on in your life and how stable you are in recovery, a bad day can become a trigger for relapse that is life-shattering. No matter where you are or what you are doing, if you are having a rough time keeping calm and moving forward, it is time to take a break – 10 minutes or less! – and get yourself back on track.

Here are 15 different things you can try to help yourself get back into a good mood:

1. Do some aromatherapy

Studies show that certain scents can have a pretty immediate positive effect on your mood, so do some experimenting with some of the recommended options (e.g., lavender or orange) to find something that works for you, and then carry a little of that scent with you for when you need it in a pinch.

2. Force a smile

The last thing you want to do may be smile, but research says that even a fake smile can trigger the release a positive “feel-good” hormones in the brain, which in turn can actually make you feel better.

3. Move around

Doing a few jumping jacks, jogging in place, or just dancing around a little bit can also work to trigger a release of those same “feel-good” hormones and help you to feel a little more energized and ready to deal.

4. Have some chocolate

Need some more of those “feel-good” chemicals? Eat a little bit of chocolate, say scientists. A very little bit – the recommendation is no more than a half-ounce, which equals a third of an average-sized chocolate bar.

5. Hug your softest stuffed animal

Okay, so this isn’t necessarily one that you can do out in public, but it still takes less than 10 minutes, so it’s on our list. Technically, it doesn’t have to be a stuffed animal, but research shows that touching soft things like blankets or stuffed animals can make you feel more relaxed and calm, so if you prefer to take a quick 10-minute cat nap under your favorite blanket, then do that for the same effect.

6. Pay it forward

Plug someone else’s meter, buy a stranger’s coffee, or help an older person get their groceries into their car. Research shows that helping out someone else can make you feel better about yourself and improve your mood and outlook, which will in turn help you to feel more positive about whatever you are facing.

7. Meditate

No chanting necessary. In fact, just being quiet for 5-10 minutes in a quiet space where you are uninterrupted can give you the space you need to allow any uncomfortable emotions to subside and reconnect with your purpose.

8. Spend time with an animal

Take your dog for a walk. Pet your neighbor’s cat. Go to a pet store and play with a puppy. Even just a few minutes playing with an animal can increase your sense of peace and happiness.

9. Give yourself a rub

That is, a quick shoulder or hand/wrist rub, or use a tennis ball to massage your instep. These actions can help you to release some stress and relax.

10. Take a shower

Sometimes, all you need is a hot shower to not only remove yourself from a stressful situation but to also clean up and clear your head. Bonus points for using aromatherapy soaps and shampoos to further improve your mood.

11. Put on your favorite dress-up clothes

This doesn’t necessarily mean formal wear. If you’ve been living in sweatpants and a t-shirt for three days straight, it can help you to feel better to spend a little time putting yourself together.

12. Make a gratitude list

Take a few minutes to thoughtfully write out some of the many things that make you happy. As you do, visualize each one for a moment and relive your favorite memory of that thing.

13. Watch a funny video

Or call a funny friend or do anything that is guaranteed to make you laugh. Laughing may reduce anxiety and help you to feel better when you are facing tough things in life.

14. Clean off your workspace

Sometimes, all it takes to put things in perspective is to clean up an area where we spend the most time. Whether this is your workspace or your dining room table, the act of clearing space serves to clear the mind, and it can also give you that “blank page” feeling that allows you to start over.

15. Do some sun salutations

Yoga can help you to regulate your breathing and oxygenate your muscles while increasing strength and flexibility, all while clearing your head of distractions. Just a few minutes a day can give you great benefits. One way to do this quickly and simply is to throw a few sun salutations into your day. There are lots of different ways to do this, so start small and then change it up according to what you need on any given day.

15. Take a Walk or Get Moving

Exercise is a well-known mood booster and stress reliever. Even a short walk around the block or a brief yoga session can help clear your mind and release endorphins that improve your mood. Additionally, physical activity can help you manage cravings and make healthier choices.

16. Practice Mindfulness or Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can help you center your thoughts and focus on the present moment. By taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and clear your mind, you can reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. Many apps, such as Headspace or Calm, offer guided meditations that are perfect for beginners.

17. Connect with Loved Ones

Isolation can be detrimental to your mental health, and it's important to stay connected with friends and family during addiction recovery. A quick phone call or text message to a loved one can help you feel supported and boost your mood. If possible, consider scheduling a coffee date or a quick catch-up session to chat in person.

18. Listen to Music

Music has a profound effect on our emotions, and it can be a powerful tool for improving our mood. Create a playlist of your favorite upbeat songs that make you happy and motivated. Listening to music while you exercise or during a quick break can help you feel energized and positive.

19. Practice Gratitude

Focusing on the positive aspects of our lives can help us feel happier and more content. Take a few minutes to write down three things you're grateful for, no matter how small they may seem. By shifting your mindset to gratitude, you can improve your mood and reduce stress.

20. Seek Professional Help

If you find that your low mood is persistent or interfering with your daily life, it's important to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and provide support during your addiction recovery.


Recovery is a journey that can be challenging and overwhelming at times. It's important to prioritize your mental health during this time to ensure a successful and fulfilling recovery. There are many ways to boost your mood in 10 minutes or less during addiction recovery.

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can feel happier, more motivated, and better equipped to handle the challenges of recovery. Remember to take a walk or get moving, practice mindfulness or meditation, connect with loved ones, listen to music, practice gratitude, and seek professional help if necessary.

These quick tips can help you feel supported and boost your mood, making your journey to recovery a more positive experience.

What do you do to shake up your mood when you are having a bad day? How do you get back on a positive track and reconnect with your recovery?


Since joining the Townsend content team, Shlomo has become a thought leader in the addiction field. He is a Seinfeld junkie, a recovering Twitter fanatic, and a sports expert. He enjoys milk shakes and beautiful views from rooftops.