31 things things that will make you smile instantly

by Emily Gilbert |
Published on

Being a mum is the most wonderful thing in the world, but we sometimes have our down days. Motherhood isn't just about plush pushchairs, bathtime giggles, and Valencia filters. Nope, it's also brimming with self-doubt, boredom, worries of being 'good enough', whilst wiping away snotty noses.

It's important to remember this is completely normal and you, yes you, are doing an amazing job_!_ (Please note, if things are feeling unmanageable, please check out this helpful guide and remember you're not alone.)

Here are 33 things that can make you feel that little bit happier on cloudy days.

1. Get some fresh air!

It sounds obvious, but staying indoors all day can be incredibly detrimental to your mental health. Even if it’s a 20-minute walk, its proven that nature improves our mood.

2. Pick up a crayon


Creating a hot-mess isn't just for small people. Painting, colouring, tie-dye, arts and crafts, you name it its bound to boost your mood! Get out the crayons and have a go.

3. Do some Yoga with Adriene

A YouTube workout favourite and it's completely free. All you need is a nap and your little one to be preoccupied/asleep... (easier said then done!)

4. Enjoy your own spa at home

Relax and have a hot bath with some Epsom salts. Light your favourite candle and dig out that book you never got round to starting. P-e-r-f-e-c-t.

5. Start a journal


Try writing a list of things you’re grateful for or perhaps, commit to a sentence a day describing what you're thankful for.

6. Cuddle your moggy

Did you know that cuddling your pet, means your body will release feel-good hormones like oxytocin and serotonin? Us neither.

7. Binge on The Santa Clarita Diet


Something that will make you laugh is likely to cheer you up. We're obsessed with this Netflix series starring Drew Barrymore.

8. Clean!

This may sound crazy, but cleaning can be relaxing and for some is a cathartic task. We mean, there's always ironing to do...

9. *Actually* watch Frozen

There's nothing like a feel-good classic Disney movie. Also, how can you not smile as your little one warbles "DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN?". Join in, too and feel silly! We dare you.

10. Stick the kettle on

Whether you're a black coffee devotee or are partial to a mug of Horlics, it's true what they say - warm drinks promote warm feelings.

11. Buy yourself some flowers


Pahh! Don't wait for your other half/the hot male you've been side-eying in Costa Coffee. Flowers will brighten up your home and your mood. Stick them in your trolley, pronto.

12. Stop Insta-scrolling

Instagram is a highlight reel and nothing more. It's not healthy to continuously compare yourself to someone else's' sparkling and filtered snaps. Put the phone down!

13. Smile

This is a simple one, your facial muscles tell your brain you’re smiling, which promotes happiness. Fake it 'till you make it and all that.

14. Eat. The. God. Damn. Chocolate.


Life is too short to deny yourself a square (or ten) of your favourite chocolate. The sweet treat also helps your brain release endorphins (aka, the happy chemical!), meaning it's an absolute savior for down-days.

15. Drink water

Yep, the clear, free stuff that runs out of your tap and A-List celebs taut as their 'biggest beauty secret'. Not getting enough water can make everything feel a little foggy, so make sure you're getting enough fluids. No, coffee doesn't count.

16. Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a while


Having a good natter with an ol' pal can do you the world of good. Sometimes just talking to someone, really helps!

17. Do a crossword

Do a riddle, Sudoku or word search, quick thinking can make you feel more powerful.

18. Take a nap

If you get a chance(!!) to recharge yourself, take a nap. Sometimes a little zzz can do you the world of good.

19. Meditate

Worried thoughts and feeling, well, all over the place? We love theHeadspace app, which helps you feel relaxed and mentally focused.

21. Set a few simple goals for your day


Whether it's to pay your electric bill, put up a shelf or leave the house - set yourself some manageable goals. Feel like an absolute boss when you complete them.

22. Take your kids pottery painting

And definitely, join in! Creating art is oh-so therapeutic.

23. Listen to some soothing music or natural sounds

Waterfalls and ocean waves will trick your brain into thinking you're at the Costa Del Sol. Kinda.

24. Take 10 deep breaths

This will release toxins improve your mood.

25. Do a random act of kindness

If you can't find a way to make yourself smile right now, do something that will make someone else. From buying someone who's homeless lunch, to helping your mum with her weekly shop - be the brightest part of someone's day.

26. Bake banana bread


Get the kids to help and make some cupcakes together. Check out our guide on lots of yummy sweet treats you can make with the whole family.

27. Put on your comfiest pyjs

 ...and snuggle up on the sofa.

28. Treat yourself like a best friend

Normally you wouldn't have thought twice about being self-indulgent, but often having kids leaves you at the bottom of the hierarchy! Er, not on! Spend the afternoon shopping, have a slice of chocolate cake - even book yourself a massage! You look after everyone else, so make sure you're looking after you, too.

29. Watch funny YouTube videos

A personal favourite? Cats pretending to be humans. You're welcome.

30. Spend time with a good friend

Let it all out and have a good gossip.

31. And finally, LAUGH

It’s one of the best feelings and will improve your mood almost instantly.

Now read:

5 reasons why online yoga is a new mum’s sanity saver

YouTube's Louise Pentland revealsstrugglewith PTSD and it's incredibly moving

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