How to Cheer Up a Friend in a Bad Mood

Spending time in the sun can have mood-boosting abilities.
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Whether it is a school-related issue, problems at home or something else, your friend is in a bad mood today and is not his usual self. As his close friend, you probably want to do something to show your concern and help lift his spirits. Engage your friend in mood-boosting activities to give him the push he needs to hopefully get back in a positive mood again.

1 Let’s Get Some Sun!

Being outdoors may potentially improve your friend's bad mood. Sunlight and daylight can help produce feel-good chemicals in the brain, according to the "Psychology Today" article "Eight Secrets for Outwitting a Bad Mood" by Dr. Susan Biali. If it is a sunny day outside, you and your friend can take a stroll or cycle around your local park and enjoy the beautiful weather. Perhaps you can pack a picnic lunch for the two of you and sit under a tree with the sunlight peeking in. Or, head to the beach to soak up the sun -- just remember the sunscreen.

2 Dinner’s on Me

If you have culinary skills, put them to good use and surprise your friend with a home-cooked meal to lift his spirits. But, remember to stay away from junk foods. Sugary foods can trigger mood swings, while foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can be mood-boosting for the brain, according to Biali. Maybe you can prepare him a meal with salmon or eggs, which are both rich in omega-3 acids. Think a salmon salad sandwich or vegetable omelet. If you would rather not cook, find a local eatery with healthy mood-boosting foods as part of its menu and treat your friend.

3 Music for the Mood

Encourage your friend to listen to cheery sounds to combat her blues. Music can produce an increase in positive feelings such as happiness and pleasure, according to the "Psych Central" article "How Music Can Improve Your Mood" by life coach Joe Wilner. Perhaps you can compile a playlist of cheerful songs for your friend to listen to, such as "Hey Ya!" by Outkast or "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat Worm. Alternatively, if you are instrumentally or vocally skilled, you can sing or play her a few upbeat songs. Consider composing a one-of-a-kind song to really cheer her up and make her feel special.

4 Enlist Professional Help

Sometimes a friend's bad mood is due to an underlying cause, such as depression. Depression can bring on feelings of moodiness and can interfere with enjoying life, according to the "Teens Health" article "Why Am I in Such a Bad Mood?" reviewed by licensed child and adolescent psychologist D'Arcy Lyness. Since there may not be anything on your part you can do to cheer up your friend, you can refer him to a school therapist or counselor who will be better suited to assist him.

Wannikki Taylor is a professional writer with a Bachelors of Arts in journalism from Temple University. She serves as a children's columnist and covers family entertainment for several print and online publications. She specializes in games, crafts and party planning ideas for kids and their families.