4 Things to Buy on Amazon to Boost Your Mood

4 Things to Buy on Amazon to Boost Your Mood

4 Things to Buy on Amazon to Boost Your Mood

Invest in your mental health with these simple products that can help you feel calmer, more relaxed, and happier.

Why happiness is important to overall health

There is no universal definition of happiness. Everyone has their own happy place, and for some, “happy” can simply mean feeling calmer. The general psychological consensus about happiness is that it is about the high quality of life and satisfaction with your current lifestyle.

“I define happiness like most researchers do,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and author of The How of Happiness. “It has two components: experiencing positive emotions — joy, calm, pride, affection — and feeling that your life is good, or satisfaction with life in general.”

That doesn’t mean life has to be perfect or 100 percent Instagrammable to be considered happy. It also doesn’t mean that happiness is a goal: you can’t arrive and just stay. Happiness requires consistent effort to maintain or improve on your current level, says Sherry Benton, PhD, the Golden, Colorado-based founder and chief science officer of TAO Connect, an online therapy resource. (Here are the happiness secrets psychologists wish they knew.)

While being happy isn’t always something you can control, people who report feeling happier tend to live longer, have stronger immune function, and eat more nutritious diets than other people.

Invest your money where you feel like it

The Beatles were right: money can’t buy love. Turns out it can’t buy you happiness either. (PS these best simple pleasures in life kindle joy.)

“One of the great things about working for your own happiness is that the work can be done for free,” says Heather Lyons, PhD, a licensed psychologist and owner of the Baltimore Therapy Group in Towson, Maryland. “Focusing on happiness and investing in the experience can be motivating.”

Not surprisingly, people who make more money tend to feel happier than other people — up to a point. According to a 2018 study published in nature of human behavior, people tend to experience diminishing happy returns above a certain level. (Somewhere around $105,000 for an average American family of four.) Just like with happiness, the way we think about, spend, and save money can affect how we feel as a result.

Still, setting aside extra funds for emergencies—if you can—can help provide peace of mind. Having the flexibility to save or allocate small funds to treat yourself to a few things can improve your mood, too. Consider these expert-recommended options to complement your self-care plan. (But first, check out eight happiness myths many of us believe are true.)

The 5 Minute Gratitude Journal

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A journal: The 5 Minute Gratitude Journal: Saying Thank You, Practicing Positivity, Finding Joy

$11

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In just four weeks, according to a study published in 2016, those who wrote thank-you letters to others as part of their overall psychotherapy treatment reported better mental health than their peers who had just received counseling Psychotherapy Research.

And a 2018 study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that youth who kept a gratitude journal were willing to donate about 60 percent more of their income to charity than those who did not keep a journal.

“If you express gratitude and try not to take things for granted, it can really be beneficial,” says Lyubomirsky. “It doesn’t mean that you ignore the bad sides, but consciously consider the good sides.”

Journaling promotes self-awareness, Lyons adds, which can be an investment in your personal self-reflection and awareness of the positive experiences in the moment. (How to start a journal.)

At the end of each day, try to write down three to five highlights or things you are grateful for. It might help lift your spirits – not just in the moment, but when you re-read it in challenging times. If you don’t like using pen and paper, you can also type on your phone or computer. (Even on those days, we recommend these 29 instant mood boosters.)


Felixmax Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Cushion

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A meditation cushion: FelizMax Zafu Buckwheat Meditation Cushion

$26 to $37

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Becoming more mindful — paying attention to moments as you experience them rather than dwelling on the past or getting upset about the future — will help increase your level of happiness both in the moment and at the end of the day, suggests a 2018 publication in the study before Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Practice being right here and now by making meditation a daily habit. Starting the morning with five minutes of breathing in bed also counts. Although not necessary, meditation cushions can make you more comfortable.

Another meditation tip from Lyons: use a meditation cushion or pillow to make seated reflections more comfortable and inviting.


Essential art therapy coloring book

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An art therapy or coloring book: Essential Art Therapy Exercises – Effective Techniques to Cope with Anxiety, Depression and PTSD

$17

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“Indulging in new activities like bicycling or baking, and making time to explore new interests can help increase happiness,” says Benton. “Find ways to play, laugh and have fun. Whether you’re trying out a new board game or watching a movie that makes you laugh, take the time to find the simple things that make you happy.”

One simple thing to try: grab a set of crayons or colored pencils to use in an adult coloring book. You’ll reduce your stress and increase in-the-moment relaxation by coloring, according to a study published in the Journal of Integrated Social Sciences in 2018.

Over time, this practice can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, a study found in Creativity Research Journal. Even doodling can help you feel happier.


Lime Basil Mandarin Stress Relief Scented Candle

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A scented candle: T&H Lime Basil Mandarin Stress Relief Aromatherapy Candle

$22

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The key to a happier mood might be hiding right under your nose. Research shows that freshly cut grass, rosemary, pine, citrus, and flowers are scents that can increase happiness levels. So smells that take you back to a cozy place, like the smell of grandma’s freshly baked Christmas cookies. (Here are the best non-toxic candles for cleaner indoor air.)

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