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I Need a Hug: 20 Mood-Boosting Things to Do When You Feel Down

It’s not often that I feel so upset I need a hug. But when I do, there’s definitely something wrong. Here’s how to get yourself in a great mood again!

i need a hug

We all go through hard times. Nobody is happy 24/7 and if you think they are, it’s only an act. That being said, there are definitely times when I need a hug. It’s a specific feeling that I only really get when I’m upset and exhausted, sometimes even very sad.

I know you’ve been there before, too. It’s not uncommon to feel this way – even as an adult. As we get older, however, there isn’t always someone readily available to give us hugs and make us feel better. Most of that responsibility lies with you. You need to learn how to make yourself feel better.

It’s okay to admit when you need help

A lot of us grow up thinking it’s wrong to ask for help simply because we’re adults now. We stop going to our friends and family when we’re upset and truthfully, this isn’t a good thing. Sure, it’s great that you can take care of yourself, but you don’t always have to.

It’s okay to need help when you’re feeling upset. That’s what friends, families, and significant others are for. It can actually be more harmful if you hold everything inside and try to deal with things on your own when you just can’t. So ask for some help. Go to a friend. It’s okay to want assistance. [Read: How to help a friend feel better when they’re sad]

I need a hug – how to make yourself feel better when you’re feeling down

That being said, our support systems aren’t always available. They have their own lives to deal with in addition to their work or school or other obligations. And that means sometimes we have to figure out how to fix our upset mood ourselves.

Lucky for us, there are tons of different ways to do this. Whenever you’re feeling down, just do one of these things and you’ll start feeling better in no time!

#1 Go outside. Fresh air and vitamin D can only do you some good when you’re upset. I know you may not want to get up and go outside, but it’ll be worth it. Enjoy the fresh air and take in nature. It’ll help immensely!

#2 Get some exercise in. One thing that can actually boost your mood is exercising! Those endorphins can help you feel way better right away. The tricky part is disciplining yourself enough to just go do it even when you’re sad. [Read: The expansive benefits of exercise on your mind and body]

#3 Talk to someone close to you. Venting is a great way to feel better. Oftentimes, other people can help us see that some things aren’t worth being upset about. So call up some friends and get to talking.

#4 Eat mood-boosting foods. Yes, there is such a thing as food that makes you happier! And no, I’m not talking about your favorite chocolate dessert. Foods like nuts, seeds, salmon, eggs, cheese, and even pineapples have been proven to make you happier by boosting levels of serotonin – the happy chemical – in your blood.

#5 Watch a funny movie. Laughing will always make you feel better. I know when I’m feeling like I need a hug, a great comedy always makes it better. Laughing away my cares can not only keep me distracted, but smiling and laughing naturally tricks your brain into making you happier. [Read: 15 feel-good movies for the sad]

#6 Read a good book. Books are great for a lot of reasons and one of them is that they can make you feel better. When you immerse yourself into the lives of characters and forget about the world around you, you’ll immerge feeling much better.

#7 Listen to uplifting music. Music is beyond powerful when it comes to making you feel happier. Listening to an upbeat song or two can actually alter your brain chemistry to make you feel happier. [Read: 9 upbeat songs to get you feeling great]

#8 Write down your concerns in a journal. Externally processing the emotions you’re feeling can be really important. If you’re upset, write down what’s bothering you. Seeing the words laid out in front of you can help you digest them and find a solution.

#9 Take a nap. Naps make everything better in general. However, if you’re feeling sad, you might just need more sleep. Sleeping also helps your subconscious process information and emotions so you’ll wake up feeling refreshed. [Read: 14 really great ways to reduce stress and recharge]

#10 Get crafty. Being creative is an awesome way to combat a bad mood. Creating something with your hands is unlike anything else out there. Whenever I feel like I need a hug, I take out my watercolors and get to work. I always feel better after.

#11 Go out to eat with friends. Combining great food with even better people will be sure to lift your spirits. Not only will the yummy food make you feel better, but laughing and joking with friends will distract you, too. [Read: 31 crazy things to do with friends and lift your spirits]

#12 Look back on photos of happy memories. When you think back to the good times – especially with the help of some great pictures – your mood will definitely get better. Those memories will stir up the feelings you had during that time and it’ll make you happy.

#13 Cry if you need to. Crying is allowed. You can cry all you want – just limit it after a certain amount of time. Sometimes you just need to cry it out and let your body go through the motions. When I need a hug, sometimes I also just need a good cry. [Read: 14 movies you should watch for a good cry]

#14 Sing your favorite song. Even if you suck at singing, belt it out anyways. Singing actually releases endorphins and your mood will improve significantly.

#15 Play a musical instrument. If you’re able to or even if you just want to give it a try, play something musical. It will not only distract you from your upset feelings, it can also be really fun and relaxing, too.

#16 Do some cleaning. I don’t know about all of you, but when I’m feeling down and like I need a hug, I become a cleaning machine. The process of cleaning and organizing can actually help your brain sort out feelings, too.

#17 Buy or pick yourself some flowers. One thing that really helps me when I need a hug is to get some flowers, put them in a vase, and watch the room look brighter. When you have fresh plants around – especially colorful flowers – your mood will feel higher. [Read: How to focus on yourself with 17 ways to bring back the happiness]

#18 Do something nice for someone else. Do you remember a time you did something nice for someone and felt so much better about yourself? Doing nice things and even volunteering can not only put your situation into perspective, it can boost your mood significantly.

#19 Go people watching. This is just plain entertaining and distracting. If you want to get away from the negativity of your thoughts, go to an airport or a park. Watching people interact with one another is often humorous and downright interesting. It’ll distract you from your problems.

#20 Get a hug. When I feel like I need a hug, sometimes that’s all I need. Usually, if I can, I’ll call my boyfriend or a family member and just get a hug from them while I vent about my struggles. This is super useful when I’m trying to boost my mood.

[Read: 16 other non-sexual touches to feel loved and happy again]

Sometimes when I need a hug, the only thing I can do is actually just get a hug. However, the rest of this list is sure to cheer you up in no time!

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Bella Pope LovePanky
Annabel Rodgers
Annabel is a lifestyle writer, cheese enthusiast (Wisconsin native over here) and fantasy adventure author-in-progress who enjoys all things love, dog,...