How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

9 Ways To Improve Your Mood And Feel Great Instantly

How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

Last Updated on November 11, 2021

Scrolling down your Instagram and you see your friends swimming at the beautiful beaches in Spain, visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris or sipping their cup of coffee at a cafe in Italy while you are still sitting at home dreaming about going to Europe, but think you can’t?

Think again, because the euro just hits a 20-month low, making it a perfect time for your Europe dream.

As an avid and frequent traveler, I’ve always loved Europe.

European know how to enjoy life and there’re a lot of amazing places to explore in Europe.

From the beautiful harbors in Southern France, to the incredible architecture in Spain, the amazing castles in Germany and the stunning alps in Switzerland and more; there’s just so much you can see there.

And not to mention the food there, just try to think about how persistent Italian are when it comes to the quality of food including the pasta, pizza and even just a cup of coffee.

Having studied in Madrid for half a year, I’d to suggest you some of the most affordable cities to visit in Europe. You really don’t need to spend a lot to have a memorable trip in Europe, here we go:

1. Seville, Spain

▲ Plaza de España

Seville is the birthplace of Flamenco and a day in this passionate city with a double-sized bed will cost you $30 on Airbnb.

Instead of paying to watch Flamenco dancing in the US or your hometown, watch it for free at bars the famous El Palacio Andaluz or La Carbonería at the birthplace of this hot and passionate dance. If you make it in time in April, you could also go to the festival ‘Feria de Abril’ in Seville to see the passion and hospitality of Spaniards.

Visit the Plaza de España, Metropol Parasol and Palace of San Telmo to enjoy the not-to-be-missed architecture in this cultural hub of southern Spain. Save your Sunday morning before 2:30pm to visit the Seville Cathedral because it is free!

Do not forget to try out all different kinds of tapas there! (And usually if you order a beer at the bar, you’ll get tapas for free!)

2. Porto, Portugal

▲ The port in Porto

Accommodations in Porto are affordable as most of them are priced locally. A decent double bedroom costs you less than $20.

Traveling in this second largest city in Portugal and a world heritage listed by the UNESCO in 1996, you will be able to explore the historical sides of the Europe by visiting the Porto Cathedrals, the beautifully painted São Bento Railway Station which inaugurated in 191 and the Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge that allow you to get the best views over Porto.

The awesome part is, they are all free. If you are up for some wine in this world’s top wine destination, pay $3USD to try their the local port wine.

3. Berlin, Germany

▲ Berlin Cathedral

While you might not believe, but it’s actually not expensive to travel in the capital of Germany.

A comfy two-person bedroom costs less than $25 on Airbnb and a dinner out in beer halls or average restaurants would be around $8-16.

Being one of the most multicultural cities, not only will you be able to experience the energetic vibes of the Berliners’, but also get to try out different kinds of food, be it kebab or currywurst can go as cheap as less than $3. If you are on a budget but still wanna drink, go to those beer halls or bars only in happy hours.

Berlin has many world-class museums which offer student discount for entry, so make sure you bring your student cards when visiting the museums the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The Berlin Wall is also a must-go spot — an important symbol of the German unification.

4. Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn is able to offer everything in a much lower price than you find in Western Europe. A double-sized bed costs $20 per day on Airbnb, double if near the old-town center and a budget dinner would cost around $7-14.

The Sõõrikukohvik Donut Cafe is the place to be for a budgeted meal with salads, pancakes, Estonian-styled donuts etc.

Instead of going to towers or hotels to enjoy the views of Tallinn, you can simply go up to the Toompea Hill and enjoy the beauty of Tallinn for free.

Remember to visit the world heritage – the Old Town of Tallinn, join a free tour there to get the most it.

5. Prague, Czech Republic

One should not be unfamiliar with the word – Prague when doing budgeted travel. Although the Czech currency has been rising over the years, you could still find cheap, decent and cozy double-bed bedroom for less than $20 per night on airbnb. And it would cost around $6-10 to dine out in Prague.

Make sure you go to see the huge Prague Castle which offer some free parts to enter, a short visit would cost you for only $10.

Also visit The Prague National Gallery which holds the country’s most treasured art pieces after 4pm because it would be cheaper. You might also want to try drinking inside a nuclear fallout center in Bunkr Parukarka.

6. Krakow, Poland

Krakow has a lower costs of living than those in Western Europe. Just Prague, Krakow is listed as the one of the best-valued destination in Europe in 2017.

Visit the known historical monument and world heritage – the Old Town where you can see the historical european monuments and churches showing you the classic Europe.

There are also free walking tours available daily leaving from the main square and one should visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camps for one to understand the painful memories of war for the Pole and the entrance fee is free.

7. Brussels, Belgium

You could get cozy accommodation for two in Brussels for $20 on Airbnb, and a dinner at an average restaurant would cost you from $9 to $17.

Do visit the oldest Musées Royaux Art et Histoire to see the most important art pieces in the world. The Grand Place and Palais de Justice are what you should see too if you’re fond on the European architecture. There are also free walking tours available on sites New Europe Tours.

Do try the locally-made Belgium chocolate at Leonidas too!

8. Granada, Spain

▲ Alhambra Palace

It would cost you $9-16 to dine out in Granada and you could easily find room for two to stay overnight for less than $20.

You must not miss the historical Alhambra Palace, a palace and fortress complex with Arabic architectural style. The tickets get sold out easily, so it’s better for you to book your tickets in advance, or you’ll have to queue for the tickets at the door very early in the morning.

Remember to visit the Cathedral of Granada as it is the second largest cathedral in Spain and the Royal Chapel to see the historical sides of Spain. They are all under $5.

Go dine at some local restaurants and bars that give you free tapas upon a beer order to save some money!

9. Split, Croatia

Splits in Croatia is known for its blue coastlines and beaches. The accommodations here are in good value, a room with sea views for two costs you less than $30 per day.

Visit the Campanile Bell Tower to walk up to the tower and enjoy the views of Split. Also visit the gallaries there the Meštrović Gallery and Gallery of Fine Arts for less than $5.

Dinner is ranged from $7-14, at a rather cheap price comparing with dining in the other parts of Europe. Make sure you get seafood from the local restaurants.

10. Naples, Italy

In one of the oldest continuos inhabited cities in the world, Naples has plenty of historical museums and architectures that are worth visiting.

Although you cannot get hotels or hostels as cheap as those in Eastern Europe, it is relatively cheap compared with the northern sides of Italy with less tan $20 for a day in a hostel and less than $40 for a three-started hotel with convenient transportations nearby.

Visit the National Museum of Capodimonte which opened in 1957 for some of the finest Italian paintings .

Food and drinks here are just the accommodation, reasonable and cheaper than in the cities in the south of Italy.

Now you are ready to go, time to pack your bag, buy your tickets and explore Europe!

Featured photo credit: Everaldo Coelho via


10 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Mood

How to Instantly Lift Your Mood

To say 2020 has been a hard year is the understatement of the decade, and we’re only about halfway through.

Countless people around the world are facing fear, uncertainty, disappointment, and loneliness on a daily basis, and it’s important to know that if you’re having these feelings, you are not alone.

On lower days, which can occur with or without a global pandemic, there are steps you can take to lift your spirits beyond just another glass of wine.

We’ve rounded up 10 science-backed ways to help improve your mood when you’re feeling down. Some of these tips and tricks can lead to an instant boost, but others will help with lessening feelings of stress and anxiety longer term. So let’s get happy!

1. Head outdoors

I think we can all agree that staying cooped up indoors all day can lead to feeling anxious and unhappy.

It comes as no surprise that a study by the University of Vermont found that those who lived in urban areas used happier words and were less negative on after a visit to a park than they were pre-visit.

If you’re feeling down, try to get some fresh air and sunshine, even if that just means sitting on your patio for a little while.

2. Walk the right way

Since you’re planning on going outside anyways, try going for a nice stroll. A walk in the park can provide a mental boost, but when you’re on your walk, make sure you walk in a positive manner.

Researchers found that walking as if you’re unhappy (slumped with little arm movement) can lead to experiencing a worse mood than if you walked in a happier style (upright and bouncing).

Fake it and you will make it!

3. Surround yourself with positive friends

It would be unfair to expect your friends to look on the bright side all the time, but when you’re feeling down, spending time with a friend who tends to be more positive can be helpful.

The University of Warwick found that you can pick up on the moods of your friends, and they can be somewhat contagious.

Give your friend who tends to look on the bright side a call next time you need to gain some new perspective.

4. Eat healthy

While sticking to a healthy diet has more benefits than we can outline here, one we’ll focus on is the impact healthy food can have on your mood. After analyzing data from nearly 46,000 people, Dr Joseph Firth found that a healthy diet can lead to an improved mood and reduced depression symptoms. So for dinner tonight, try reaching for anything full of vitamins and antioxidants!

5. Be a well wisher

Take a note from that glass-half-full friend we were talking about earlier and be a positive influence in someone else’s life. Researchers at Iowa State University found that instead of trying to make ourselves feel better, we should focus on trying to make others feel better.

They found that offering kindness to others can help reduce anxiety, improve happiness, and lead to stronger feelings of social connection. Send congratulatory cards when something good happens to a loved one, compliment a stranger’s shoes, or give a colleague a stellar recommendation on LinkedIn.

These acts take just minutes, or even seconds to complete, and may lead to everyone feeling a bit happier.

6. Move your body

We can thank Elle Woods for this insightful gem, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” Exercise is good for both your physical and mental health and can decrease feelings of tension, improve sleep, increase self-esteem, give a sense of control, and elevate your mood. That’s a lot of benefits for a quick run or gym session a few days a week!

7. Sleep On It

So this one is a bit of a Catch-22. Stress and anxiety can lead to insomnia, which in turn can cause feelings of depression and irritability.

But getting a good night’s sleep can help alleviate those feelings. As tempting as it may be to zone out in front of Netflix for a few hours after a rough day, try to hit the hay early.

That way, if you have trouble sleeping, you can hopefully squeeze in a few extra hours.

Source: Gian Cescon

8. Discover your passion

Remember hobbies? It feels they’re becoming less and less common, but that shouldn’t be the case. Hobbies can be fun, mentally stimulating, and lead to feeling accomplished, confident, and happier. So give one a try! Don’t know where to start? Here are 21 hobbies you can try at home today.

9. Find peace of mind

You’ve heard it before, but let’s talk about it once again: meditating has ample health benefits worth considering. Meditating, all of these suggestions, can’t eradicate the roots of stress, but it can help manage the effects stress and anxiety have on your body.

Finding a meditation practice that helps you focus your attention inward can lead to a state of deep relaxation, increased focus, and fewer nervous thoughts. It can take time to find the right fit, so don’t feel discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the hang of meditating.

At the very least, setting aside 10 minutes a day to meditate will force you to focus on your breathing, which is also beneficial!

10. Stimulate the senses

Aromatherapy is famous for its mood-impacting abilities, so why not load up your diffuser with a relaxing scent? Or you can keep a handy rollerball blend of oils in your purse or at your desk for when you need a quick boost. Similar to scent, sound can also be impactful. Researchers at the University of Missouri found that upbeat music can positively affect our wellbeing, so crank up your favorite happy tunes and let the music do its thing!


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