Brain Health

Your Turn: How Do You Snap Out of a Bad Mood?

An hour at the gym or a night out dancing, time outdoors or curled up with a book – here’s how our readers pick themselves up when they’ve been feeling low.

ADHD Adults: How Do You Snap Out Of A Bad Mood
ADHD Adults: How Do You Snap Out Of A Bad Mood

ADDitude asked: After a tough day, how do you snap out of a bad mood?

I get out of a bad mood — and I have many — by doing something I love that is tedious and consuming. I call it tinkering. I dress up fashion dolls and take their pictures and sew tiny clothes for them. -Lisa, New York

By cuddling with my girlfriend, being silly with my friends, talking to myself positively. -An ADDitude Reader

I take Vyvanse every day, and I don’t have bad moods. -Timothy, California

I go dancing and lose myself in the music. We need time to honor our inner child. I admit to myself that I am overwhelmed, and I don’t fight it. -An ADDitude Reader

The best thing I can do is to get the heck outside! If I am at home, I put the leash on my dog and go for a walk. If I am at work, I go up to the roof of the building, regardless of the weather, and sit and look at the sky. -Sharon, Washington, D.C.

[Free Download: Get a Grip on Tough Emotions]

I go for a brisk walk and remind myself that the stress is not permanent. -An ADDitude Reader

Getting the girls on the block together for wine — and whine — time! -Connie, Texas

I head up a sci-fi club and I like to play video games. Playing games online with others relaxes me. -Melody, Florida

Deep-breathing exercises help, as does talking with a friend, a trusted coworker, or my mom. Making goofy faces at myself in the mirror makes me laugh. And, honestly, sex helps me out a whole bunch. -Wendy, Arizona

I don’t often get in bad moods, but I do get irritated easily. Running and exercise calm me down. Any team sport that is fast-paced and requires split-second decisions snaps me out of a slump. -Angela, Michigan

I listen to my iPod, which I’ve loaded with my favorite tunes. -Judy, Canada

I pray about things and ask God to take my problem away. A funny movie sometimes helps, but I do not have time for movies very often. -Terri, Minnesota

Alone time! My four children play various sports, and I have a part-time job outside the home. Sometimes — not often — I need time out. I go for a walk, a bike ride, or I just drive, nowhere in particular. -Michelle, Canada

[Video: How to Stop Those Negativity Spirals]

I look at pictures of my little boy. They always put a smile on my face! -Nicole, Indiana

I reduce the stimulation in my life. I need to have a quiet space, where I am unavailable to everyone. Listening to music helps me relax and calm down. -An ADDitude Reader

I love to read, so 15 minutes with a good book puts me in a better mood. I’m transported to a different place for a while, and I can put things in perspective when I get back. -An ADDitude Reader

Only one thing gets me out of a bad mood: doing plenty of cardio. -Bronwyn, Missouri

If my bad mood starts at work, I have almost an hour-long drive home, which helps me get over it (but not always!). At home, watching TV helps: The more mindless the show, the better. -Cindy, Wisconsin

Dance! Turn the music up and dance away. That works for me every time. -Andria, Florida

I quit drinking when I was about 20, so a glass of wine is not an option. Instead, I think of all of the things I am grateful for in my life. This helps me shift my focus away from the irritations of the day and onto what really matters. It works every time. -Helene, California

I haven’t figured it out yet. Maybe working on my HO Scale model trains will be the answer. -Jack, Iowa

I find that I go to sleep when I get overwhelmed. If my bad mood doesn’t allow me to sleep, I try to figure out what things I have control over and make plans to work on them. -Judy, Ohio

My son tries to “take five” and go play with Legos or read a book. He definitely needs alone time. My daughter reads a book to de-stress. -Kathryn, North Carolina

I just go off somewhere by myself and think about how I could have handled the situation differently. -Kyle, Ohio

Medication, mindfulness, getting plenty of light, and reading a book. -Margrethe, Denmark

I just think about something else. I’ve always got plenty of other things to think about. -Tonya, Utah

Dinner and a movie. It makes me feel so much better. -Jim, Los Angeles

[Silence Your Harshest Critic — Yourself]