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Make a Bad Mood Better

By Rachael Mason
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Roy Benaroch, MD

girl in bad mood

What happens at school or at home can put you in a bad mood. Maybe you had a fight with your brother or you took a test that didn’t go well. Maybe you have too much homework or you didn’t get invited to a party. Everyone feels angry, sad, worried, or nervous sometimes. 

“Bad moods are really common and it’s important to expect that they’re going to happen,” says Kate Margolis, PhD, a psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

You may not know when something will happen that makes you sad or mad, but you can decide how you want to deal with bad moods before they happen. Having a plan is the first step to turning your bad mood into a good one!

Talk About Your Feelings

Learn about the feelings you might have and the mood they put you in. Are you sad? Mad? Worried? If you can’t come up with just the right word, think about the emojis you see on a phone. Does one of them look like how you feel?

If you can figure out what mood you're in, you can do something to help yourself feel better.

In the middle of a bad mood, know that you can share your feelings with an adult you trust, like a parent or a teacher. “It’s always better to talk about it than to keep it bottled up inside,” says Mollie Grow, MD, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

If you ignore how you feel, you can make your bad mood worse.

Smiles, Deep Breaths, and Exercise

When you’re in a bad mood, you might want to sleep a lot or just be alone. But those things aren’t going to help you feel better. Try these tricks that are more helpful:

Smile, even if it’s the opposite of how you think you feel. Watch a funny video or look at yourself in the mirror and grin or laugh. “That can actually change your mood,” says Emily Muther, PhD, a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

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