Four Quick, Unexpected Things to Do When You're in a Funk


You know when you get some bad news, or you haven't been sleeping well, or stress is high at work, or whatever else—and you're feeling low? You're not depressed, or dejected, or incapacitated. Just kind of blue.

It happens. Our lives are full—careers, friends, family, pets, exercise, self-growth, dreams, desires—and packed with responsibilities, must-do's, stressors, and pressure. And that's all happening around the clock. It's exhausting.

So if you find yourself feeling crappy, it's totally OK. But you can still take action to beat back those feelings. Here are four quick, unexpected things you can do when you're in a funk. They each ask just 10 minutes of your time:

Clean something up: When your stuff's neat and uncluttered, it's better not just for your mental health, but also your physical health. So it follows that doing a few minutes of organizing can be a serious mood-booster. Do a sweep through your dresser to pull out any clothing you haven't worn in 6 months or more, and place everything in a bag to take to Goodwill or sell at a store like Buffalo Exchange. Order the books on your shelf alphabetically by author, or chronologically by date you read them, or by colors of the rainbow. Tidy up your entryway, where you've inevitably let keys, crumpled receipts, loose change, or some combination therein materialize. A quick 10-minute spell of organizing will distract you and satisfy your brain's craving for harmony. 

Browse Spotify: Pull out your phone or laptop and spend 10 minutes exploring Spotify's thousands of smartly curated playlists, themed by genre, mood, theme, popularity, and more. Hit the Browse tab and scroll or tap around until you find something that piques your interest. Give a track or two a listen, then check out something else. Music has been scientifically proven to do everything from ease pain to cheer you up, plus listening to something other than your pessimistic thoughts can only do you good. 

Read one of these Tumblr blogs: Tumblr is a treasure trove of ridiculousness, which is perfect for when you need a quick pick-me-up. A few favorites: 

Did you check them out yet? 'Nuff said. 

Play a round of Smarty Pins: The Google Maps trivia game "Smarty Pins" is one of those oxymoronic productive time-wasters. Time-waster in that it's an Internet game. Productive in that it actually uses your brain, tests your knowledge of history, pop culture, current events, and geography, and in so doing provides the perfect distraction from a blue spell. 

I hope those suggestions prove helpful the next time you're feeling down. And there's always this.