Ways to start your day in a good mood

Some days are just…bad days. Some of them start great and slowly deteriorate over time, and others are truly awful from the get-go. You wake up in a horrifically nasty mood for whatever reason, or you spill coffee grounds while attempting to brew a cup (yes, that has happened to me), or you think you're leaving with plenty of time, just to end up in endless bumper-to-bumper traffic. Some days, it just feels like you have no choice but to kick things off on the wrong side of the bed.

The good news? There are actionable things you can do that will start your day off on a good note. It's completely possible to work — and will — yourself into a good mood. While of course there will still be bad days, and less-than-stellar moods from time to time, there is an empowerment that comes from knowing you can start the day off on the right foot.

Different than simply cheering yourself up after feeling down, starting your day in a good mood can set the tone for the rest of the day. Incorporate some of these tips, and you'll start your day in the best mood ever!

Spoil yourself

Think of this as "treat yourself," albeit on a much smaller scale. Come up with something you can do that's nice for yourself and then carve some time out of your day to actually do that thing.

As Alice Domar, Ph.D., psychologist and co-author of Live a Little! Breaking the Rules Won't Break Your Health, told Woman's Day that when she regularly woke up early on a book tour and went to the local farmer's market in search of fresh fruit, the good vibes it fostered carried over for the entirety of the day. Treat yourself with kindness and care —everyday.

Get colorful

Take advantage of color psychology to make yourself feel happier and more energized. Reds and purples boost your energy, while greens and yellows make you happy. Leslie Harrington, a founder of LH Color, a consulting firm in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, told Health that reds and purples make you more energized because they make your body produce more adrenaline, which makes you feel like you can do anything.

Additionally, a 2013 study found that people connect the color green with happiness, hope, comfort, and excitement. Adding a little bit of green to your day is sure to start you off in a good mood.

Feel that gratitude

Take a few moments every day to express gratitude. Make a gratitude list — either written or verbal. Sometimes, when you're having a rough day, it can be difficult to remember the things that you're grateful for. Listing them out can help.

Plus, according to the Harvard Healthbeat, expressing gratitude can help feel happier, healthier, and more positive, as well as more capable of tackling obstacles and stressful situations.

Leave some time to snuggle

Whether you curl up with a pet, a significant other, a baby, or just get a hug from a friend, touch can help put you in a better mood. According to research conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, touch can lessen pain, boost immune function, and lead to greater levels of alertness.

You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get after cuddling with someone, or something? It's not all in your head, so snuggle up.

Meditate

A regular meditation practice can leave you feeling grounded and at peace. According to mindbodygreen, taking even just a few moments to notice your breath and be present can leave you in a much better mindset to take on the day ahead.

You don't have to do anything special, although, if you want to use a mantra or meditation app, those tools can help grow your practice over time.

Press play

Make an uplifting playlist, full of songs you love to dance and sing along to, and throw yourself a mini morning dance party. Adding happy music to your routine is the perfect way to boost your mood. Additionally, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology), listening to happy music can make listeners happier in about two weeks. Not bad, for a small change!

You probably notice that a catchy tune perks you up and makes you immediately feel a little lighter, so naturally, adding music you enjoy to your mundane morning routine will put a little pep in your step that just might carry over to the rest of your day.

Stretch or exercise

Start your day with a little bit of gentle stretching, a quick yoga flow, some Pilates, or a quick workout. It doesn't have to be super-intense, but according to 2006 research published in Preventive Medicine, regular exercise lowers feelings of anxiety, depression, and neuroticism.

Additionally, a 2013 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (via the University of Toronto), 25 separate studies conducted over the course of 26 years found that even activities like gardening or walking for 20 minutes a day can prevent depression, no matter the age of the person. That's sure to start your day on a positive note!

Allow for a gentle morning

There's nothing worse than waking up, rushing around, and arriving at work, school, or wherever else you may need to go feeling harried, stressed, and anxious. Yes, allowing for a gentler morning may require you to wake up a little bit earlier, but it will be worth it to ease into your day, rather than crashing into it and flailing.

Christine Louise Hohlbaum, the author of The Power of Slow, told Health that "the way you start your morning informs the way your spend the rest of your day." Additionally, Hohlbaum added, a harsh, severe alarm clock "raises your pulse from a resting to an alarmed state." That means you begin your morning agitated and anxious from the get-go. A warm morning beverage, perhaps a little yoga, time with a book, or a nice relaxing shower can all help you create an easy vibe to start your day.

Set intentions and goals

Ending your day with intention-setting and beginning with a little mindful, actionable, goal-setting can motivate yourself for the day and allow you to wake up feeling like you've already been a bit productive. As Domonique Bertolucci, author of The Kindness Pact, told Allure, "End your day calmly." She continued, "I try to have two thoughts before I go to bed: gratitude for what happened that day, and setting intentions for tomorrow."

As part of Oprah's SuperSoul Sunday series, Tony Robbins picks up where Bertolucci leaves off, describing his morning gratitude ritual. "I do…three and a half minutes of pure gratitude about three things. And I pick one of those things to be simple…The wind in my face, my children's faces — anything. Start your day cultivating that…highway to happiness." He then spends a few minutes focusing on "three outcomes or results [he is] really committed to," feeling those wins as if they have already happened.

Eat breakfast

Compile a balanced breakfast chock full of probiotics to help boost your mood. According to a 2013 study from researchers at McMaster University (Canada), incorporating probiotics, which are present in yogurt and kefir, for example, helps to fuel the so-called "gut-brain axis," which can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. If you're feeling a bit down right when you first wake up, a breakfast of probiotics might be able to lift your mood a bit.

Wake up to flowers

As it turns out, keeping flowers in your home — so that you see them when you wake up — can boost your mood and energy for the entire day. According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, a behavioral study by Harvard Medical School clinical researcher in psychology Nancy L. Etcoff found that flowers can facilitate relaxation as well as boost your energy and make you more compassionate at work.

Though Etcoff's study was floral industry-funded, evidence suggests that a bouquet of beautiful blooms really can put you in a good mood, giving you the mental lift you may need to tackle your day. "The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods — happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example — manifesting much later in the day," Etcoff shared. "Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up."

Get creative

Start your day with a little creativity. Whether it's sketching or painting, journaling — or something else entirely — getting creative first thing in the morning can put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

According to a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Public Health, creative endeavors can help ease psychological, behavioral, and physiological stressors. Get out ahead of any obstacles that may crop up over the course of the day by prioritizing your creative time. Your mood will thank you.

Make sure you get enough sleep

This one feels like a bit of a no-brainer. In order to wake up in a good mood, feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day ahead, it makes sense that you need to get enough sleep. According to The Huffington Post, you'll also wake up more optimistic about the dawning day if you get enough sleep the night before.

Additionally, according to a 2010 study from Harvard Medical School, getting sufficient sleep is important for cognitive processing, which will make you feel more alert and revitalized the day, rather than sluggish and worn down. That'll boost anyone's mood.

Self-love, good mood

Starting your day in a good mood just might be as simple as truly taking care of yourself: getting enough sleep, eating a good breakfast, easing into your day, squeezing in a light workout, and allowing yourself time to be creative.

While bad things may still happen, treating yourself with some kindness first thing in the a.m. can make all the difference. Prioritizing these tips offers you a chance to lift yourself up, giving you the boost you need to handle whatever comes your way, with a little more grace. It's gonna be a great day!