24 Hacks for Getting Out of Your Funk

Sometimes, you get stuck in a funk and can’t figure out why. Maybe it is something tangible and specific. Maybe it is nothing in particular.

Woman Jumping on a Green Meadow with a Green Cloth - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/erikreis, Image #12345727

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/erikreis

For example, a month ago, we had two gorgeous weeks of spring. The temperatures were in the 70s, the birds were singing, the daffodils began to bloom. I caught myself whistling as I was leaving for work.

But, as usual in Tennessee, cold weather has returned. Right now it feels just like winter. The temperatures are in the 40s. It’s overcast and raining. Last night, for no apparent reason, I caught myself in a funk.

What do you do?

Well, if you’re a blogger, you see an opportunity (or at least a post!) in every problem. I decided to make a list of twenty-four “hacks” (or quick fixes) for getting out of my funk:

  1. Write a list of 10 things you are thankful for. Be specific.
  2. Put on some upbeat, happy music. I like Keith Urban.
  3. Go for a walk—or a run.
  4. Plan a vacation or, better yet, go on one!
  5. Schedule an appointment with a counselor.
  6. Talk to a good friend who knows how to listen.
  7. Have a good cry. It’s okay. It will cleanse your emotional system.
  8. Take control of that little voice in your head. “Change channels.”
  9. Turn off the TV and the radio.
  10. Read the Psalms.
  11. Do volunteer work with a local charity.
  12. Organize your desk and/or your office.
  13. Take one “baby step action” for each of your top three projects.
  14. Take the afternoon off and take a nap.
  15. Get a massage or sit in a hot jacuzzi or tub.
  16. Change positions. If you are sitting, stand. If you are standing, sit.
  17. Pray. Pour out your heart to God.
  18. Smile. Your emotions will usually follow your body’s lead.
  19. Do that one thing you fear the most.
  20. Write a love note to your spouse and mail it.
  21. Excuse yourself from negative conversations.
  22. Resist the temptation to complain—about anything!
  23. Forget the past. Ignore the future. Be fully present NOW.
  24. Stop worrying about things you have no control over.

So what have I missed?

Question: What do you do to get out of your funk? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Gloria Maxx

    25th Tip for getting out of your funk:

    Look forward to your MichaelHyatt.com 7:05 – 7:06 morning e-mail! I have been a recipient for 2 days now … and am avidly looking forward to the next one!

    Gloria Maxx :) ( still working on Jesus.ca for Easter Sunday … so no URL to post yet! )

  • http://twitter.com/Msrighenzi Michelle R

    Nice timing! Great suggestions. Sometimes its the simple little things that pull us out of a funk.

  • http://twitter.com/johndgallagher John Gallagher

    Hey Michael, thanks so much much for this wisdom. Flippin brilliant stuff. Your blog regularly nourishes my soul. Keep doing your thing my friend!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I appreciate the encouragement.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Doing something for someone else always gives me a boost when I’m feeling down.

  • http://twitter.com/dbonleadership Dan

    I find that when I need to get out of a funk I connect with God by reading the word and listening to worship music. I also take time to go to the beach and relax.

  • Susan Fontaine Godwin

    I find that getting my hands in the dirt, weeding and planting flowers always pulls me out of a funk.

  • Joyce Harback

    Implicit in this is the idea that these are short lived funks. Don’t ignore it if you feel this way for weeks at a time – could be a chemical imbalance or clinical depression. See a doctor.

    But for the short funk, mine used to come because poor eating choices. A soft drink and a candy bar (I loved a Dr. Pepper and Snickers) or a Rum & Coke used to put me into the pit of despair within about 90 minutes. Probably something to do with the sugar crash. It helped to eat some protein. Sounds odd, but it’s a simple fix and I felt better before long. Now I really limit the alcohol and high sugar, high caffeine treats and it’s easier to control both my weight and my moods.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I definitely agree that if a funk is something more than temporary, seek professional help.

  • Tamara

    You always have a way of knowing what your readers need to hear. Thank you for this post.

    One more thing to add: eat well. I add lots of fruits and veggies to my plate when I need a boost.

  • Joe

    Go “Drive A Titleist” on the driving range.

  • http://twitter.com/lancecashion lance cashion

    25. Contemplate the Cross and “search the mystery of His wounds”. – taken from CJ Mahaney

    I find that my ‘funks’ are usually prolonged and intensified when I don’t realize that my focus is overwhelmingly on myself. For a Christian, we can focus on the atonement of Christ and everything else melts away, including our pride (and funk).

    good post MH!


    ps. For those looking for a more physical funk-hacker. Try balancing on one leg for 1 minute with the other leg raised in front of you about 5-6 inches from the floor. Your brain will be consumed with the task of keeping you from toppling over, there is no room for funk. Do this two times in a row (2mins), you’ll forget about funk and stress.

  • Sjohnston

    my top three would be:
    -Reading God’s Word;
    -going for a run.

    I do agree that staying in a funk is something we can lead ourselves out of, but I also have to acknowledge that as I get older it is something that presents itself more often than it used to. I used to never notice it.

    Liked your list, it had some very challenging options that I think would be very effective.

  • http://www.click-finders.com/blog Mike Glover

    LOVE IT ! You know, when I stop and think about it, each one of the above items has worked in tha past. How is it we forget the basics that make us feel so good!

    Thanks for sharing….

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  • http://christinefaour.wordpress.com Christinefaour

    I usually call an upbeat friend and just let her talk, not mentioning what I am in a funk about. Before long I am laughing and by the time I hang up the phone I’m in the mood to do something constructive. It works every time! Christine

  • Rsr777

    One moment in the presence of my grand babies takes me up out of the funk!!! (-:

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  • Jen Kirby

    I like to ring a friend that is going through a tough time and encourage them. That takes my mind off me.

  • http://sweetdreamsflyingmachines.wordpress.com Grace Lewis

    I opened this several days ago to read – just out of curiosity, not because I was actually in a funk.

    I finally got around to reading it yesterday when I actually was in a funk. I got to #19 and glazed over it, not really coming up with anything that frightened me. Then I realized, part of my funk is that I live in Saigon where my only transportation is taxi – and taxis are endlessly frustrating. We have a motorbike, which I have a license for, but I’m terrified to drive it. But, driving would give me freedom to do as I please, pursue friendships, and learn more at my internship.

    So, I told my husband, and he didn’t let me chicken out. I drove around with him for a long time, and felt much better afterward. I’m still trying to decide whether to drive alone today, but I feel like I made a big step.

    Thanks for the great blog.

  • Anonymous

    Prayer always helps, as does taking action. I’ve noticed that I get in a funk when I think too long about what I want to do, instead of just doing it! Taking the even one step in the right direction puts me in a better frame of mind.

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  • Missriki7

    I have always been successful with the “fake it till you make it” strategy…..I smile and “act” happy, and then the mood naturally follows. Smiling at strangers works wonders for me as well!

    • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

      This really works! I’ve found if I force myself to smile, then I end up actually feeling better.

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  • FemmeFuel

    I just stumbled upon this post and really enjoyed it, Michael. Loved it so much that I wrote a tongue-in-cheek blog post about it. I hope you take it in the right spirit! http://femmefuel.wordpress.com/2011/07/14/24-hacks-for-getting-out-of-your-funk-with-apologies-to-michael-hyatt/

    As always, thanks so much for the terrific insight.


  • Carlos

    This did not help me. <- SEE! I am still being negative, which therefore means I am indeed in a funk state of mind. Your research has been fruitless.
    Thanks anyway.

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  • Beckyshannon61

    wish i had a great answer….. work,work and more work.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OIEO7GSKH6EAKGFM4XNXMWRT3Y RMM

    I have talked to a counselor in the past, but every time I go to the hospital sick (last time it was from an ovary that was infected and needed surgery) they always blame it on depression and tell me to get dressed and go home or give me depression drugs! And I am not going down that road any longer!

  • Learn

    Play with a child or a dog, they both have a way of putting a smile on your face.

  • Wes

    My wife and me have been married for 15 years and have a 12 year old daughter and 8 year old son. We had never taken a family vacation. I work in phone sales, so it’s hard to miss any time, as I don’t make any money then. This past week, we spent a couple of days in Orlando (Disney’s Magic Kingdom one day) and Daytona Beach in an oceanfront hotel for another couple of days. Some fantastic memories. Just got back yesterday. I’m finding myself in a huge post-vacation funk. Having never taken a family vacation, I’ve never had to deal with it and also don’t know how to get over it. Have to head to work tomorrow and am going to miss my family something fierce. I’ve been depressed all day and have shed a few tears. Since it was our first family vacation, it just seems like it’s going to be forever until we’re able to take another trip. How do I get my mind right and realize that it’s back to the “real world” now?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      What you are experiencing is understandable, Wes. I would suggest two things. First, be grateful. Every time you start thinking a negative thought, turn it into a positive expression of gratitude. For example, instead of “I am going to miss my wife and kids so much” think “I am so grateful for this special time I had with my wife and kids.”
      Second, have faith. This isn’t the last vacation you will ever take, I promise. Now that you have experienced it, you will work to make it happen again. In fact, what could you do on a systematic basis to make it happen? Perhaps you and your wife could set a goal and start planning how to make it happen sooner rather than later.
      Whenever, I experience something great like you have experienced I say, “That was awesome! I’m so glad there’s more where that came from.” I believe in and confess abundance. I hope you will, too.

      • Wes

        Thanks so much, Michael! I’m definitely grateful for God’s blessings and allowing us the ability to go. Memories that none of us will ever forget. Now that I’ve experienced how awesome it can be, it definitely motivates me to start planning. Thanks again for the thoughtful reply!