Use these strategies to rewire a lousy mood—or even amp up a good one.
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You slept through your alarm. You’re PMSing big time. Unfortunately, crawling back under the covers isn’t a viable bad-mood solution. But there are a number of minimal-effort fixes to help you face the day with a smile (a false one counts, too). Use these strategies to rewire a lousy mood—or even amp up a good one.

Go for a run

Post-jog euphoria extends beyond the release of endorphins; recent animal research suggests that running leads to a rush of endocannabinoids, chemicals in the brain linked to pleasure. You could feel perked up within five minutes of finishing a run. Research also shows that running may help alleviate symptoms of depression.

Crack a grin

Even if it’s totally fake. Research out of Clark University in Worcester, Mass., revealed that smiling appears to activate the happiness centers of the brain. A different study found that smiling during a tense moment may help reduce your body’s stress response, whether or not you actually feel happy.

Take a bath or shower

It’s an old natural health remedy known as hydrotherapy. A review published last year in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences suggests that 10 minutes of whirlpool bathing increases feelings of well-being and decreases anxiety, while cold showers may have an antidepressive effect.

Eat chocolate

The sweet snack contains the compound phenylethylamine, as well as caffeine, both of which are stimulants with mood-enhancing abilities. Cocoa also boosts levels of serotonin—nicknamed the “happy hormone”—in the brain. Stick to a square (or two) of dark chocolate; it typically packs more antioxidants and less sugar than milk chocolate.

Hug or high-five a pal

Touching releases oxytocin (the love hormone) and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can make you feel more at ease.