5 Ways to cheer up today

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We all get the blues once in a while, and let's face it: The world doesn't seem quite as happy as it used to. Tornadoes are ripping apart towns, wars are raging, the economy refuses to recover... or maybe you just had a bad day at work, the kids were misbehaving, or you've had a tiff with your best friend. Don't give in to the gloom. As Scarlett O'Hara famously said, "Tomorrow is another day." Here's how to cheer up.

1Listen to some music.

Go with whatever makes you sing and dance. Music helps relieve depression, and it's hard to be sad when you're belting out a favorite rock song at full voice. Music gets you up and moving, and that's half the battle.

2Help somebody.

Bake a cake and visit an elderly neighbor, serve a meal at a homeless shelter, or supervise a kids' play group to give the other moms some free time. You'll be too busy to brood, and you'll come away feeling grateful for the good things in your life.

3Play with a dog.

Dogs don't really have bad days, and they are always up for fun and adventure. A dog and a tennis ball are the perfect antidote to the "poor me" syndrome.

4Have some laughs.

Go to a funny movie or play a favorite DVD -- one that always tickles your funnybone. So what if you've seen it a dozen times? If it makes you laugh out loud, it's an excellent choice. The Birdcage and The Great Race may be corny, but they never fail to produce fits of giggles.

5Take a shower.

Wash your bad day away. While you scrub your body and hair to remove the grit of the bad day, imagine that you're washing away the crummy feelings. A long hot shower will leave you squeaky clean, right down to your psyche. Afterward, pamper yourself by smoothing rich moisturizer on your damp skin, and relax with a favorite beverage.

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate station. Deciding to switch gears and write fulfilled a lifelong ambition. She started as a blogger for a diverse group of businesses, and now writes for a number of websites for companies in her hometown in the Rocky Mountains, and provides advertising copy and media buying for national and regional clients. She finds the research as interesting as the writing, learning about subjects as diverse as construction scaffolding, child safety seats, and newest trends in beauty and fashion. As a long-time devotee of SheKnows, she’s thrilled to see her own work on the pages.