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The Daily

Your daily pick-me-up, conveniently wrapped in 50 words or less. Why? ‘Cause we…

Jan 11, 2024

(Watch a) Show, Then TellWhen you're trying to tell someone you're struggling but can't seem to explain it, use a pop culture ref. Maybe you feel like you're being gaslit like Bronte from Married at First Sight Australia. Or maybe you're always exploding like The Bear's Richie. Seriously: This works!

Jan 5, 2024

Make Affirmations CoolNeed a lil' pick-me-up each morning—but find affirmations sorta cringey? Do what mental health advocate and beauty influencer Christina Grasso does: Write a message on your mirror in lipstick (red, 'natch). Do it at night, and wake up to a positive-but-not-too-earnest pep talk to yourself.

Dec 29, 2023

Don’t Rush ResolutionsMost resolutions stories will tell you it takes just 21 days to form a new habit. "Not good science," a top researcher tells us. To get into a full groove, it'll be more like two to three months, so don't beat yourself up when something doesn't stick immediately.

Dec 15, 2023

Dim Decision FatigueHaving a few go-tos in your closet can streamline mornings for people with ADHD (or anybody who just can't with another decision). A single bag that works with pretty much anything, or shoes you can dress up or down (hello, white high-top Vans!), make outfitting easier.

Nov 5, 2023

Request Work Changes (Gently)Need accommodations to get your job done? Don't come in all riled up. Know exactly what you're going to ask for, and explain how the changes will help your work performance. This makes it a win-win for all, including your boss.

Oct 24, 2023

Tub It UpBut not just tonight—on the regular. A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that—compared to showering—bathing by tub for two weeks led to significantly less stress, fatigue, anger, and anxiety. Just 10 minutes a soak!

Oct 10, 2023

Control the FlamesEmotionally reactive…who, you? Next time you're about to explode, don't speak. Instead, breathe in deeply, then exhale twice as slowly. Or leave the room for a minute (tell the other person you'll be back, obvi). These calm-down moves can be true relationship-savers.

Oct 9, 2023

Fizzle the GuiltYou've apologized, made amends, but still feel like the worst person in history. Practicing self-forgiveness can sound woo-woo, but repeating a mantra when guilt bubbles over can legit help. Try: “I forgive myself for my past decisions and actions" or "I am capable of healing."

Oct 5, 2023

Jump to LullWhen you feel overwhelmed, you may just want to crawl under the covers. We approve. But a burst of intense exercise also can chill you out. Doing jumping jacks for a few minutes helps move the physiological switch to the "less" side of stress.

Aug 15, 2023

Flip the ScriptWhen you're upset and someone says "other people have it worse," tell them that other people also have it better—does that mean you should never be happy because others are happier? Ooh. Burn.

Jul 26, 2023

Talk IRLWhen you need help, give it the 'ol face-to-face try. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that people tend to get what they want more with an in-person ask than an email. Why? Trust and empathy come through better when you see (vs read) someone.

Jun 1, 2023

Get SlimeyA sparkly vat of slime as therapy dupe? Yes indeedy. Squeezing the goo can help lower tension, or use it to keep hands busy when you need a focus tool for concentration.

May 8, 2023

Tap Into EnergyLike, literally. Singer/songwriter MILCK uses certain movements and stretches to ground or balance her. She recommends using your fingers to tap under your collarbone for a quick energy boost.

Mar 28, 2023

Smother StressIf you don't get the hype around weighted blankets, you might be using one that's too light. One study found a significant reduction in anxiety with 30-pounders. But it really comes down to proportion: Experts say to choose one that's about 10 percent of your body weight.

Feb 24, 2023

Just To-Do ItBefore bed, take five minutes to write down tomorrow's to-dos, and be specific. People who did this fell asleep significantly faster, per a study, than those who journaled about stuff they'd already completed. Lack of sleep can lead to worse mental health, so get hay'ing.

Feb 2, 2023

Find Your Comfort SeriesPoet and mental health advocate Brianna Pastor watches a lot of Friends. And not just 'cause it's funny. During hard times, Pastor recommends "having your comfort TV show or movie on in the background of whatever you’re doing. Background noise makes me feel less lonely in the moment."

Jan 25, 2023

Embrace the ColdGetting the chills isn't usually a good thing. But when you're experiencing anxiety that seems to be heading toward panic, cold can help regulate your system. Washing your hands with cold water, or running an ice cube over them, can lower your heart rate and calm you down.

Jan 20, 2023

Write It Down, Let It GoIf dictating every detail of your future was as easy as making a Pinterest board, we'd all live in heaven on Earth. IRL, a need for control can cause anxiety. Journaling calms nerves, helping you think clearer and lessening must-be-in-charge fears.

Jan 12, 2023

Elbows Down, Calm Up!Quick way to get out of a stress spiral: Do a plank for 60 seconds. "It's grounding and instantly burns off nervous energy," says Lori Davis, Psy.D., clinical instructor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

Jan 9, 2023

Don’t Like It? Report ItSocial media is a minefield, but when you see triggering posts or ads, you don't have to just grin and swipe it. On many platforms, you can click "I don't want to see this again." And if you think the content is actually promoting some type of anti-mental-health messaging, you can also report it.

Jan 3, 2023

Set Intentions, Not ResolutionsThis immediately nixes the GD pressure! (Ain't nobody need that.) Intentions align with your values, whereas resolutions are typically more dogmatic and directive. When you focus on how they can add to, not eliminate from, your life, research shows you'll likely be more successful. Be gentle, little ones!

Dec 19, 2022

Get Excited to Get CalmBall of nerves over there? In one study, people who told themselves "I am excited" before anxiety-inducing activities were more relaxed and confident than those who said "I am calm." Thinking of anxiety as excitement may be less stressful than purposely trying to destress.

Dec 7, 2022

Lift Weights, Lift MoodStrength training significantly reduces depressive symptoms, per Jama Psychiatry. (Doesn't matter how often or how much.) One theory: Weights require focus. Mindfulness by lifting? Ooh.

Nov 29, 2022

Shower Your Way SleepySwitch your morning showe-showe to evening, and you might just fall asleep faster. A warm, 10-minute shower or bath, an hour or two before bed, got people snoozing quicker, per a study review published in Sleep Medicine Reviews. Plus, better-quality ZZZs!

Nov 9, 2022

Scare Away AnxietyWatch The Watcher, feel calmer? Sounds counterintuitive, but studies suggest that horror movies can be cathartic, and that scaring yourself in safe place—when the shark (or The Watcher!) isn't really going to get you—can serve as a coping mechanism.

Nov 7, 2022

Soothe Eco-AngstIf you've got climate anxiety, one of the best things to do is feel like you're doing something. One quick tip: Turn your thermostat down 7°-10°F in the winter for eight hours a day—this conserves energy and can slash your bill by up to 10 percent.

Oct 26, 2022

Take a BreakSocial media got your mood in the crapper? Even a one-week hiatus can have a significant reduction in anxiety and depression, a study found. If you can't quit 'em all, try the elimination method: Avoid one platform at a time and evaluate the effects.

Oct 25, 2022

Declutter to DestressCrap in the house takes a crap in your mind: According to UCLA, clutter can increase cortisol (the stress hormone) and decrease self-esteem. Quick win: Clean up your foyer or living room first—research shows people feel less anxious when they enter a clean home.

Oct 24, 2022

Make a MoveOn the dance floor—or rather, off of it. "Free-moving dance," also called conscious dance—where you're mindful but your moves are unchoreographed—can boost mental health in people with depression and anxiety, per a study in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.

Oct 20, 2022

Journal in a SentenceYou needn't go all manifesto on your worries. Writer Akanksha Bhatia pens one-sentence notes to her anxiety that she posts on IG. "I talk about the little things that…make us feel horrible about having anxiety. I use it as a way to vent at the end of the day."

Oct 19, 2022

Make Eyes FastOh, those days when you feel too sluggo to do up your makeup but you've got to look pulled-together for work or whatever. Cue roll-up cream shadow sticks that you can essentially just scribble over lids, no blending, and be done.

Oct 18, 2022

Swap ThoughtsEverything’s going to suck. I won't be able to handle it. When anxiety takes over, your thoughts can go to extremes. Try this cognitive behavioral therapy technique: Acknowledge that the sitch may be tough, but also that you've got skillz: This might be hard, but I've made it through hard times before.

Oct 17, 2022

Cry, BabyFor mental health author Achea R. Redd, self-care can be a massage—but it's also "having a good cry when you are sad," she says. "True self-care is attuning to what you or your body needs in the moment." When the tears come, let them.

Oct 14, 2022

Color It In
If coloring-as-stress-relief intrigues you—but not so much actually busting out a box of Crayolas—do as self-help author Achea R. Redd, who has anxiety, does: "I color almost every day on my phone using a coloring app called Happy Color."

Oct 13, 2022

Dish Out CalmDish-washing as relaxation? Yup—if you do so with intention. Per a study in Mindfulness, focusing on the soap smell, warm water, and tactile feel of the dishes decreases nervousness. Scrub-a-dub-ahhh…

Oct 12, 2022

Ease Into SleepUp at night but stressed by the idea of overhauling your entire p.m. routine? That pressure itself can make it harder to get the Zzzs you need. A better way: Do just one new thing for a week, like going to bed at the same time every night, and see if it makes a difference. Build from there.

Oct 11, 2022

Don’t Break StrideNo wonder '80s hit “Break My Stride” is all over YouTube: “The words always lift my spirits," says actress Tina Majorino. "Playing it while driving, singing at the top of my lungs, reminds me not to let anything stop me from having a moment of joy.”

Oct 10, 2022

Take NoticeMeditation not your jam? Try 10- to 30-second "mindfulness bursts" throughout the day. Stop what you're doing and simply focus on a sight or sound around you—this purposeful concentration can help ease stress or halt hamster-wheel thoughts.

Oct 6, 2022

Steal Your Kid’s StuffieWhat am I doing with my life? What's the point of my job? What's the meaning of EVERYTHING? Got existential fears? (We do!) Grab a teddy bear. A series of studies in Psychological Science confirms a teddy cuddle can soothe this anxiety.

Oct 5, 2022

Bond with FishHead to the pet store and gaze at an aquarium. Watching tanks with more fish can boost your mood, per a study in Environment & Behavior. As one of the authors put it: "In times of…crowded urban living, perhaps aquariums can…provide an oasis of calm."  

Oct 3, 2022

Pop ItBusting up a sheet of bubble wrap relieves stress. Per a study in Psychological Reports, people felt significantly calmer and more energized after popping sealed-air capsules. After all, bubble wrap is the OG fidget tool.

Oct 2, 2022

Think in ThirdFeelings matter, but sometimes they don’t represent reality—in a way that can be not great mentally. How to be objective? Considering stressful events in the third, versus first, person, reduces anxiety, per a study.

Oct 1, 2022

Give It a ReadBibliotherapy, a.k.a. therapeutic reading, soothes the psyche. Research from the University of Sussex found that, compared to a bunch of relaxation methods— music, drinking tea, taking a walk—reading was tops at stress-reduction. In just six minutes, it slowed heart rate and eased muscle tension.

Sep 30, 2022

Listen to MomThis obvs only works if you've got a good relationship, but per one study, hearing mom's voice can dose your brain with feel-good hormone oxytocin. Mental reco: Record Mom saying something nice so it's at the ready when the overwhelm hits.

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