International Day of Happiness – How to turn it around when you are feeling down

Feeling down? We have all been there at one point or another, so you are not alone! As it is International Day of Happiness, in this article I will be discussing my top tips for bringing yourself up again when you are feeling low.


Overthinking can often cause negative thoughts and things making us sad to spiral out of control. Taking some time out to meditate can allow you to relieve yourself of bad thoughts, to relax, and to connect with your own wellbeing. If you are interested in led meditation, the university multi-faith chaplaincy runs a weekly mediation session, or you can find many sessions of varying length online. If you would like to explore different kinds of mediation check out my article on mindfulness-based strengths practice.

A woman sat with crossed legs on the edge of a bed. She has her hands turned upwards on her knees with her fingers out and thumb and forefinger touching. Her eyes are closed.

Call someone you love

When you are feeling down, talking to someone who cares about you can really raise your spirits. The people who love you are the ones who appreciate you for who you are, and they know the best ways to support you. Never feel bad about reaching out to your loved ones for support!

Celebrate your achievements no matter how big or small they are

When everything feels like it is going wrong, it is important to remember everything that has gone right. It could be something as simple as getting out of bed and going for a walk, or eating 3 meals that day. Lots of small victories that increase your happiness will help you to eventually win the war against sadness!

A woman holding an iPad in one hand with the other arm raised into a fist upwards. She is smiling. There is a yellow background.

Go to your happy place

Find somewhere that you truly feel relaxed and comfortable. This could be your local park for a walk, the library to read a good book, or even your bed for a nap. Having somewhere to go that takes you away from whatever is bringing you down or making you stress is a good way to not only distract your mind but help develop it too!


Research has shown that physical activity not only benefits physical health but mental health too! Regular exercise has been shown to relieve stress and boost your overall mood, so it is a great thing to turn to if you are feeling down. Find an activity that you enjoy, whether it is yoga, swimming, running, walking or a combination of them all. Doing this activity you enjoy regularly will give you something to look forward too when you are feeling down.

A woman playing football.

Take a break

Studies have shown a strong correlation between mood swings and lack of sleep. If you are feeling down, you might just need to take a break. Be it a 20-minute nap or a solid 8-hour sleep, giving your body the time it needs to recover can be a great way to clear your mind and improve your mood!

What support is there at the university?

It is always important to remember that no matter what you are feeling, be it positive or negative there is a wide range of services available from the university to support you. This includes support with general and mental wellbeing. More information on the support offered can be found here.

From everyone here at Student Life, happy International Day of Happiness 2021!

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