Bad mood: The best tips for a better mood

Schlechte Laune: Die besten Tipps für bessere Stimmung

Of course, always thinking positively is a nice thing, but is it even feasible? Being in a good mood all the time is really difficult. For here and here we are awaited by charms and disappointments. Is bad mood just normal?

We got to the bottom of this topic and have prepared detailed information for you about the bad mood. In the following, you will understand the main reasons for a bad mood and then learn the best tips against this lousy condition. At the end, a small bonus awaits you with 4 bad mood causes that you can eliminate in 10 seconds.

the essentials in brief

  • Bad mood can have both mental and physical origins. In both cases, there are effective methods that will help you to brighten your mood again.
  • Bad mood is a natural reaction that helps you adapt to the changed situation and even be more productive. It is normal to feel angry or depressed from time to time.
  • Lack of vitamins or hormonal changes can also lead to a bad mood. Consult with your doctor for specific reasons.

Definition: What is mood?

Mood or mood is understood as a physical and mental overall condition of a person. It has a wide range of qualities, "colors" our everyday life and persists for a long time.

Mood is most often evoked by enduring or recurring emotions. However, purely physical factors such as lack of sleep or alcohol consumption can also influence our mood. (1)

Background: What you should know about the development of a bad mood

In order to successfully banish a bad mood, you must first identify the reason for it. There are really many stimuli that can spoil our day or even days. However, you have templates that you can use to capture and categorize your personal problem.

Below you will find our subdivision, which should help you to find the reason for your grouchiness.

What are the reasons for a bad mood?

Basically, there are only two sources of bad mood. body and head . However, you can't just separate them like that. Because often the two are strongly connected and flow from one to the other.

For example, if your right arm hurts, you start thinking about some possible (impossible) diseases and immediately have only bad thoughts in your head. On the other hand, you worry constantly about an upcoming exam and get a headache from the depressing thoughts.

out of the body

Many believe that a bad mood is all about emotions and thoughts. However, physical discomfort is quite often the cause of an upset mood. To avoid this, get to know your body and listen to your needs. Above all, make sure that you are healthy, enough and good:

  • feed
  • move
  • sleep

Maybe it's not the unfriendly colleague, but just the missed breakfast.

A hormonal disorder can also be the reason for a bad mood. In particular, during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, puberty and menopause, some physical changes take place that can lead to frequent mood swings.

Deficiencies in certain vitamins often lead to general malaise. Consult with your doctor to understand specific reasons.

In addition, a bad mood can indicate a psychological problem . While bad mood is rarely a symptom, it can signify the early stages of frontotemporal dementia or Pick's disease (a degenerative brain disease). In this case, the person becomes distant and rude, neglecting himself and others. (2)

It can also be that permanent pain does not let you think positively. If so and you don't know its origin, consult your doctor.

On the head

And yet our emotions and thoughts often play a crucial role in our state of mind. If this is the case for you, you probably already know why. If not, it can be very helpful to take some time to calmly reflect on your own emotions and let your thoughts flow freely.

Woman in dark room with depressed hand pose

When you're feeling down and depressed for no apparent reason, it pays to give yourself some time to reflect on your feelings. (Image source: Engin Akyurt, Pexels)

There are many reasons for mental distress and they differ from person to person. Because of this, we can only address a general direction of the problem and you grasp your personal situation.

Stress or being overwhelmed are increasingly becoming the causes of a bad mood. Whether at university, at work or at home, each of us has different tasks to cope with. If the requirements are too extensive, the demands too high or the time too short, you will become mentally and physically exhausted. If you don't get enough rest periods, your everyday life becomes an endless race without a pit stop to recharge your batteries. No one wants to continue at such a rhythm, but many feel obliged to do so. Hence the bad mood.

Not being challenged is often underestimated, but it is a big problem, especially in professional life. If you cannot live up to your own potential, you will eventually be bored to death. Everyday life becomes monotonous and gray like mood.

Dissatisfaction with certain situations, circumstances and conditions in one's life harbors negative emotions that lead to a bad mood. Dissatisfaction is very individual and can affect different areas of life such as relationships, jobs or your own appearance.

Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time. But if they come up too often or become obsessions about a certain topic, it can affect the overall mood. These negative thoughts can be traced back to a personal negative experience. Sometimes they have no real origin or are based on the experiences of other people.

What is the difference between a bad mood and depression?

A bad mood is not an illness. But how do you differentiate it from depression?

Having a bad day, feeling irritable, upset, angry, or depressed is normal. Things can't always go the way we want them to. It is important that these phases are temporary and that you do not lose your general zest for life.

If you feel sad, irritable and powerless for weeks, what could be behind it. Below are the main symptoms of depression. (3)

  • Feeling of helplessness and hopelessness
  • fatigue and lack of energy
  • lack of motivation and interest (even for the activities that used to be fun)
  • changes in appetite or weight
  • sleep disorders
  • lower self-esteem
  • "Inner emptiness"
  • concentration problems
  • Movement urge or movement reduction
  • inexplicable pain
  • suicidal thoughts

If many of the symptoms apply to you and this condition has not changed for several days, be sure to consult your doctor.

How do I deal with a bad tempered person?

How you deal with a bad-tempered person depends on the level of moodiness itself and how you relate to that person.

Is your counterpart just having a bad day and is generally a positive and happy personality? Or is his bad mood an eternal everyday companion?

It is often recommended to avoid contact with the "toxic" person, to be distant and not to let the negative attitudes get to you. But when it comes to your colleague, neighbor or even family member, this strategy is difficult to implement.

If your partner comes home irritable and upset after a hard day's work, give them the right to be in a bad mood to get rid of negative emotions faster, be empathetic but stay positive yourself.

angry baby

Let your family members let off steam in their bad temper. After that, it will be much easier to find a way out together. (Image source: Alexander Dummer/Unsplash)

Does every meeting with your aunt end with numerous complaints on her part? You probably won't be able to change that easily. Don't let the negative thoughts get to you. Instead of a discussion, try to understand the underlying reasons for such "toxic" behavior.

Can a bad mood be good?

Bad mood is a result of evolution and helps us adapt to the rapidly changing world. In principle, both good and bad moods come from a discrepancy between expectations and reality. If your expectations are exceeded, you're in good spirits. If you are disappointed by the situation, your mood will drop. (4)

So yes, being in a bad mood is natural, necessary and therefore also good and healthy.

Through several studies, the scientists were even able to record an actual benefit of the bad mood. People who are in a bad mood usually work in a more concentrated and productive manner than their positive-thinking colleagues. Anyone who assumes the worst scenario becomes more careful and refrains from risky actions. (4.5)

Which hormones are responsible for mood swings?

A common cause of mood swings is hormonal changes in the body, for example during the menstrual cycle, puberty, pregnancy or menopause. The following information is therefore particularly relevant for women. You will also learn about the main hormones that can lead to mood swings. (6)

hormone function Shortage
Progesterone (The calming hormone) has a calming effect on the body its lack can lead to excessive sensitivity and anxiety
Estrogen (The Happy Hormone) is the most important female sex hormone, which has a stimulating effect if this is not produced sufficiently, it leads to listlessness and lack of energy
Testosterone (the power hormone) the supposed male hormone is responsible for a woman's libido a lack of testosterone can lead to sexual displeasure and frustration
Oxytocin (The Bonding Hormone) is a very short-lived hormone, which is supposed to stand for an emotional bond in the relationship its lack can lead to problems and distrust among partners

Which vitamin puts you in a good mood?

Vitamin D , or sunshine vitamin, has long been studied as a treatment for mood disorders and depression. The results are not clear so far. However, many studies have shown a connection between vitamin D deficiency and depressive states. (7,8,9)

Vitamin B has a metabolism-activating effect and plays an important role in health. Some studies show that a deficiency in this vitamin can affect memory function, cognitive impairment and dementia. It is also associated with symptoms of depression. (10)

Bad mood: The best tips & tricks for more happiness

What is a bad mood and what causes it is already clear. Now we tell you what you can do about it. We also provide you with specific tips for certain situations.

Eliminate the physical causes of the bad mood

With the help of this table you will learn how to best combat the physical causes of ill-temper.

Caused Recommendation
vitamin deficiency Pay particular attention to your diet. Because there are many good vitamins in everyday foods such as fish, mushrooms, liver, carrots, berries, cabbage, etc. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, let yourself be pampered by the sunlight and go for a nice walk in the fresh air. If you want to take vitamins directly as medicine, consult with a doctor first.
hormone changes Try to keep your body fit. Hormone changes are happening, but you can ease the symptoms. Eat healthy and get enough exercise. If you have a hormonal disorder, consult a doctor.
fatigue Give yourself enough time off. Try a relaxation practice like meditation or yoga. Sleep enough and qualitatively.
Nourishment Eat a variety of foods and watch the portions. Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet if needed. Try to eat warm food at least once a day and plan your meals in advance.
lack of exercise Find an activity that suits you, encourages you in the right way and is fun. Regularity is much more important than intensity.

If you suffer from a bad mood because of physical changes or disturbances, you should pay close attention to your body. There can often be more behind it. Annoyance remains only a symptom. It is much more important to identify the problem in good time and to start treatment if necessary.

Fight the psychological causes of the bad mood

In the following we will show you how to drive your problem children out of your head.

Caused Recommendation
stress / overwhelm Stop and take a deep breath. Reflect on the current situation. Maybe it's just too much for you? Set priorities and let go of everything that is not important. Plan your time off just as firmly as the deadlines. If you cannot reduce the pressure in the stressful situation, you may have to change the situation fundamentally.
underchallenge Learn to appreciate yourself and don't downplay your own qualities. Be active and optimistic about your future. It can happen that you are temporarily unable to exploit your potential (e.g. professionally), but try to look for challenges for yourself anyway. Use your strengths and dare to take the next step.
discontent Recognize the source of your dissatisfaction. Can you do something about it? Then do it. If not try to become more relaxed and change your attitude towards it.
negative thoughts Don't fight them and let them run free. Where are they taking you? Try to think objectively about your worries and see where they come from. If you can, they'll go away much more easily. Relax and remember the pleasant and happy things in return.

In any case, it is extremely important to be honest with yourself and to think about the problems calmly. It is also highly recommended to share your concerns with a confidante or doctor.

And of course you shouldn't be ashamed of your bad mood. It's just a signal that things aren't going smoothly. So instead of ridiculing yourself for it, show empathy for your personality. Rest, spoil yourself, be social and just do what you feel like doing!

Bonus: 4 Bad Mood Causers You Can Eliminate In 10 Seconds!

Sometimes the reasons for a bad mood can be very trivial. But we still don't notice it because we are too busy and no longer perceive the signals from our own body.

Here are 4 bad mood triggers you probably haven't thought about.

  • Hunger thirst
  • too cold / too hot
  • pain / discomfort
  • the small/big need


A bad mood is a natural state. However, nobody likes to be in a bad mood, because a bad mood can negatively influence our behavior and our self-image. If a bad mood persists for several days, you should reflect on it thoroughly to find out the exact reason. If your problem gets a name, you can eliminate it much more easily.

It's important to accept the bad mood and allow yourself to be sad. Such acceptance supports mental health and helps to cope faster and better with stressful situations in the future. (11)


  1. Stangl, W. Keyword: 'mood'. Online Lexicon for Psychology and Pedagogy (2020)
  2. Feichter, Martina. Frontotemporal Dementia (2018)
  3. US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Depression (NIH Publication No. 02-2650)
  4. Eldar, Eran, et al. "Mood as representation of momentum." Trends in cognitive sciences 20.1 (2016): 15-24.
  5. Forgas, Joseph P. "When sad is better than happy: Negative affect can improve the quality and effectiveness of persuasive messages and social influence strategies." Journal of experimental social psychology 43.4 (2007): 513-528.
  6. Wimmer, Alexandra. "When hormones set the mood". Medicine Popular (2010)
  7. Anglin RE, Samaan Z, Walter SD, McDonald SD. Vitamin D deficiency and depression in adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Psychiatry. 2013;202:100-107.
  8. Okereke OI, Singh A. The role of vitamin D in the prevention of late-life depression. J Affect Disord. 2016;198:1-14.
  9. Wong SK, Chin KY, Ima-Nirwana S. Vitamin D and Depression: The Evidence from an Indirect Clue to Treatment Strategy. Curr Drug Targets. 2018;19(8):888-897.
  10. Mikkelsen K, Stojanovska L, Apostolopoulos V. The Effects of Vitamin B2 in Depression. Curr Med Chem. 2016;23(38):4317-4337.
  11. Ford BQ, Lam P, John OP, Mauss IB. The psychological health benefits of accepting negative emotions and thoughts: Laboratory, diary, and longitudinal evidence. J Pers Soc Psychol 2018;115(6):1075-1092.
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