How To Turn Around A Bad Day

What To Do When You're Having A Bad Day

“‘Cause you had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around”

My sincerest apologies for getting that song stuck in your head.

“You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride”

Okay, okay, I’m done!

Bad days are just that. Bad. And the reason they’re bad days, versus bad mornings or afternoons, is because turning them around is hard. Sometimes, near impossible.

You have two choices, when faced with a terrible, horrible stretch that threatens to derail your entire day.
1) You can let it.
2) You can acknowledge it, reset, and move on to a not-terrible, not-great day.

3 Things To Do When You're Having A Bad Day

After too many days of choosing the former, I’ve figured out how to opt for the latter. And my husband, kid, parents, work wife, and anyone who comes in contact with me is thankful for it.

Here’s the play-by-play of how I go about it:


You know when you’re having a bad day. But how often do you come out and say it?

Probably never.

Vocalizing my feelings (something I learned in therapy), even if it’s just to myself, is a really key step when I need to shift my mood path.

“I feel like shit.”
“I’m having a crap day.”
“Nothing seems to be going right today.”

The best person to admit this to? A barista. I’ve gotten a much needed pep talk, extra shot of espresso, or a free cookie simply by telling the woman preparing my latte that my day has been awful.

The only rule. It has to be out loud.

Say it with me – “I’m having a bad day.” Breathe in. Breathe out.


These days, you’ll always find a golf ball in my bag.

This has nothing to do with my actual golf skills (which are negligible), but for an exercise I do anytime I feel like I’m overwhelmed or losing control.

I fire up a go-to happy song (Roses by The Chainsmokers or Africa by Toto), close my computer and turn my phone screen down, and gently toss the ball between my hands while taking deep breaths.

Left hand. Inhale. Right hand. Exhale. Again. And again. Once more.

I’ll do this for a minute or two (or until the song ends, for truly awful days). And it leaves me feeling more calm, balanced, and open.

Works like a charm. Every time. And yes, this was another gem from therapy.


Time to adult. As much as you don’t want to answer those e-mails-fold the laundry-pay the bills, you must.

But be kind. There are only a handful of hours left in the day, and you can end them how you want.

The latest Bachelorette and UnReal episodes with sushi and your favorite wine? Done.
Hot bath with the special bath oil and your most comfortable pajamas? Do it.
Going to bed at 7 pm? Go right ahead.

Give yourself something to look forward to for surviving the damn day. And then, get to work.

The day will be over before you know it.

What are your failproof tips for turning around a bad day? Share them below – because it’s just mean to keep them to yourself.

How to say no, start meditating, and unwind without turning on your TV.

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