Feeling a little low on energy or stuck in a mood rut?
Trust me, we’ve all been there.
But what if I told you there are simple, instant mood boosters that can turn that around in just 5 minutes?
No, this isn’t magic—it’s about harnessing the little things in life that bring us joy and energy.
I’ll share 16 of these boosters with you that are all doable in a matter of minutes and supported by science.
Ready to feel better, more vibrant, and more you? Let’s dive in!
1. Music Therapy: Your Instant Mood Lifter
Who doesn’t love a good tune? I certainly do. Let’s talk about how a simple, enjoyable thing like music can significantly boost your mood in no time at all. And when I say no time, I mean as quick as 5 minutes.
Ever had a moment when you felt down and then a favorite song of yours started playing and suddenly you felt your spirits lifting? That’s not a coincidence, my friends. Science has been studying the effects of music on our brains, and the results are fascinating. Music can change our mood.
According to a study by Nature Neuroscience, music stimulates the release of dopamine in our brains. Dopamine, often known as the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter, plays a vital role in the pleasure-reward system of our brains1. It’s like the universe’s little treat for us when we do something we enjoy.
So, how do you use music to improve your mood in 5 minutes? Here’s the beauty of it: There’s no right or wrong way. It’s all about what resonates with you personally. But let me give you some general pointers that can help.
👉First, choose the music that you love. It seems obvious, right? But you’d be surprised how often people underestimate the power of their favorite tunes. Is it a fast-paced pop song? A soulful melody? Or a high-energy rock anthem? Whatever it is, if it makes you happy, it’s doing the job.
👉Second, make a ‘feel-good’ playlist. Having an arsenal of uplifting songs at the ready can be a game changer. Next time you’re feeling low, hit play and let the music work its magic.
👉Finally, if possible, sing along or dance to the music. Now, I know this might sound a little silly, but trust me on this. Singing and dancing can further increase your endorphin levels and improve your mood2. And remember, no one’s judging your moves or your voice, so let loose and enjoy!
So, the next time you’re feeling down, remember that music is not just entertainment. It’s therapy, it’s medicine, and it’s right there at your fingertips. All you have to do is press play!
2. Deep Breathing Techniques: Your 5-Minute Tranquility Tonic
Now let’s talk a little about something we all do yet often overlook – breathing. I know, you’re probably thinking, “I breathe all the time; what’s the big deal?” But stick with me here. We’re not talking about any old kind of breathing. We’re talking about deep, controlled, mindful breathing. And this simple act can be your 5-minute mood booster.
It’s incredible how something as seemingly mundane as the way you breathe can have such a big impact on your mood. But it does, and there’s a boatload of science to back it up.
Research published in the Journal of Neurophysiology has shown that controlled, slow breathing can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, promote calmness and relaxation, and even improve attention3.
So, how does this work? Well, deep breathing activates your body’s relaxation response, which in turn decreases the production of harmful stress hormones like cortisol4. And fewer stress hormones mean a calmer, happier you.
Alright, so how do we tap into this superpower? Let me walk you through it. It’s really quite simple, and you can do it anywhere and anytime.
- Sit or lie down in a comfortable position: It’s important to be comfortable, so find what works for you.
- Close your eyes and try to clear your mind: Don’t worry if thoughts keep popping up. Just acknowledge them and then let them float away.
- Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose: Try to fill your belly with air, not just your chest. Aim for a count of 4.
- Hold that breath for a count of 4: This may feel a bit odd at first, but it’s an important part of the process.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 6: Try to get all the air out of your lungs. This slower exhalation stimulates relaxation.
- Repeat for at least 5 minutes: This is your time to unwind and let go of all that stress.
And that’s it! Easy, right? Give this a try next time you’re feeling down or overwhelmed. It’s amazing how much better you can feel after just a few minutes of focused breathing.
So breathe deep, my friends. It’s good for the soul.
3. Physical Activity: Your Quick Route to an High Endorphin
You know, there’s something to be said about getting up and breaking a little sweat when you’re feeling down. Now, I can hear some of you thinking, “I’m not in the mood to exercise when I’m down in the dumps.” But here’s the thing: that’s exactly when you should!
Why, you ask? When you engage in physical activity, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins. Often referred to as the body’s “feel-good” hormones, these little wonders interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. They also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
And it doesn’t have to be a grueling, long workout session. Even a few minutes of physical activity can lead to an endorphin rush. You don’t have to be a fitness guru to reap the benefits. In fact, here are a few quick, simple ways to get moving and boost your mood:
- Take a brisk walk: It could be around your block, through a local park, or even just marching in place in your living room.
- Dance it out: Put on your favorite upbeat song (see mood booster 1: Music Therapy) and just let loose.
- Do some quick strength exercises: Think push-ups, squats, or lunges. They can be modified to any fitness level.
- Stretch: You’d be surprised how much better you can feel after some good stretching. Plus, it can be very relaxing.
- Jumping jacks: It’s a classic exercise that gets your heart pumping quickly.
Remember, the goal here isn’t to run a marathon or become a bodybuilder. It’s about quick, manageable physical activity that helps release endorphins and boost your mood. So next time you’re feeling a little low, why not get up and move a bit? Trust me, your mood will thank you.
So, let’s get those sneakers on and get moving!
4. Nature Therapy: A Vacation for Your Mind
Alright, let’s take a moment to talk about nature. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a breath of fresh air, the warmth of the sun on their face, or the beautiful colors of blooming flowers? Well, what if I told you that simply being in nature, or even just looking at scenes of nature, can have a powerful mood-boosting effect?
This is more than just an old wives’ tale. In fact, it’s backed up by solid scientific evidence. Research conducted at Stanford University found that people who spent time in natural surroundings had lower activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression5.
But how does this work? Well, being in nature allows us to disconnect from our daily stressors, helps us to relax, and has even been shown to improve memory and attention6. So nature doesn’t just make us feel better, it actually improves our mental functioning!
Now, you might be thinking, “But I live in a city, I can’t just wander off into the wilderness!” And that’s okay. You can still get a mood boost from nature in just 5 minutes. Here’s how:
- Watch a nature video: There are countless videos online of beautiful natural scenes. Just sit back, relax, and let your mind wander.
- Look at nature photos: Whether in a book, a magazine, or online, a few minutes of looking at beautiful natural landscapes can help to lift your mood.
- Take care of a houseplant: It’s natural that you can keep it indoors, plus it’s been shown that caring for a plant can reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being7.
- Sit by a window with a view of nature: If you’re lucky enough to have this, take advantage of it. Even just a few minutes can make a difference.
- Step outside: Even if you’re in a city, stepping outside for a breath of fresh air can help.
So there you have it. Nature isn’t just a pretty backdrop. It’s a powerful mood booster that you can access in just a few minutes, wherever you are. So go ahead, give nature therapy a try. Your mind will thank you!
5. Positive Visualization: A 5-Minute Mental Holiday
Let’s turn our attention to a powerful tool that you’ve got with you all the time – your mind. Yes, that’s right! Your very own mind can be a quick and effective mood booster. And how does it do this? Through positive visualization.
Positive visualization, sometimes also called guided imagery, involves creating calming and positive images in your mind to reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being8. In simpler terms, it’s like taking a mini-vacation in your mind. And who doesn’t love a good vacation?
But this isn’t just wishful thinking. Studies have shown that our brains react similarly to both real and imagined experiences. This means that if you imagine something positive and calming, your brain can respond as though it’s really happening9.
Here’s how you can practice positive visualization in just 5 minutes:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place: This will make it easier to focus and minimize distractions.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths: This helps you relax and gets you ready to visualize.
- Imagine a calming scene: This could be a beach, a forest, a peaceful meadow – any place that makes you happy. Try to involve all your senses. What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell?
- Imagine a positive outcome: This could be successfully completing a task, achieving a goal, or overcoming a fear. Picture it happening and how it makes you feel.
Remember, this is your visualization. There’s no right or wrong. It’s about what makes you feel calm and positive.
So the next time you’re feeling down, why not take a little mental vacation? Trust me, your mood will thank you!
6. Gratitude Journaling: Your 5-Minute Appreciation Station
Let’s change gears a little and talk about a practice that has gained quite some popularity in recent years: gratitude journaling. If you’re not already familiar with it, you’re probably wondering what it’s all about.
Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like – writing down things for which you’re grateful. But the truly amazing thing is how much this simple act can boost your mood.
According to research, expressing gratitude can increase your long-term happiness by as much as 10%! The reason for this is that it shifts our focus from what’s wrong in our lives to what’s going well.
You see when we express gratitude and receive the same, our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, two crucial neurotransmitters responsible for our emotions, and they make us feel ‘good’. They enhance our mood immediately, making us feel happy from the inside.
Alright, so how do you go about gratitude journaling? It’s really pretty simple:
- Get a journal: It can be a fancy journal, a simple notebook, or even a digital journal on your phone or computer.
- Set aside 5 minutes each day: This is your time to reflect and write. Pick a time that works for you, but many people find it helpful to do this at the start or end of their day.
- Write down 3-5 things you’re grateful for: They don’t have to be big things. Even small blessings count.
- Try to really feel gratitude: Don’t just write it down. Take a moment to really appreciate these things in your life.
By spending just a few minutes each day focusing on the good things in your life, you can significantly improve your mood and overall happiness. So why not give it a try? Get yourself a gratitude journal and start appreciating the good things in life.
7. Random Acts of Kindness: Your Boost of Goodness
Let’s dive into another fantastic mood booster: performing random acts of kindness. You might be surprised to hear this, but doing something nice for someone else can actually make you happier.
But how does this work? Well, when you do something kind for another person, it activates the production of serotonin in your brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being10.
Not only that, but acts of kindness can also reduce stress, boost our self-esteem, and even improve our physical health11.
So, how can you incorporate random acts of kindness into your day? Well, they don’t have to be grand gestures. Here are a few simple ideas that you can complete in under five minutes:
- Compliment a colleague or friend: A simple compliment can brighten someone’s day and boost your own mood.
- Hold the door open for someone: It’s a small act, but it shows respect and consideration for others.
- Help someone carry their groceries: If you see someone struggling with heavy bags, offering your help can make their day a little easier.
- Leave a positive note for someone: This could be a family member, a roommate, or even a stranger if you’re feeling brave.
- Send a ‘thinking of you’ text: Letting someone know they’re in your thoughts can be a great mood booster for both of you.
Remember, the goal isn’t to perform grand gestures but to bring a little bit of kindness into the world. And the beauty of it is that this act of giving also gives back to you by boosting your mood.
So go out there and sprinkle some kindness around.
8. Healthy Snacking: Your 5-Minute Delicious Mood Enhancer
Are you a Snacker? If yes, this one’s for you. If not, you might want to reconsider! Yes, we’re talking about food here – but not just any food. We’re focusing on healthy snacks that not only satisfy your cravings but also boost your mood.
You see, the food we eat has a huge impact on our mood and energy levels. Certain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, tryptophan, B vitamins, and antioxidants have been shown to have positive effects on mood12.
So, if you’re feeling a little low, maybe a quick snack could help! But remember, we’re not talking about reaching for that bag of chips or a candy bar.
We’re focusing on snacks that are delicious and good for you. Here are a few ideas:
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds – they’re packed with omega-3s and protein, providing you with a slow release of energy and a mood boost.
- Dark chocolate: Yes, you read that right! Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) is high in antioxidants and can improve mood13. But remember, moderation is key.
- Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – they’re all good. They’re rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which can help manage stress14.
- Yogurt with honey: Yogurt contains probiotics that can promote gut health, which has been linked to improved mood15. Add a drizzle of honey for some natural sweetness.
- Bananas: They’re rich in vitamin B6, which helps produce mood-boosting serotonin16.
So next time you feel a dip in your mood, head to the kitchen and grab yourself a healthy snack. Not only will it satisfy your hunger, but it can also lift your spirits.
9. Hydration: Your 2-Minute Liquid Lifeline
We all know water is vital for our survival, but did you know it can also play a part in lifting your mood? It’s true! Let me tell you how.
Research has shown that even mild dehydration can affect your mood and cognitive functions17.
Think about it – have you ever noticed that you feel a little cranky or out of sorts when you’re thirsty? That’s because your body and brain need water to function optimally.
You see, our bodies are about 60% water, and our brains are about 70% water18. So, it makes sense that staying hydrated would help us feel better, right?
“But I’m busy and often forget to drink water,” you say. Don’t worry, I have a few suggestions to make staying hydrated easy and enjoyable:
- Keep a water bottle with you: Having a water bottle on your desk or in your bag is a constant reminder to drink.
- Add some flavor: If plain water isn’t your thing, try infusing your water with fruits, herbs, or a splash of juice for a tasty alternative.
- Hydrate with fruits and veggies: Many fruits and vegetables are high in water content. So, eating a juicy peach or some refreshing cucumber slices can also contribute to your hydration.
- Try herbal teas: If you’re in a chilly environment and want something warm, herbal teas are a great way to stay hydrated.
So next time you’re feeling a bit down, reach for a glass of water or your favorite hydrating snack
10. Aromatherapy: Your 5-Minute Fragrant Mood Enhancer
Let’s talk about another super quick and effective mood booster – aromatherapy. It sounds fancy, doesn’t it? But don’t worry, it’s simpler than you might think.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils from plants to improve physical and emotional health19. These oils can be used in various ways, such as inhalation or topical application, and can have significant effects on our mood and stress levels.
For instance, have you ever noticed how a certain smell can bring back memories or make you feel calm, energized, or even nostalgic? That’s what aromatherapy is all about.
Here are a few scents that are known for their mood-boosting properties:
- Lavender: This one’s a classic. Lavender is known for its calming and relaxing properties and is often used to reduce stress and improve sleep20.
- Citrus: Scents like lemon, orange, and grapefruit are uplifting and can help reduce anxiety and boost your mood21.
- Peppermint: Feeling a bit sluggish? Peppermint can help boost your energy and focus22.
- Rose: This lovely fragrance is said to help elevate mood and create feelings of well-being23.
- Sandalwood: Known for its grounding properties, sandalwood can help reduce feelings of stress and promote relaxation.
Remember, you don’t need a fancy diffuser or anything. Just a few drops of essential oil on a tissue that you can sniff when you need a quick mood boost, or if you prefer, there are also roll-ons available that you can apply to your wrists or neck for a quick pick-me-up.
So, next time you’re in need of a quick mood booster, why not give aromatherapy a try?
11. Mindful Moments: Your 5-Minute Pause for Peace
Sometimes, all you need to lift your mood is to take a short break from the whirlwind of life and have a moment of mindfulness.
What is mindfulness, you ask? Good question! Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment without judgment24. It’s about embracing the here and now, and it’s something that can be done anywhere, at any time – no special equipment required.
When we practice mindfulness, we slow down, we notice, we breathe, and we connect with the present moment. And believe it or not, this simple act can have profound effects on our mood. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and increase feelings of well-being25.
So how can you bring a mindful moment into your day? Here are a few ideas:
- Mindful Breathing: Just focus on your breath as it comes in and goes out. If your mind starts to wander (and it will!), just gently bring your focus back to your breath.
- Mindful Observation: Choose an object in your environment and focus all your attention on it. Notice its color, shape, texture, and any other characteristics. This helps you connect with the present moment and take your mind off your worries.
- Mindful Eating: Really focus on the food you’re eating. Notice the taste, texture, and smell. Savor each bite and make your meal a mindful experience.
- Mindful Walking: Go for a short walk and pay attention to each step, the feel of your feet touching the ground, the wind on your skin, and the sounds around you.
Remember, it’s not about clearing your mind or achieving a state of eternal peace (although that would be nice!). It’s just about being present and checking in with yourself. So why not give it a try? Take a mindful moment right now and see how it feels. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
12. Laughter: Your 5-Minute Joy Booster
You know that old saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”? Well, it turns out, it might be more accurate than you think! Let’s talk about why laughter is such a fantastic mood booster.
Laughter does some incredible things for our bodies and minds. It decreases stress hormones in the body and increases endorphins—the brain’s feel-good chemicals26. Laughter can also help improve immune function and pain tolerance, increase relaxation, and even lower blood pressure27. Amazing, right?
So, how can we bring more laughter into our lives, especially when we’re feeling down? Here are a few ideas:
- Watch a funny video: YouTube is an endless source of hilarious clips. Try searching for funny animal videos, stand-up comedy routines, or bloopers.
- Read a joke or a funny book: There are countless jokes and humorous books available online or at your local library.
- Call a friend who makes you laugh: We all have that one friend who never fails to crack us up. Give them a call!
- Try laughter yoga: Yes, it’s a real thing! Laughter yoga combines simulated laughter exercises with yoga breathing techniques. It might feel weird at first, but it’s a lot of fun and a great stress reliever28.
And remember, it’s okay to laugh at silly things or even at yourself sometimes. Life can be serious enough, and it’s important to let go and have a good laugh now and then. So why not give it a try? Find something to laugh about right now and notice how it makes you feel. I bet you’ll feel an instant mood boost!
13. Connect with Loved Ones: Your 5-Minute Heart Warmer
Humans are social beings. We’re wired to connect with others, and these connections can have a profound impact on our mood and overall well-being. So when you’re feeling low, reaching out to someone you love might be just the boost you need.
Studies have shown that social connections can reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, improve our ability to cope with stress, and even boost our immune system29. That’s right—your chats with your loved ones are doing more good than you might have thought!
Now, you might be thinking, “I don’t have a lot of time,” or “My loved ones live far away.” But remember, we’re talking about a 5-minute mood booster. Here’s how you can make it work:
- Send a quick text: Shoot a message to a friend or family member just to say hi or share something funny or interesting.
- Make a short phone call: You’d be surprised how much you can catch up on in just a few minutes.
- Write a note: Taking a moment to write a note to someone can be a therapeutic act for you, and receiving it will surely brighten your day.
- Share a memory: Send a loved one a photo or memory that you’ve shared. It can bring a smile to both of your faces.
In a world that’s often too busy, making time to connect with the people who matter to you can be incredibly fulfilling. So why not reach out to someone right now? You’ll feel better for it, and I bet they will too.
14. Meditation: Your 5-Minute Peaceful Retreat
Have you ever tried meditation? If not, you might be surprised at how this ancient practice can boost your mood in just a few minutes. And if you’re a seasoned meditator, you probably know what I’m talking about!
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years, and there's a reason it has stood the test of time. Research has shown that regular meditation can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve focus, creativity, and overall well-being30.
So how can you integrate a 5-minute meditation into your day as a quick mood booster? It’s easier than you might think. Here are a few ideas:
- Mindfulness meditation: This involves focusing on your breath or a mantra and bringing your mind back to that focus when it wanders.
- Guided meditation: There are countless guided meditation apps and videos out there. All you have to do is press play, close your eyes, and let the guide lead you through the meditation.
- Loving-kindness meditation: This involves focusing on developing feelings of compassion and love for yourself and others.
The great thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere—on a break at work, on the bus, or in bed before you sleep. It’s about finding a moment of peace and connection in the chaos of life.
And remember, like anything, meditation takes practice. If you find it difficult at first, don’t worry—that’s completely normal! Keep at it, and I think you’ll find it becomes a powerful tool for boosting your mood.
So why not give it a try? Take a few minutes right now to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and just be. I think you’ll find it a powerful way to lift your mood.
15. Small Goals Achievement: Your 5-Minute Confidence Booster
Ever feel overwhelmed by the big, daunting tasks on your to-do list? I’ve been there, and I can tell you from experience that breaking them down into smaller, achievable goals can do wonders for your mood and energy.
Research shows that setting and achieving small goals can boost your self-confidence, improve your productivity, and even increase your overall happiness31. Sounds pretty good, right? Let’s talk about how you can make this work for you.
Start by thinking about a larger task or goal you’re facing. Now break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. These are your “small goals.” They should be achievable in a short amount of time—like, you guessed it, 5 minutes!
Here are some examples of small goals you might set:
- Cleaning your house. Your small goal could be to tidy up one room or even just clear off a cluttered table.
- Writing a report or an essay? Try writing just one paragraph or doing a few minutes of research.
- Want to start exercising? Begin with a quick 5-minute workout routine.
Once you’ve achieved your small goal, take a moment to celebrate. This could be as simple as giving yourself a pat on the back, doing a little happy dance, or treating yourself to a cup of your favorite tea.
It’s amazing how good it feels to check something off your to-do list, isn’t it? That feeling of accomplishment can give you the mood and energy boost you need to tackle the rest of your day.
So, why not set a small goal for yourself right now? I bet you’ll be feeling more positive and energized in no time.
16. Spending Time with Family: Your 5-Minute Love Booster
Our family ties are often the deepest and most enduring connections we have, so it’s no surprise that spending time with our loved ones can have a powerful impact on our mood.
Whether you’re sharing a laugh, a memory, or even just a quick conversation, these moments with family can be incredibly uplifting.
In fact, research has shown that strong family connections can reduce stress, increase feelings of happiness, and even improve our physical health32.
But let’s be real. I know that it’s not always easy to find large chunks of time for family gatherings, especially in today’s busy world. But who said you need a lot of time? Even just a few minutes can make a big difference.
Here are a few ways to fit some family time into your day:
- Share a quick meal or snack: Even if it’s just a cup of coffee or a piece of fruit, taking a moment to eat together can be a special experience.
- Have a short chat: Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or through a video call, a few minutes of conversation can go a long way.
- Enjoy a shared activity: This could be anything from a quick game to a brief walk around the block.
So go ahead and spend a little time with your family today. Even if it’s just a few minutes, I promise you’ll be amazed at the boost it can give your mood.
And who knows? You might just make some wonderful memories in the process.
And there you have it, my friends—16 simple, science-backed mood boosters that you can do in just 5 minutes!
Remember, it’s the small things we do for ourselves that often make the biggest difference. So give these tips a try and see how they work for you.
Life is full of ups and downs, but with these strategies in your toolbox, you’re well-equipped to uplift your spirits whenever needed.
Here’s to happier, more energetic days ahead!
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