12 Science-Backed Ways to Feel Better Every Day (2022)

Getting healthier is a marathon, not a sprint: It's the result of hundreds of little decisions that we make over the long haul—eating fruits and veggies every day, working out three times a week, and choosing chamomile tea over wine (most nights, anyway). But even the most zealous health nuts long for something quick and easy to feel good. To that end, here's a roundup of scientifically proven ways to boost your mental and physical wellness in less time than it takes to read this article.

01of 12

Smile, Especially if You Don't Feel Like It

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There's scientific evidence that smiling can help the body and mind recover from stress. In a 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers induced stress in 170 students by asking them to perform a dexterity test and then plunge a hand into ice water. When the subjects were made to smile during these tasks, their heart rates returned to normal levels more quickly after they recovered from the stress. They were also better at maintaining positive feelings during the plunge than were those who held neutral expressions.

Moreover, scientists observed an even greater drop in heart rate when students broke into a "Duchenne smile" (the type that engages the eyes and the mouth). "Smiling can jump-start the process of happiness," says Jeff Brown, MD, a Harvard psychologist and the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive for Great Health ($9.95, amazon.com). "When you smile, you trigger a psychological and neurobiological alignment with positive emotions."

02of 12

Take a Real Lunch Break

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This tip is two-fold. In general, taking a break in the middle of the day—whether you're working at your office computer or (finally) purging and organizing the garage—increases mood and productivity. Beyond that, taking breaks to refuel with a healthy meal or snack has myriad reported benefits, both immediate and long-lasting. A recent survey conducted by global workplace hygiene brand Tork found that workers who take daily lunch breaks (away from their desks) report higher job satisfaction, willingness to continue working at their company, and a greater likelihood to recommend their employer.

"Refueling with food is the main reason we stop in the middle of the day, and it's important to step away from your desk to do this," says Regina Ragone, MS, RD. Getting away from your desk and to-dos, even just for 20 minutes, can improve your mood, creativity, and energy levels.

But it also matters what you eat: Your body needs nutrients from whole foods and wholesome, well-balanced snacks. Ragone recommends a balanced meal that is 50 percent veggies, 25 percent lean protein, and 25 percent whole grains (bonus if you can sneak in some healthy fats, like avocado or olive oil).

03of 12

Turn Your Commute Into "You" Time

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A commute longer than 22 minutes each way may have a negative impact on your well-being, according to a study in The Scandinavian Journal of Economics. But there are ways you can mitigate those adverse effects without moving. If you're brave enough, try cutting back on coffee, since caffeine can worsen stress and increase anxiety, suggests Andrew Weil, MD, the author of Spontaneous Happiness. Also consider using the commute time as a mini-break. Find a good podcast, focus on your breathing, or listen to your feel-good playlist.

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04of 12

Get Some "Microexercise"

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"Studies show that everything from cognition to the lymphatic system improves if we are more consistently active throughout the day," says David Agus, MD, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. "Our bodies were designed to move. Yet we've designed our world to have everything within arm's reach."

That means you need to take every chance you get to add extra activity into your day. In fact, research published in the American Journal of Health Promotion suggests that short periods of activity really add up. When researchers analyzed data from more than 6,000 adults, ages 18 to 85, they found that those who got short bouts of exercise (between one and 10 minutes) through everyday activities experienced the same benefits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol, as did those who continuously exercised for 30 minutes.

05of 12

Snack on Dark Chocolate

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In addition to its other documented health benefits, dark chocolate may help sharpen the mind. When participants in a study at Northumbria University in England were given a drink containing high levels of cocoa flavanols (a type of antioxidant in chocolate), they performed significantly better on a math task than they did after having a placebo drink. Why? Researchers say that it's possible that flavanols help improve blood flow to the brain.

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Even better, chocolate may help take the edge off stress. When Swiss researchers asked stressed-out people to eat 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate each day, the researchers found that after two weeks, the subjects had lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines.

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06of 12

Use "If...Then…" Statements to Stay Positive

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Just two syllables—if and then—can help you keep it together, even when your sister pushes your buttons or your boss is frustrating you. According to research from the University of Winnipeg, in Manitoba, reframing thoughts about a situation with "if" and "then" statements may help you manage fear, sadness, fatigue, self-doubt, or even disgust.

Try this: Think of a challenge you're facing. That's your "if" clause (example: "If I'm under the gun on a deadline…"). Then decide what kind of positive response you would like to have. That's your "then" clause ("…then I will keep a cool head"). Put them together, and that's what you should say to yourself to make stressful circumstances seem more manageable. It's the perfect formula to create your own mantra.

07of 12

Have Perspective on Social Media

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You love your friends—but maybe just a little less when they're cruising the Adriatic without you. Researchers at the IE Business School in Madrid found that social media can make you feel bad about yourself, even if you're not conscious of it.

People in the study who had large friend networks tended to evaluate their lives more negatively right after they spent time on social media, as opposed to people who hadn't recently logged on. "It's natural to compare our lives with those of others, but people tend to post disproportionately positive updates and neglect the not-so-glamorous aspects of their lives," says study leader Dilney Goncalves, PhD, an associate professor of marketing at IE Business School.

Also, the more friends you have, the more of those impossibly perfect updates you'll probably see. So as a reality check, tell yourself that everyone has problems and that you may be overestimating how happy other people truly are. Goncalves says that this simple reminder can help eliminate the negative effects that social media may have on life satisfaction.

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08of 12

Eat Strawberries and Blueberries

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Snacking on a mix of strawberries and blueberries may lower your risk of a heart attack. In a study published in the journal Circulation, researchers found that women between the ages of 25 and 42 who ate three or more servings a week reduced their risk of the number one killer by 32 percent, compared with women who ate them once a month or less. Here's another reason to smile: Strawberries may make your teeth whiter. They contain malic acid, which acts as a natural astringent, removing surface stains from teeth and lightening mild discoloration.

09of 12

Take a Walk Outside

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A walk outside is more than just exercise: Research from the University of Michigan has found that being in nature can improve cognitive function. In one study, an hour-long trek in a woody park improved subjects' performances on memory and attention tests by as much as 20 percent, compared with a walk in an urban environment. Furthermore, some Japanese research shows that a day spent in the forest can improve immune function and decrease concentrations of adrenaline and cortisol for as long as a week.

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10of 12

Relax in a Magnesium Bath

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Take a bath with Epsom salts. They're rich in magnesium, the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and a natural muscle relaxant, says Mark Hyman, MD, founder of the UltraWellness Center. Magnesium also seems to have a soothing effect on the nervous system; studies indicate that the mineral can help lower anxiety and improve sleep. Hyman's formula: Put 10 drops of lavender oil (also shown to help promote a state of calm) in 2 cups of Epsom salts. Add to warm water and soak in it for 20 minutes.

11of 12

Stop Looking at Screens an Hour Before Bed

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Curling up with a book on your tablet is the perfect way to end a busy day, right? Not if you want to sleep well, experts warn. The short wavelengths of light emitted by electronics can help suppress melatonin, the hormone that signals your body that it's night and time to sleep. "An hour or two before going to bed, switch off all electronic devices," says Frank Lipman, MD, the founder and the director of the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, in New York City.

It's possible that the closer you hold a device to your face, the more likely it is that the emitted light can interfere with your sleep, which is why tablets may be especially disruptive. And research published in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics found that spending two hours or more in front of a backlit display can suppress melatonin production. What to do with the time after you unplug? Take a bath, read a (real) book, write in a journal, meditate, do light stretches—anything but scroll social media.

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Eat Smart to Avoid Migraines

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Watching what you eat could diminish your risk of a migraine, says Keri Gans, RD, the author of The Small Change Diet. "Many people know that aged cheeses and red wines trigger migraines," Gans says. "But the substances in some fruits—tyramine in citrus and tannin in red-skinned apples—can also trigger them." You don't have to go fruit-free. Just stick to those outside the citrus family, and consider staying away from cranberries, persimmons, and mangoes, which also contain tannins. Or at least don't eat them until they're ripe. "The more fruit ripens, the lower the tannin levels become," Gans says.

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FAQs

What can I do everyday to feel better? ›

11 Ways to Feel Better Every Day
  • Seek mental health care. This is at the top of the list for a reason. ...
  • Sleep enough. Most of us spend one-quarter to one-third of our lives asleep. ...
  • Eat plenty of fiber. ...
  • Go outside. ...
  • Exercise. ...
  • Do something creative. ...
  • Practice a little escapism. ...
  • Help someone.
Nov 27, 2020

What is the biggest thing you can do to feel better about your body? ›

Exercise regularly.

Again, being all-around healthy is a crucial step in feeling good on the inside and outside. Find an exercise you enjoy and do it as regularly as you can. You don't need to become a fitness goddess. Just exercise at your own pace and on your own terms.

How can I make my body feel healthy? ›

22 Simple Ways to Get Healthier With Minimal Effort
  1. Fill Half of Your Plate With Non-Starchy Vegetables. ...
  2. Eat From a Smaller Plate and Bowl. ...
  3. Swap Refined Carbs for Whole, Unprocessed Carbs. ...
  4. Add Some Fruit to Your Morning Oats. ...
  5. Eat Fatty Fish Often. ...
  6. Consider Certain Supplements. ...
  7. Drink Green Tea. ...
  8. Have Your Coffee Black.
Oct 2, 2017

How can I increase my mood and energy? ›

Winter blues? 6 ways to improve mood and energy
  1. Eat a healthy diet. Feeling blue can make you desire foods high in fat, carbohydrates and sugar. ...
  2. Get regular exercise. ...
  3. Try sun therapy. ...
  4. Increase social interactions. ...
  5. Get enough sleep. ...
  6. Practice relaxation techniques.

How can I boost my mood naturally? ›

Combine sunshine, exercise, and social connections. Go for a 30-minute walk each day with a pet or a supportive relative or friend. Try yoga, meditation, or another relaxation technique to help you de-stress and improve your mood. Time away in nature, like watch- ing a sunset, may help too.

What is the healthiest lifestyle? ›

Here are 10 steps that will help you have the longest, healthiest life possible:
  • Don't smoke.
  • Be physically active every day.
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, and fruits. ...
  • Be sure to get enough vitamin D and calcium.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and body shape.
  • Challenge your mind.
Jan 11, 2012

How get a healthy body in a week? ›

8 tips to feel healthier in one week
  1. 1 DO: Drink lots of water. ...
  2. 2 DON'T: Go on a juice cleanse. ...
  3. 3 DO: Cut back on sodium. ...
  4. 4 DON'T: Start banning foods. ...
  5. 5 DO: Fill up with fibre. ...
  6. 6 DON'T: Rely on powders and pills. ...
  7. 7 DON'T: Focus exclusively on calories. ...
  8. 8 DO: Think positive.
Aug 7, 2017

What are the six basic rules for good health? ›

The 6 Core Pillars for a Healthy Life
  • Medical. It's important to establish and maintain a relationship with a primary care provider who will partner with you to help you understand your specific medical risks and assess your general state of health. ...
  • Fitness. ...
  • Sleep. ...
  • Nutrition. ...
  • Mindfulness. ...
  • Social Wellness.
Oct 24, 2017

What should you do everyday? ›

10 Things to Do Every Day to Help You Live to 100, According to...
  1. Carry a water bottle everywhere. ...
  2. Practice the 80% rule. ...
  3. Snack on nuts. ...
  4. Eat beans daily. ...
  5. Walk when you run errands. ...
  6. Limit meat to once per week. ...
  7. Schedule in social time. ...
  8. Make time for hobbies.
Jan 10, 2022

Why do I not feel good everyday? ›

A person might feel sick continuously for a few days, weeks, or months due to a lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, or a poor diet. In other cases, there may be an underlying medical disorder.

What Vitamin gives most energy? ›

The majority of research indicates that vitamin B is the most powerful vitamin for energy. The energy-boosting properties of B vitamins are frequently found in various energy drinks and supplements. Vitamins work to help your body maintain its energy levels, particularly brain function and alertness.

What is the vitamin that makes you happy? ›

Vitamin B12

“B12 is essential for optimising our mood and mental performance, because it's essential for the production of serotonin,” says dietician Sophie Medlin. She explains that serotonin is our 'happy' hormone; the neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of wellbeing in our brain.

What is the best vitamin for tiredness? ›

The 5 Best Vitamins for Energy & Tiredness
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) ...
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) ...
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) ...
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) ...
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Does vitamin B12 improve mood? ›

Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating mood. Vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people with an existing deficiency.

What drugs improve mood? ›

Lithium, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics are the three main types of drug which are used as mood stabilisers.
...
Anticonvulsants which are used as mood stabilisers include:
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)
  • valproate (Depakote, Epilim).

What increases serotonin and dopamine? ›

Dopamine also affects the muscles, and low levels can cause tremors and difficulties with coordination. Serotonin and dopamine levels can be boosted with medications, and with lifestyle habits, such as getting more sunlight, exercising regularly, and following a healthy diet.

What foods make you live longer? ›

A heart-healthy diet is one that includes:
  • Fruits and vegetables.
  • Whole grains.
  • Low-fat dairy products like yogurt and cheese.
  • Skinless poultry.
  • Lots of fish.
  • Nuts and beans.
  • Non-tropical vegetable oils (olive, corn, peanut, and safflower oils)
Apr 27, 2022

Who is the healthiest person in the world? ›

Charles Eugster, 96, a world champion sprinter, bodybuilder and rower, gives his diet, fitness and wellness tips for staying in shape as you age.

What are good mental habits? ›

Gratitude is an amazing way to have a positive mindset when life is getting you down. Set some time aside each day to think about the positives in your life, and write them down so you can refer back to them. Having a positive outlook on life, even in your darkest moments, can help your mental health immensely.

What 3 foods Can you survive on? ›

Black (turtle), red (kidney), pinto and soy top many nutritionists' lists of so-called superfoods. This will probably be your best source of calcium and iron on the island. Beans are a versatile island food, too, for once dried the keep for a long time.

What is the best thing for humans to drink? ›

Water is the best choice for quenching your thirst. Coffee and tea, without added sweeteners, are healthy choices, too. Some beverages should be limited or consumed in moderation, including fruit juice, milk, and those made with low-calorie sweeteners, like diet drinks.

What food should I eat everyday? ›

Here are the top 15 foods you should be eating according to our experts:
  • Fish. ...
  • Broccoli or any of the cruciferous vegetables. ...
  • Beets. ...
  • Spinach and other leafy green vegetables. ...
  • Kale. ...
  • Peanut butter. ...
  • Almonds. ...
  • Mangos.
Apr 5, 2019

Is it too late to fix my health? ›

Even though it's better to form healthier habits early, as the research study and patient story shows, it's never too late to make dietary changes that can lead to a healthier life.

What are 10 tips for a healthy lifestyle? ›

Here are 20 practical health tips to help you start off towards healthy living in 2020.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Consume less salt and sugar.
  • Reduce intake of harmful fats.
  • Avoid harmful use of alcohol.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Be active.
  • Check your blood pressure regularly.
  • Get tested.
Dec 31, 2019

How do I start living a clean life? ›

10 ways to stay healthy are:
  1. Eat more whole foods.
  2. Use non toxic products.
  3. Stretch and foam roll.
  4. Drink more water.
  5. Eat out less.
  6. Clean and organize your home.
  7. Sweat several times per week.
  8. Source better quality food.
Oct 11, 2021

How do you clean a lifestyle? ›

Limiting snacks, sweets, and packaged processed foods.
  1. Limit or eliminate preservatives and additives.
  2. Remove foods with added sugars.
  3. Avoid fast food.
  4. Replace foods with high levels of bad fats (all trans/some saturated) with monounsaturated like olive oils.
  5. Use more refined grains and avid process sugars.
Jun 16, 2022

What is the first requirement for a good health? ›

Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest all contribute to good health. People receive medical treatment to maintain the balance, when necessary. Physical well-being involves pursuing a healthful lifestyle to decrease the risk of disease.

Is walking daily necessary? ›

Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life. For example, regular brisk walking can help you: Maintain a healthy weight and lose body fat. Prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

What do you do at home everyday? ›

Every Day | Activities At Home | English Conversation Practice | ESL.

How can I live healthy in the morning? ›

Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine
  1. Get Ready for a Great Morning. 1/10. The secret to a calmer morning starts with a little prep work the night before. ...
  2. Write Reminders. 2/10. ...
  3. Wake Up Less Alarmed. 3/10. ...
  4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast. 4/10. ...
  5. Brush Your Teeth … Mindfully. ...
  6. Try Meditation. 6/10. ...
  7. Get Some Exercise. 7/10. ...
  8. Stretch It Out. 8/10.
Jan 11, 2022

What can I do to be happy again? ›

14 Tips for Finding Happiness Again
  1. Consider therapy. ...
  2. Start or return to a hobby. ...
  3. Ditch (or time limit) your social media intake. ...
  4. Journal. ...
  5. Meditate. ...
  6. Spend time with happy people. ...
  7. Say goodbye to unhealthy people in your life. ...
  8. Do what you love.
Apr 26, 2022

Why do I constantly feel sick and tired? ›

Fatigue and nausea are common symptoms that often occur together. In some cases, these symptoms may develop as a result of lifestyle factors, such as poor sleep or diet, or lack of exercise. In other cases, they may signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.

Why am I getting sick all the time? ›

It is possible to get sick regularly when the immune system is not functioning correctly. The reason for this is that the body is unable to fight off germs, such as bacteria, properly. If an infection occurs, it can take longer than usual to recover.

Why do I not feel good everyday? ›

A person might feel sick continuously for a few days, weeks, or months due to a lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, or a poor diet. In other cases, there may be an underlying medical disorder.

What are good daily habits? ›

Invest in self-care.

Taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mood, mental health, and self-esteem. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel good. Listen to music, learn a new skill, take a long bubble bath, or prepare a nice meal. Whatever floats your boat!

What can I do to be happy again? ›

14 Tips for Finding Happiness Again
  1. Consider therapy. ...
  2. Start or return to a hobby. ...
  3. Ditch (or time limit) your social media intake. ...
  4. Journal. ...
  5. Meditate. ...
  6. Spend time with happy people. ...
  7. Say goodbye to unhealthy people in your life. ...
  8. Do what you love.
Apr 26, 2022

Why do I constantly feel sick and tired? ›

Fatigue and nausea are common symptoms that often occur together. In some cases, these symptoms may develop as a result of lifestyle factors, such as poor sleep or diet, or lack of exercise. In other cases, they may signal an underlying medical condition that requires treatment.

Why am I getting sick all the time? ›

It is possible to get sick regularly when the immune system is not functioning correctly. The reason for this is that the body is unable to fight off germs, such as bacteria, properly. If an infection occurs, it can take longer than usual to recover.

What is the healthiest morning routine? ›

Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine
  • Get Ready for a Great Morning. 1/10. The secret to a calmer morning starts with a little prep work the night before. ...
  • Write Reminders. 2/10. ...
  • Wake Up Less Alarmed. 3/10. ...
  • Eat a Healthy Breakfast. 4/10. ...
  • Brush Your Teeth … Mindfully. ...
  • Try Meditation. 6/10. ...
  • Get Some Exercise. 7/10. ...
  • Stretch It Out. 8/10.
Jan 11, 2022

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