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Bad Mood Fixes: The Best Ways to Feel Better

Healthier ways to help teens get out of a bad mood.
By Rachael Mason
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Anita Schroff, MD

teens laughing behind red wall

Maybe you had a fight with your parents or your BFF. Or maybe you bombed your history test or your crush stopped following you on Instagram.

You might not be able to control the things that hurt you or make you mad, but the way you deal with your bad mood is completely up to you.

“Getting out of it is like building a new muscle and figuring out what works for you,” says Joy Jacobs, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Some people lash out at friends when they’re mad, sad, or stressed. Others want to down a whole bag of chips. But those aren’t the healthiest ways to get yourself out of a bad mood. In fact, they’ll probably make you feel worse. When you’re down, think about these better ways to bust your blues.

Don’t Eat Your Feelings

When you feel bad, you might be tempted to grab some junk food and eat it in a hurry. Steer clear of the kitchen until you have time to think about this reaction. “Build a pause between feeling bad and opening the refrigerator,” Jacobs says. “People never feel good about eating emotionally.”

If you can’t resist the urge to put something in your mouth, Jacobs suggests making a cup of herbal tea. You can also focus on healthy snacks. You can spread hummus on six whole-grain crackers or take a small tortilla and add a slice of low-fat cheese or turkey.

Move It

One of the best ways to help you snap out of a funk? Move your body!

“Getting regular exercise, even just walking, is a good way to clear the head and emotions and increase some of those happy-feeling endorphins into your system,” says Sandi Lindgren, a clinical social worker and life coach in Minneapolis. If you’re walking outdoors, then fresh air helps you think better, too.

Are you stressed out about schoolwork? Take a walk around the block or try some yoga poses in your room. Did your friend make you so mad you can’t think straight? Try running as fast and hard as you can down the street, hitting a punching bag, or trying some kickboxing moves to release the tension.

A bonus: You can load up a playlist with your favorite songs while you move. It may boost your mood even more, Jacobs says.

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