I'm making a list for real this time. It's not generic. It's made of thoughts and things that have legitimately cheered me up, and it'll probably do the same for you.
All the times I've caught myself singing in the car or in the shower, I've realised how un-miserable I felt. I find myself singing random tunes I play on my instruments, or some of the songs my mum plays in the car, and the most feel-good songs of all: all those super catchy well-known pop songs. Seriously. Singing just makes me feel freer. Even if you're in your room alone, feeling sad, and certainly not in the mood to sing, just do it. Trust me. You'll feel better immediately.
Here's something to start you off:
You had it all, the day you told me (told me) you want me.
I had it all, but let you fool me (fool me) completely.
Yeah I was so stupid to give you all my attention.
'cause the way you played me exposed your true intentions
AND ONE DAY-ay-ay-ay-ay I'LL HAVE YOU BEGGIN ON YOUR KNEES FOR ME...
And I don't just mean eat a random meal in the middle of breakfast and lunch. I mean go to a cafe with a friend or your mum or anyone and eat something delicious. The middle of the morning is the perfect time to catch some fresh air and talk about whatever the hell you want to talk about. For some reason there's this notion that people tend to have deep and meaningful conversations in the middle of the night, but I reckon they happen most in the middle of the morning. There's something intimate and happy about brunch. And you know, if the whole talking thing doesn't cheer you up, I can guarantee the food will.
WATCH AN EPISODE OF FRIENDS
They're just funny and so so endearing. It's not a chick flick which makes you feel lonely after, and it's not some genius action sci-fi thing that makes you think, and it's not a drama like Gossip Girl (which also works). It's a 20 minute sitcom that you have no excuse not to have time for. Watch the episodes HERE.
Think about what you're doing in the future, preferably near than far, but the far future works too I guess - it's just harder to hold on to - and identify what you're excited for. Whatever event it may be, it'll generally give you that ounce of motivation you needed, and put how happy your life is into context. And if you seriously can't find anything you're excited for, try thinking in a different state of mind. Either think of an event in a different, more positive light, or even identify something small in your day, such as the weekly activity you have on tomorrow, or whatever you're eating for lunch. And if you still can't find anything, then plan something!
RE-READ A BOOK YOU LOVED
Don't re-read something you don't feel like reading just for the sake of it though. Read something you haven't read in a while. Read something you barely remember but know you enjoyed. Read one of those no-brainer cute romances. Read something set in a world that's so completely different and strange. Escape to someone else's reality while you're not satisfied with your own. Try some books by THIS AUTHOR or MAYBE THIS ONE. And, to be immersed in a completely different world, if you haven't already read THIS SERIES, maybe you should.
EAT A LITTLE CHOCOLATE
It's Easter. They're on sale.
READ OR WATCH SOMETHING INSPIRING
By inspiring I mean something that makes you want to go on adventures; something that makes you think of the big wide world around you. It'll be something that makes all your sad emotions feel teeny tiny. Or maybe it makes your sad emotions feel suddenly relatable, like they're shared with everyone because you're most certainly not the only one. Try reading these one-liners HERE or watching THIS MOVIE.
DO SOME PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
My PE class forced me to go for a jog for the first time in months, and it felt amazing - even more so afterwards. The feeling of productivity, empowerment and freedom feels great, and somehow exerting your body and getting an adrenaline rush sends a signal to be in a good mood to your brain. I'm sure there's something scientific about that.
Doing a social sport also helps because as well as exerting yourself, you're also having some great conversations and taking a break from whatever it is you normally do with your day. If you're in severe need of something to break up your study schedule, take up a social sport, or even just go for a run, swim, bike-ride, pilates youtube video, anything.
SIT ON A BENCH AND PEOPLE-WATCH
I know it sounds cliche but it actually works. Sometimes all you have to do to be a little happier is forget about yourself and your self-absorbed little issues for a moment.
If you have one of those self-conscious issues, you'll get used to sitting there pretty quickly. People tend to be too afraid of you watching them to be concerned about what you're doing on the public bench you have every right to be sitting on.
Here's what I observed today:
Two men and an old lady walk into McDonalds, leaving their two adorable squash-faced dogs behind. The black one seems to have a thing for me and sits right next to my leg until one of the men comes out and coos the dog back to the pole it's meant to be sitting at. As soon as he leaves the dog comes back and plants himself right next to me.
A man rides his bike and keeps looking at the booster seat attached to his back to make sure his little girl, who is busy sucking on her chocolate gelato, hasn't fallen out.
"Don't look at me. Don't look at me. I'm stressed. I'm stressed." I imagine a woman thinking, as she tersely walks past with her head fixed down at her feet in front of her.
"OH MY GOD A DOG" a lady skirts away from the black dog who runs up to her and her daughters. "AWWWWW A DOG" her daughters think.
An older sister and a younger sister walk past. The younger sister starts kicking her legs up, and the older sister follows in sync.
The black dog plants himself on a man's bare feet as he walks out of the McDonalds. The man bends down to pat the dog while lighting his cigarette.
EAT SOME FRUIT
because if you feel like eating, you may as well start off healthy.