feeling blue middle age

What To Do When You’re Feeling Blue

The weather is changing.

The holidays are coming.

Oh, and there was just a mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Not that all the above carry the same weight, but these are things that can cause us to feel blue to some degree or another.

While I’m generally a positive, optimistic person, I am also a human who, yes, feels blue sometimes too.

I figured that you feel blue from time to time as well, so I wanted to share a list of things that I do when I’m blue to get me back to feeling like my usual self again.

Know that the worst thing you can do when you feel blue is do nothing – curl up and check out.

Instead, here are my 10 Practical Go-To’s that I utilize when I’m feeling blue. I hope they help the next time you feel blue too.


This is at the top of the list not just because I’m a health coach, but because it really works.

Exercise, even light to moderate physical activity, can dramatically lift your mood (immediately too).

Go for a walk outside

Better yet, if possible, get some sunshine on your skin and look up at the trees and clouds.

You’ll get some Vitamin D and you’ll also feel a shift in your mood.

Listen to music you enjoy

When I’m feeling blue, I put on some “feel good” music.

For me, it might be something upbeat, joyful, or empowering.

There are few things that lift your mood more than cranking up your favorite song (mine is “Golden” by Jill Scott – what’s yours?).

Watch or listen to something funny

From that short, funny YouTube video that you and your co-worker couldn’t stop laughing about that one time, to your favorite episode of your favorite TV show, to (my personal favorite) a stand-up comedy show (I love Jerry Seinfeld’s new one on Netflix called “Jerry Before Seinfeld”), a good laugh will definitely make you feel more cheerful.

Just smile and let your feelings catch up with your face

Can’t get yourself to laugh?

Sounds weird, but try forcing a smile (smile with your eyes too – do it while looking in the mirror).

After a few moments, you might find that it becomes less forced and more natural.

Go back in your journal and read your past entries

If you write a regular journal, it could help to look back at what you’ve written.

The entries of celebration and victory can remind you of how good life can be and will be again.

The times of trouble and tribulation can remind you that you’ve been down before, but you always get back up.

Do something you’re good at

When we feel blue, it tends to zap us of all our positive energy and confidence in ourselves.

Try practicing something you’re good at. It’ll help you boost your confidence and your mood.

Call up and friend and get together

Good friends are there for us through the bright days, as well as the blue days.

Call up one of those friends (who tends to be more bright than blue – because two blues don’t make a bright!) and if you can, get together for some lunch, dinner, coffee, a movie, or a few hours at the spa to pamper yourselves.

Declutter something

Clean up your work space, your closet, or straighten up your living room.

Our mood is greatly affected by our surroundings.

When things around us look in disarray, our life also feels like it’s in disarray, which can wreak havoc on our mood.

Decluttering your environment can bring order and as a result, shift your mood and perspective.

Get offline

Few things dampen one’s mood more than several hours spent on social media, reading saddening stories and heart-breaking news.

Similarly, seeing your “friends” on Facebook who are always happy, cheery, and nothing ever seems to go wrong in their lives can be annoying too when you’re feeling blue.

So, unplug for the day or even afternoon and do one of things I shared above.

It’s very likely you’ll see an improvement in your mood.

Most importantly, you’ll want to combine whatever you choose above with good quality sleep and healthy food, because our mood is highly dependent on how well we’re sleeping and what we’re eating.

Finally, realize that not all of these will work for you – these are just the ones that work for me.

What’s more, it may take some trial and error until you find what will work for you.

That’s okay. Be patient. See this as an experiment, not a test.

Tell me what YOU like to do to boost your mood when you feel blue OR share with me which mood-lifting activity that I mentioned you are going to give a try next time you feel blue.

It’s Your Turn to Take Care of You,



Need some help

Book a time to talk with me during my Office Hours here.

3 replies
    SHARON says:

    Hi Kim, if I’m feeling a little down, or even overwhelmed, I do a little cleaning and/or de-cluttering, with either calming or upbeat music playing, depending on my mood. It makes me feel productive, more organized and good about myself.

    • Kim
      Kim says:

      I love that, Sharon. There’s nothing like feel-good music and a clean space to shift your mood. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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