It’s not always easy to know what will make you feel happier, especially when you’ve been feeling down for a while.

Whether you’re looking for a quick mood boost or are hoping to implement positive habits, you might benefit from trying some science-backed ways to increase your happiness.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Make sure your basic needs are met

Before we get into the fun activities, let’s talk about your basic needs.

Your mood is directly affected by factors like sleep and food. To give your brain the foundation it needs to feel happy, you need to be fed and well-rested.

If your mood is low, try asking yourself:

  • Have I had enough sleep?
  • Have I had a nutritious meal recently?
  • Did I drink enough water today?

Often, you might feel moody without realizing that it’s because you’re tired or hungry. In that case, increasing happiness might be as simple as eating, taking a nap, or having a glass of water.

2. Get creative 

When did you last take time out of your day to do something creative just for fun?

You can use art to express and process your emotions or as a fun hobby that simply brings you pleasure. Creative activities may even help soothe symptoms of depression.

Doing something creative can bring you a sense of achievement and boost your self-esteem.

You might find that one of the following creative hobbies brings you joy:

  • dancing
  • collaging
  • coloring or sketching
  • embroidery, crocheting, or knitting
  • digital art
  • writing fiction, poetry, or songs
  • baking or cooking
  • pottery
  • gardening
  • beading
  • playing an instrument

And if the end product isn’t a masterpiece, that’s totally fine. Your creative output doesn’t have to be “good,” just good for you.

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