20 Easy Tips for Boosting Your Mental Health Today

Have you been told to “smile” or “cheer up” when dealing with bouts of depression? I have, and it is not at all helpful. Recently, someone asked a popular online community for their best mental health tips. Here are their best responses.

1. Extend Empathy: Receive Empathy

support group empathy
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One of this list’s best mental health tips is, “Leading with empathy to those around you will enable you to have it towards yourself.” I think most of us can agree that the world could use more empathetic people right now.

2. Daily Gratitude

woman journaling gratitude
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Write three things you are thankful for each day. One user notes, “I didn’t believe it, but now I subconsciously try to think of something all the time. I have a much more positive outlook on life. Make sure to write it down, preferably handwritten; you think harder when you take out a notebook and pen.”

3. Sitting Outside for 15 Minutes Daily

sun on face
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Sitting in the sun for 10-15 minutes was something I didn’t fully grasp until I stayed in California. Unfortunately, Seattle doesn’t provide ample opportunity to bask in the sunlight. However, being kissed by the sunshine in the Golden State naturally lifted my mood daily.

Being ten minutes from the beach certainly helped. Regardless of visual sunshine, spending 15 minutes outside is the best way to absorb necessary vitamin D for mood and energy. Leave your tech devices inside and enjoy being in the moment with your surroundings.

4. Getting Exercise in Some Form

older couple doing yoga
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Exercising or walking was a highly recommended activity for boosting mental health. However, many are skeptical. For starters, people suffer from severe depression, which makes it impossible to get out of bed.

Nonetheless, those who have been able to start exercising have expressed positive impacts. While some found motivation at the gym, others walked around their block several times and found it was enough to lift spirits. Finally, one confessed it allowed her to indulge in her favorite podcasts and audiobooks.

5. Changing the Voice of Your Hateful Self Thoughts to Someone You Dislike

chill Black woman pointing at camera
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Changing the voice of your hateful self-thoughts to someone you dislike, so they are easier to dismiss.” This user shared one of my favorite new tips.

She elaborated that when her brain tells her she’s “fat and unlovable,” she hears it in Ted Cruz’s voice. So she can dismiss it with a “Shut the fridge up, Ted,” never dwelling on the thoughts again. Who will you choose to be that voice?

6. Taking Probiotics

beautiful tatted woman winking
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Did you know that your gut microbiome significantly impacts your emotions? Taking the right probiotic combined with healthier eating is a natural way to make you feel better in ways you may not even realize are affecting you.

7. Talk to Yourself Like You Would to the Younger You

Image Credit: Deposit Photos – Yarkovoy.

“Talk to yourself like you would to the younger you.” One woman shared the practice of pulling out a photo of herself as a kid before asking, “Would I say that to this little girl? No, so why is it OK that I’m saying it now?

Another shared they, too, use this tactic. However, they talk to themself as if talking to their best friend, noting, “If you wouldn’t say it about your dearest friend, why are you saying it about you?” 

8. Stop Drinking Caffeine

Starbucks red cup
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Oof. As someone from the land of Starbucks and espresso drive-thru stands on every corner, giving up coffee is a tough one for me. However, caffeine is a terrible stimulant, especially if you have anxiety. While some swear it helps them focus, others confess it keeps them fatigued with rapid heartbeats, jitters, and increased anxious thoughts and behaviors.

9. Morning Walk Outside

walking with grandma
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Getting natural light first thing in the morning is important for triggering cortisol production, which will motivate you first thing in the morning.” I’ve rolled my eyes at this mental health tip before, but if you can get up, it can be mood-boosting. It gets your blood flowing, your body moving, and fresh air to open up those airways first thing.

10. Deep Breathing

woman breathing
Image Credit: Deposit Photos – Robert Kneschke.

I’ll admit that this was one of those cliche-sounding tips that I dismissed as helpful when I was in active addiction. However, breathing is the quickest way to center and calm yourself.

One best explains, “Deep breathing seems so hokey, but once you learn diaphragmatic breathing (bonus points if you use an Apple Watch or some biofeedback to see the bodily impact), it helps so much with feeling regulated.”

11. Eating Healthy

Black woman healthy salad
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Another cliche-sounding tip is eating healthy. However, American food is poison. It’s packed with numerous chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

So if it’s destroying your physical health, it only makes sense it’s destroying your mental health too. Countless forum members admit that a switch in diet has affected their mood and overall well-being and health.

12. Seeing a Therapist

upset counseling therapy depressed
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Seeing a therapist is ideal for improving mental health. From trauma to daily struggles at home and work, mental health professionals can give insight from an academic perspective on the outside looking in, which is invaluable.

However, sometimes, it can take a few attempts to find the right therapist, therapeutic philosophy, and treatment plan. So don’t be discouraged; find another if it doesn’t feel like a good fit.

13. Positive Affirmations

conceited man mirror
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“Telling yourself you’re worth it (or any other positive affirmation) in front of the mirror,” one shares. “I found it weird (and the only time I saw that happen was on TV/movies), but I became emotional doing it. It was healing in some way. I still find the practice awkward, so now I say it in my head or write it down.”

14. Setting Boundaries

hands up saying no
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Saying no to things that don’t bring you joy, even if letting someone else down. “Letting myself down is worse.” One confessed this philosophy was a “life changer” for them.

It turned their life around when they finally learned that it’s OK to say no—finally, learning to defend themself and value their opinions as mattering. Setting healthy boundaries is an integral part of recovery and healthy relationships.

15. Replace the Words “Silly” and Dumb.”

happy smiling woman giving double thumbs up reaction
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Another tip one suggests is replacing the words “stupid” and “dumb” with the word “silly.” Instead of saying, “Ugh, I’m so stupid!” Say, “Oops, I made a mistake, silly me!” The user further notes that it allows them to stop beating themselves up, and it’s also helped manipulate the idea they aren’t dumb, just someone who makes mistakes like everybody else. “And that’s OK.”

16. Journaling

woman journaling in fall
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

OK. Before you roll your eyes, journaling has sincerely benefited my mental health. Prayer journaling is my favorite journal style because I ask the Lord and the universe for things and often watch them manifest better than I imagined.

Daily journaling to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper is also an excellent way to articulate feelings and quiet your mind by releasing that chaos and anxiety. Additionally, writing from journal prompts can be healing and enlightening.

17. Get a Pet Companion

newborn baby puppy
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Do you love animals? Numerous people suggest that having a dog or a cat has been a massive help to their mental health. I can attest to this. My father passed away two years ago, and I rescued a gray cat from a pet shop window on his second birthday. He’s never left my side.

He’s purring beside me even as I share this post with you. However, if you’re not in the right headspace or financial situation, getting a pet is not the right tip for you. It’s a big responsibility and a couple of decades of commitment.

18. Turning Your Negative Thoughts Into Positive Thoughts

happy woman are you talking to me pointing to self
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Reframing your mindset by shaping negative thoughts into positive ones is a mental health tip many vouched for as being legitimate. It’s a helpful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) tool that can drastically improve mental health.

For example, one explained changing, “He always cries and bugs me when I’m on a work call!” To “Maybe I’ve been on too long, and he needs a snack with me for some interaction. I could use a break anyway for ten minutes.”

19. I GET To Do Things. Not I HAVE To

beautiful middle aged woman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

“I GET to do things. Not I have to.” Making this sentence change is “simple and dumb.” But, according to many, it does enough to change your mindset that “even chores aren’t as miserable.”

A cat lover confessed that it changed their feelings about cleaning litter boxes. They used to dread it. But when they started framing it as “I get to clean this and improve my cat’s lives and make them happier,” it became a pleasure, not a chore.

20. Doing a Little Thing Badly Is Better Than Doing Nothing at All

Asian woman smiling saying OK
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Finally, “It is better to do a little bit of a good thing badly than not at all.” So, for example, if jogging is not feasible, go for a walk. If you can’t brush your teeth for two minutes, it’s still better to do 30 seconds than nothing.

If you can’t clean the entire closet, work on it for 15 minutes. It’s a mindset and practice that often leads to getting more done. You start learning to “give yourself permission.” If you’re working out and forcing yourself on a day that’s not right, permit yourself to cut it short.

Something That Women Don’t Know: 15 Real Struggles That Men Face Alone

superhero man flying
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A male online forum recently discussed things men go through that women will never understand. Truthfully, I found the answers interesting, honest, and sad. Here is what MEN had to say.

15 Jobs That Women Admit Are Automatic Deal Breakers for Dating Them

easy money
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Are there any professions that would make a person undatable for you? You’re not alone. A man recently asked women in an online forum, “What job would a man have that would be an automatic deal breaker for you?” Here are THEIR honest confessions.

Boomer Wisdom: 15 Hardest Truths to Accept in Life

older couple dancing
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Recently, someone asked an online forum of boomers, “What is the hardest thing to accept in life?” Here are their honest confessions. Do you agree?

False Survival Facts: 19 Popular Myths That May Get You Killed

amazed shocked friends
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Many survival myths are parading around as facts that could get you killed if you don’t know any better. After someone asked an online survival community for said myths, here are their honest confessions.

10 Seriously Evil Companies That Not Enough People Talk About — Do You?

evil business
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Is there a company you refuse to support because you believe they are evil or unethical? You’ve got company. After someone polled an internet community for examples of said companies, here are THEIR top-voted responses.



Website | + posts

Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.