7 Practical things that help on a bad day

When you’re having a bad day with your mental health it is hard to bring yourself out of that mood and mindset.

After years of practice, I’ve thankfully managed to figure out a bank of things I can rely on to lift me out of that headspace. 

As the thing is while we want to feel better on bad days, our mind tells us that we won’t and sometimes the advice to ‘get up and continue with your day’ can be incredibly difficult.

This year has been challenging for us all and while it is World Mental Health Day on Saturday, this year has been testament to the fact that mental health is important everyday.

When I feel low, I don’t always have the motivation to make a cup of tea let alone put on my gym gear and go for a run… even though I know it would make me feel better.

So what do I do? 

7 Practical things that help on bad days:

Walking / Movement 

While running is sometimes a stretch, walking is pretty easy for me as an able bodied woman. It doesn’t have to be far but being outside and moving your body will massively boost your mood.

It will also help you focus on how you feel, your breathing as well as the world around and outside of you. Even the motion of moving forward can help too. 


Now this can be combined with walking or on in the background of your tasks in daily life. Music can change or reinforce your mood so if you’re down, listening to Adele or music with loaded meaning for you will only make you feel worse.

Put some up beat tunes on, maybe musicals or even instrumental versions of your favourite songs, and let it relax, distract and energise you.

Write it down

Talking helps massively, but when I’m down I can’t articulate how I’m feeling at the time. I just don’t feel right, but I don’t really know why. 

I find writing helps me to process how I’m feeling and get everything out of my head. It just stops the overthinking as you’ve got it all out of your head and into something external and constructive. 

This is one of the main reasons I’ve kept a diary since I was like 11. I write down everything I’m feeling without judgement. 

Talk to people

Once it’s written down, you’ve processed it slightly and hopefully have a better idea of what caused this down mood, try to talk about it. 

If that person isn’t there physically with you, then FaceTime or video call them rather than phoning them as it feels more life like. 

A constructive hobby

As a teenager when I’d had a bad day at school I’d put my energy into swimming or baking. I’d usually bake once a week as a treat night – back when I literally gave myself one treat a week (yes really, learnt from this don’t worry). 

But I’d always do something constructive – baking, swimming, cycling, playing guitar or piano. Anything you can do at home or learn to do that brings you something at the end of it. 

You can physically see what you’ve done with your time in this end product and I love that.

Escape into a good book, TV show or film 

You know I’m a huge reader and film fanatic, so for me I love to put something on and escape into a really good story. Here’s some book recommendations and some films if you’re stuck!

Small self-care routines 

Sometimes the small things do really make all the difference. If you have a shower, bath, or go through your skincare routine, maybe even put on a bit of your make up you’ll feel more like yourself and ready to tackle the day ahead. I personally find it really relaxing. 

What practical things do you do on bad days?

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  • Hannah says:

    Whenever I used to feel down at University, I would put in my headphones and listen to old Taylor Swift albums whilst walking around London. It always used to make me feel better and help me get out of my own head. If it was late at night, I used to make chocolate chip cookies because they were my favourite. A dance party is always a good idea as well. xx

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