October 2021

Tools to Brighten Your Mood

Utilize a set of tools in a particular combination or in a specific order to create a helpful ritual that lifts your mood. Think about sensory experiences that would stimulate the eyes, ears, nose, taste buds, heart or skin, and even the time of day you will be utilizing these various elements.


Customized relief

I personally like to think of mood-specific habit forming as customized relief. While there are certain aspects of life that everyone ought to pay attention to, such as getting restful sleep, the options are endless when it comes to style and taste. These customizable elements that you bring into your daily routine will trigger a lighter mood because you know you like them and you chose for them to be there.

Make that special drink or snack that you like so much because mindfulness and confidence has led you to a particular taste. Maybe it’s a mint tea blend with lemon that brings you a lot of joy, or maybe it’s a pu-erh that serves as a great mid-day pick-me-up. Stock up on that element and make it a part of your routine in your day, as important as brushing your teeth or drinking water. 

Mood boosting rhythms shouldn’t be treated as extra or superfluous elements in one’s day. They are important, so treat them as such.



In her recent Master Class, episode “Working on Set” specifically, Natalie Portman describes how she uses a physical routine before she steps on set to work, which she says helps her focus, relax and engage the muscles she needs to perform. For Portman, excessive yawning in combination with some intentional breathing exercises does the trick.

If you search up simple vocal exercises, long sirens and staccato breaths are also commonly used tactics to warm up a singer’s throat and abdominal muscles.

Now, maybe these types up exercises don’t suit you or your lifestyle but the point is here to find and pick what will give you maximum benefit and can be done every day.




Building energy and letting it go at the right hour

Find lighting that shifts with the natural color temperature of the sun over the course of a day, or place an adjustable lightbulb into your most important light source. Utilizing bright light with a bluer spectrum in the morning encourages wakefulness, but warmer tones will help the body produce melatonin towards the end of the day when it is most important to start winding down.

In a study led by Harvard researchers, those participants whom used a light-emitting E-reader before bed took 10 minutes longer to fall asleep compared to those that settled down with a print book.[1][2] Now, this isn’t necessarily a recommendation to never use an electronic reading device, but it clearly shows that you might want to plan something else in between reading and going to sleep, or search for ways to cut down that blue light before trying to catch some Zs.

Maybe your thing is aromatherapy at night, but you’re on a budget? You can hit two birds with one stone since a scent might double as a moisturizing body oil.

What about music in the mornings? Find a pair of wireless headphones that you can use while making coffee or brushing your teeth.

What if you enjoy waking up peacefully and don’t want to rely on your phone for an alarm? There are special clocks that you can find that emit light, clocks that train you to wake yourself up, clocks that gradually increase the volume of a tune or ambient recording and even clocks that shake you awake or use scents.[3][4]


What isn’t there?!

Generally speaking, though, create that intentional routine with the whole day in mind because a crummy start may affect the day and trouble getting rest will certainly affect your next morning. Yet, a primed response to a particular taste, scent, color or action can always help you get back in the groove and lift your mood.

For more advice on how to guide your body and mind in order to bring on an immunity boost, check out more here.



[1] Biali Haas, Susan. “6 Ways That Night-Time Phone Use Destroys Your Sleep.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 17 Apr. 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prescriptions-life/201804/6-ways-night-t...

[2] Chang, Anne-Marie, et al. “Evening Use of Light-Emitting EReaders Negatively Affects Sleep, Circadian Timing, and next-Morning Alertness.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 112, no. 4, 22 Dec. 2014, pp. 1232–1237., doi:10.1073/pnas.1418490112. 

[3] Morrissy-Swan, Tomé. “The 6 Best Wake-up Light Alarm Clocks to Help You Rise and Shine.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 4 Feb. 2021, www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/mind/best-wake-up-light-alarm-clocks/. 

[4] Adelson, Karen Iorio. “What Are the Best Gentle-Wake Alarm Clocks?” The Strategist, Vox Media, 4 Sept. 2018, nymag.com/strategist/article/best-gentle-wake-alarm-clocks.html.