5 Science-Backed Ways to Banish a Bad Mood (in Just 10 Minutes)

Mondays are punctuated by a touch of dread for many as we make the mental pilgrimage from the weekend back to the workweek. While your Instagram feed likely fosters your Monday trepidation via relatable memes and the like, why not turn your negative mood around rather than stoking it? After all, your Monday outlook often has a way of setting the tone for your entire week. If you find yourself feeling less than chipper on the first day of the week, consider trying out the following science-backed happiness hacks, courtesy of Prevention:

Spend time outside. According to a study from Stanford University, nature is the best mental health prescription out there. Simply taking a walk in the woods or sitting outside in the sunlight can actually lower your risk of depression.

Listen to happy music. Never underestimate the power of a happy playlist. Music actually activates the pleasure centers in our brains, making us feel calmer and more relaxed.

Buy a bright light. Bright light therapy is not just a suitable treatment for seasonal affective disorder—anyone who's experienced anxiety or depression can mentally benefit from a daily dose of natural or artificial light exposure.

Meditate: Get in touch with your spiritual side with just 10 minutes of daily meditation. Research shows that regular meditation can actually change your brain structure in a way that promotes well-being.

Get physical. While physical activity is likely the last thing on your mind when feeling down, staying active can decrease your risk of depression and help assuage symptoms.

What happiness hacks would you add to this list? Share your thoughts below!