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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  • http://www.jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy@confessionsofalegalist

    It seems that you are saying that I have a choice about being in a funk.

    Sometimes we have to make ourselves do what we know we should and then let our emotions follow.

    • http://andrew-meyers.com Andrew

      I think we do have a choice about being in a funk! We may not be able to prevent it from happening, but we can definitely do something about it when it does.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Yep. That’s kind of the unwritten assumption here. Maybe I should have said it explicitly.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I am saying that, and I agree with you. Our emotions will usually follow our decisions.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Jeremy, I got the same idea from the post. We do have a choice on whether or not to stay in the funk. You just need to find out how to get yourself out of it once you get in it.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Yes, I agree. This is a fundamental life skill.

  • HTodd

    Do something creative: bake bread, cook a casserole, draw – or paint – a picture or a card, knit, write a poem, a short story, a journal entry, create a photo-album… Give what you’ve made to someone else!

  • http://profiles.google.com/olivetree.ingodshouse Betsy Cruz

    Thanks for these great suggestions.

    When I’m in a funk, it helps to reach out to someone else. Even if I don’t have time to get together with a friend, just making a phone call can boost me out of a funk. Having someone listen to me is healing, but I also like to seek to encourage someone else who may need a little boost. It gets my mind off of my own problems.

    Playing a game with my kids, one of my favorite ways to spend quality time with them, helps too!

    • http://titus2345.blogspot.com ET @ Titus2:3-5

      Me too, Betsy. If I take the time to get my mind off myself, I forget that I was even in a funk to begin with.

      • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

        Absolutely, Betsy! It’s hard to stay down when you’re helping someone else up.

        GREAT list, Mike! LOVE this post!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IDNHMNJM2CBPHAZ4X4ZPD77OVQ tamkara

    Great post! Loved it..especially number 10.
    OK my tried and tested methods of chasing the blues are as follows:

    1. Write a detailed list of all my nagging worries . When i can see them on paper, they become less daunting and more manageable.
    2. Read psalms 43:5 to my self, recite the words as if they were my own and really really mean it.
    3. Listen to a Joel Osteen Message on CD, or read any of his books.

    TA

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Another thing I sometimes do that is similar to your #1 is to write out a list of what my biggest fear or worry makes possible.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_IDNHMNJM2CBPHAZ4X4ZPD77OVQ tamkara

        …Great tip!
        Another one to add to my Funk destroyer tool box.

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          :)

    • Joe Lalonde

      Number one is a great idea. It really lets you see how little most of your worries are.

  • http://chrisvonada.com chris vonada

    to get out of a funk…

    Plan A: Read my notes from “A Traveler’s Gift,” or
    Plan B: Read Michael Hyatt’s blog :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Andy Andrews always gets me out of a funk!

  • http://mirrorsandwindowsnow.blogspot.com/ Alicha

    We have a tiny, azure painted schoolroom with lots of windows and books, a clear front woodpellet stove and a cosy cranberry striped loveseat. (I’m there now ;) When I’m feeling rundown, we, my daughters and I, stay in our PJ’s all day, do some schoolwork, read and rest! ~ That is not today though! Gotta Go! Have a great day!

  • Ed Chinn

    Very good list. But since you asked…

    ~ I fly my remote-controlled helicopter…it requires such concentration, that you have no brain space left for funk.

    ~ I take my 5-year-old grandson to Tractor Supply.
    ~ I go to a sushi lunch alone.
    ~ I read Charles Portis novel.
    ~ I just enjoy the funk.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      A remote-controlled helicopter? Now that sounds like some serious fun.

    • Joe Lalonde

      The remote-controlled helicopter sounds like a great idea! I think remote-controlled cars, airplanes, tanks, etc.. could be a great way to get out of a funk.

      That made me think of one way I get out of a funk too… We bought a stunt kite last year. It’s great to get out to the beach during the summer and zoom that baby around. I’m hoping to get into kiteboarding and think that that will be a great way to break out of a funk.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      It’s good to be a kid again – at least sometimes. Pulling out a favorite game or hobby is a great idea!

  • http://upinthecorner.wordpress.com/ Nic

    I would suggest
    -Write it out in a pocket notebook
    -Breathe deeply and say the Jesus Prayer
    -Go for a short drive to somewhere different than your environment
    -Make a cup of hot and take in the steam and aroma with your eyes closed

    -Nic

    • Sue Harrison

      Cup of hot is always good!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Write poems
    Solve brain teasers/ puzzles /sudoku
    Read jokes and laugh
    Play with kids
    Admire the nature

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Jokes are a great suggestion. I used to subscribe to an email service that sent me a joke a day. For some reason I stopped. Maybe I need to re-start this. It was also great to start the day with a laugh.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        True Mike! Though I am not part of any laughter clubs, I am conscious and intentional to laugh everyday by reading jokes/ watching comedies.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      I love getting outside and into the middle of nature. It helps me to put aside current issues and just enjoy something beautiful that God has made – it changes my whole mood.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        Exactly Steven! I get a fresh perspective to a persisting problem when I move away from the hustle bustle and take time to enjoy and admire nature.

  • Lola J. Lee Beno

    Having no real job for the past 5-6 years can put one in a serious funk. Thankfully, I’ve got a very supportive husband. I’ve got my knitting and spinning to keep my creative juices flowing (and am thinking about designing my first pattern). And, I’m working on something with two wonderful partners and we hope, pray, to see it really get off ground by the end of the year.

    • http://musicroad.blogspot.com kerrydexter

      good wishes on your project, Lola

  • http://davidsantistevan.com David Santistevan

    I think the best way for me to get out of a funk is to read a good book. When my mind is distracted it brings focus and inspires new ideas.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, especially (for me) a novel.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      That and playing music!

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        Music makes a huge difference for me – listening and playing! I used to sit for hours a day and just play – it was like an escape to my own little happy place :)

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          I could play for hours! Then when you are done playing, reality sets in and you have to begin work, school, etc. :)

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            So true. But the break is good. And the playing can be almost like a special prayer language between you and God. After a time like that, I am more ready for the realities of the day!

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            True. It is definitely another way to worship and communicate with God!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    When I’m in a funk, three things come to mind to get me out of it…

    1. Go to Starbucks or other coffee shop and have a hot cup of coffee and if I’m really in a funk… a pastry.
    2. Take my dog for a walk…
    3. Talk to God…

    I really like your number four, in fact, I think I’ll take you up on that!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      #4 is exactly what Gail and I are doing today. We’re thinking very seriously about the beach.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Beaches are really nice where I live, but it is raining really hard right now so that is not an option! haha

  • Jordan

    Make a good cup of coffee, or go out for coffee.

  • Cassandra Frear

    Look at something beautiful.

  • http://twitter.com/TNGThinx TanyaNaranjoGlorioso

    Thank you so much for this post! So timely! I needed this one today:)

  • Roger H

    Make a decision to help someone else. Listen to them tell you about what they are struggling with and think in terms of how you might help. It is amazing how your whole attitude shifts when you stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about how you could help someone else.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So true. I have experienced this many times.

  • http://andrew-meyers.com Andrew

    My go-to funk busters:

    * a good cup of coffee
    * turn off the TV
    * country music (makes me think of summer/sunshine)
    * focus on one task at a time

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ah, yes, coffee. It’s hard to beat a good cup!

  • Mgraham

    I’d add a 25th. Reread this post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Ha! I like that.

  • Lelia Chealey

    Take your focus off of the circumstance and get your eyes set on Jesus alone. Praise Him in advance for what He is going to do. Thanks for the wisdom, Michael.

  • SuzanneBurden

    Do something to provoke laughter. Journal about a funny incident, call a friend who makes you laugh, watch The Three Stooges or even a short, but funny, you-tube video.

  • Tracy Hoexter

    25. Turn on all the lights… things seem brighter in the light (literally and spiritually).

    Great post. Thanks!

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      Most of the time the blinds are closed in our house. It is interesting to see the whole mood and atmosphere change when we open up the blinds and windows and let in the sunshine and fresh air.

  • http://twitter.com/teitr teitr

    Laugh! Watch comedies, stand in front of the mirror and make faces at yourself, read a Steve Martin book, imagine.

  • http://LiveIntentionally.org Paul Steinbrueck

    Mike, I love #1, “Write a list of 10 things you are thankful for. Be specific.” I think most of the time people get in a funk, it’s because of disappointment, frustration, loss, or feeing like life isn’t fair. So, I think the best prescription is gratitude. Glad you’ve got it #1. When my kids are grumbling or complaining about something, I ask them to tell me 3 things they’re thankful for. That usually changes their perspective quickly.

    I also think doing something for someone else is a great solution. Similar to #11, “Do volunteer work with a local charity,” it’s doesn’t have to be as organize or formal. By doing something for someone else, it helps us realize:

    a) it’s not all about me,
    b) there are people in worse circumstances than I am,
    c) I matter, I can make a difference.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I like the list thing, too. For a while, I carried a Gratitude Rock in my pocket. Every time I touched it, I silently gave thanks for something. It was awesome!

  • http://bentune.blogspot.com/ Ben Tune

    I would add, “Be an encouragement to someone else.”

  • Pampugh

    MH – great post!
    My two cents:
    Do something for someone else – be other focused and remove focus from self.

    Encourage yourself by rereading your key life values.

    Laugh! Watch a funny short video or something that brings out the laughter in you. A SNL skit.

  • http://profiles.google.com/lossanchezusa1 Mauricio Sanchez

    Great list and great additional suggestions from your readers. Here is a couple more that I do:

    * I go for a swim, a bike ride or a run.
    * I take pictures. Spring time is a great time to take lots of great photos.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Taking photos is a great one. It helps you see things in a different way!

  • Blackwelltm

    How about dancing!! Or watching a movie that makes you laugh right out loud. Or telling stories on yourself: My boss told me yesterday that she came to work with her dress on inside out!!!

  • Gary

    Eat a small amount of an “indulgent” food and savor the flavor of each bite. For me, that involves any type of Belgian dark chocolate. It provides a real boost!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    Very timely post. I have been in a funk for about a week. I have been trying to get out of it. I have tried varying my routine, taking a different route to work, eating lunch at a different time, etc. I tried walking, music, reading, reading the Bible, praying, meditating, journaling, talking family and friends, going to bed earlier, and so forth and so on. So how did I get out of the funk. My 2 year old son Allen, ran up to me with his arms out, I picked him up and he gave me a bear hug. Case solved. God broken my funk and renewed my spirit through Allen.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Children are the best. Have you seen that viral video about the twin boys talking to one another in gibberish. Man, that will totally put a smile on your face.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

        I have, but I don’t need the video, I have twin girls and watch them talk in gibberish all day. The sad part is that they understand each other and I don’t. So I have to get one or the other to translate for me.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      That does it for me too. I love coming home and having my children run and jump into my arms. We call them “up hugs” – kids are up off the ground, wrapped arms and legs around me. Agreed…case solved.

  • http://twitter.com/doughibbard Doug Hibbard

    My funk-beater for the day: Go to jury duty today and be glad I’m in the jury box, not sitting behind the prosecutor as part of the victim’s family.

    I guess that’s one of my things to be thankful for.

    • Karl Mealor

      Call me strange, but I like jury duty. Usually, I see people in the jury pool that I haven’t seen in a long time. (Hopefully, none of my friends are defendants!)

      I did get nervous the last time I was on a case. We found the defendant guilty, and we had to be escorted to our cars by a deputy. Something about the family threatening revenge…Didn’t sleep too well for a few nights.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Do you know that I have never been called for jury duty? Amazing.

        • Karl Mealor

          My wife hasn’t either. We’ve been married for 17 years, and during that time I’ve been called four times.

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  • http://twitter.com/kpalmer71 Kerry Palmer

    This is really good. I find that when I tackle my biggest, ugliest task of the day first, I receive a tremendous energy boost. There is something invigorating about accomplishment!

  • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

    > Read Michael Hyatt’s blog. :)

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Haha! I do that and read Josh Hood’s blog!

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        True! I appreciate both blogs as well :)

  • http://www.tannaclark.com Tanna

    I’ll take one of my kids out to lunch or a movie for some one-on-one time and just be childlike with them. It always brightens my day!

  • Karl Mealor

    Other ideas:

    1) Electronic fast. Use nothing that requires electricity for 24 hours…or longer.
    2) Others have already mentioned coffee. I like mine very black and very strong.
    3) My grandmother used to sit on her front porch and just watch traffic go by. It used to drive me nuts, but I’m learning to appreciate a good sit.
    4) Read a good novel.
    5) Go swimming. The colder the water, the better.
    6) Yard work. Sunshine, exercise, and a feeling of accomplishment.
    7) Change environments. Take work to a place that you normally don’t work.
    8) Take Michael’s list, add any ideas that you have, and pick a couple of them completely at random. Resolve ahead of time that you will follow through with whatever comes up.

    About to try my own advice…Used random number generator at http://www.random.org/. Your number 24 and 19 was chosen, along with my #3.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yard work is something I really miss. I enjoyed the “think time” I got. Now I mostly do that while running.

  • Thespencesmith

    That pretty mich covers it i think:)…

    I go outside… Take a deep breath and smell the air. That helps… Then I go on a run to start getting the funk out…

  • Lissa

    Several have touched on this, but what helps me most is to keep perspective. In addition to being grateful for what I have, I focus on being grateful for what I don’t have: persecution, poverty-(lack of food, clean water, housing, medicine), blindness, abuse, missing arms/legs, etc. There are always people less fortunate than us, and when we realize some of the difficult situations others are in, it can help us to keep perspective on our “problems.” Thanks, Michael, for your thoughts! I always enjoy your posts.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I was in a funk the other day, and Gail said, “But at least you don’t live in Japan.” I am so spoiled!

  • http://www.darkglassponderings.blogspot.com/ Julia

    Love this list! You’ve added a few to my mental list of ideas. I guess we all have those days. My favorite things are:
    -singing along to praise music
    -cuddles with my kids or hubby
    -doing something for someone else reminds me to stop the cycle of self-pity
    -thinking of the poem “do the next thing” reminds me just keep going in spite of my emotions.

  • eki anjangsari

    Gardening and playing with your pets

  • Neil

    This post to come to my inbox – I signed up yesterday – was perfect for where I’m at, thank you! Reminds me of the only thing I remember from all the Swindoll books I read when I was a Protestant: he said more than 80% of life is how we respond to it.

    Good stuff Michael! I sill review later today and shake this funk off! Hooray!

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    I snuggle closer to God and ask Him to help me by explaining what I’m not seeing and by giving me His knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

  • http://www.jonnywhitman.com Jonathan Whitman

    Coffee with ginseng! :) (or espresso if you lack the ginseng)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have never tried that. Sounds interesting.

  • Jeannie

    Fool-proof way to break a funk: Go to a local diner, have a cup of coffee and leave a $20 tip. You will feel so wealthy, and get a huge lift all day whenever you think of that waiter or waitress discovering the money. (I love doing this on Christmas; that day I give a $50 bill to a hardworking server, doorman or valet.)

    • Jennifer

      Can I be your waitress!??

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Beautiful idea!

  • Kenlperry

    Go encourage someone who is hurting or lonely.

  • Les

    Interesting birds you have down in TN! What were they signing? Checks? Were they deaf and using sign language? :)

    When I am in a funk, I like to go on a long walk and sing praises to God in my mind (no one wants to hear me sing out loud!).

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Oops. I fixed that typo. Thanks for letting me know.

  • http://storiesfor.us Amelia

    I do a lot of those things as well. I’d add to the list creating something with my hands – I’ll pick up a sewing or knitting project or make some cards or put together a photo album, something tangible I can finish and that adds beauty to my life or someone else’s.

  • Mary

    I try to remember to read my mission satement and chief aim in life. (ideas from Napoleon Hill) It at least gets me out of a slump and at least points me in a better direction. I may need to read it multiple times today :) I will try some of your ideas.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Some great suggestions Mike! I can relate to the weather change bringing quite a funk. Living in Michigan, we were experiencing some nice days. Then the snow and cold hit again and we’ve slowly recovering from it.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Ya’ll had a rough one this year…but snow makes some awesome skiing!

      • Joe Lalonde

        You got that one right Brandon! Made me glad to have the snowblower instead of just a shovel. I don’t remember it snowing like this for years.

        I heard the skiing was great this year but we’ve never skied. The sledding was great though and we did get to try out snowshoeing. The weather was great for that this winter!

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          That’s good! You gotta try skiing! It’s the best!

          • Joe Lalonde

            I would like to. All the guys at my work are skiers and talk about it all the time. I just need to make some time so my wife and I can go and try it.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            You won’t regret it!

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          My kids have been begging for snow to get out and play in. I live in southern Colorado – you would think we would get snow; but, it stops just short of where I live. My kids (and me too) would love enough snow to build a huge snow fort – alas, an inch or two just does not do the trick :(

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

            Southern Missouri is the same. But I love when I get the chance to head out to CO. Going to be in Colorado Spgs in October!

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            I really enjoy Colorado – even though I grew up in Texas and still claim my Texan heritage. And speaking of the Springs, that is exactly where I live!!

            –Steven

            [Sent from my iPhone]

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

            Cool! I’ll be in COS in late September/early October. Maybe we should get together and grab some lunch or something!

          • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

            That would be cool. When it gets closer, send me an email and we can work out the details.

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

            Will do.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    I like your list! The first one is probably my favorite! I’m kinda busy today because I have a research paper due tomorrow, and I am starting to get my blog redesigned witht he WordPress. By the way, what are some great plugins to use?

  • http://titus2345.blogspot.com ET @ Titus2:3-5

    I like Keith Urban, too! There’s something about singing along with him that puts a smile on my face.

    Another thing that helps me get out of a funk is to get up and get out. Fresh air, a brisk walk, taking the kids to the park (we even did it in the snow this week)…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      One of my favorites is “Who Wouldn’t Want to Be Me.” It is such a great reminder of how privileged we are even if lost our job and are broke.

  • http://www.chadgibbs.com Chad Gibbs

    Nothing cheers me up like spending a few minutes with our dogs. Those guys are never in a bad mood, and they are always happy to see me.

  • http://www.undividedheart.blogspot.com Ben Wall

    I didn’t see hugging, kissing & tickling your kids–that just warms my heart. Hugging & kissing your spouse is pretty great too I might add!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Excellent additions!

  • Chris Shaughness

    Oh you missed a HUGE one! Spend time with your pets. Hug, play with, walk your dog. Pet your cat or other small pet. Nothing like love from animals.

  • http://twitter.com/BrettVaden Brett Vaden

    Drink a tall cup of extra bold coffee!

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

      YES!!!

  • Anonymous

    Pray for others worse off than you.

  • Lynda Connell

    Hold a baby

  • http://underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com Jan Cox

    I think I would switch number 17 and put it first. Then ask God to nudge you in the right direction for the rest of the numbers – God will start you with a better attitude and then you can do whatever it is that He feels will be the best. I like all your suggestions but sometimes people have something that they have to do – so it is better to be in a good place before the task is begun. God can do that.

  • Forrest Long

    Thanks Michael for sharing this list. I find myself at times in a funk or slipping into depression and I have found that several of the things on the list have worked for me. My main concern is that once I am moving down in that direction, not to let myself keep going in that direction. I can make a difference, often by doing one or more of these simple things.

  • Barons

    As odd as it may seem, when I’m in a funk I always listen to Christmas Carols. They always seem to put me in a better mood.

  • Sue Harrison

    I do a little nobody’s-watching-me, silly cha-cha dance with my dog. Allowing myself to be a little silly always helps.

  • http://markjmartin.com/ Mark Martin

    I like putting numbers 10 and 17 together and pray through a Psalm. The words of the scriptures help me understand how God is still faithful in the midst of the hard times.

    Thanks for the post.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Michael…I needed this post today.

  • Tom

    Thank you for these tips!

    I thoughts I would pass on a couple of thoughts:

    1. Have you seen this attack on the Bible in Huffington Post – http://dld.bz/Us3B ? Could you pass this on to authors or columnists who could write an adequate response? I have a friend who is a columnist in Washington Times; if someone can come up with a good response I could also pass it on.

    2. I know you are a productivity maven. Check this search engine – Greplin – that allows you to search across platforms, such as Gmail, Twitter, Evernote, etc. It starts out free.

    BTW, your picture doing the marathon is pretty cool!

  • http://twitter.com/jimseybert Jim Seybert

    Mike – It strikes me that quite a few of these hacks are related to dealing with “guilt.” Many could be paraphrased “stop feeling guilty about . . . . ”

    Guilt can devastate your self-esteem by leading to negative self-talk. And over-coming guilt is not easy because we’re culturally encouraged to feel guilt – even for things over which we have no control.

    So, you asked “what did I miss” and my specific suggestion for me–something I do to take me out of a funk–is to enjoy a really good cigar in the middle of the afternoon. Seriously. I know it’s not the best and most healthy choice, but one cigar every now and then can do wonders for my mind-set.

    And I don’t really think it’s the cigar itself, but the somewhat defiant act of: 1) lighting and burning $10-$15 dollars worth of dried leaves, 2) taking the time away from being productive, 3) risking health consequences – that makes it work.

    Don’t hear what I’m not saying – this isn’t advocacy for frequent abhorrent behavior as a remedy for the blues – but rather a simple declaration that “I am going to do something that I really enjoy doing without feeling guilty that it might not be something others would choose or approve.”

    Make sense?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Totally makes sense. I smoke an occasional cigar, but I hate the aftertaste. Someone suggested I start smoking a pipe. It seems like something a publisher should do!

  • http://twitter.com/bigmet Metric

    Laugh! Find a good comedy movie or TV show to watch, be around someone who has a good sense of humor, or read a humorous book or a good joke. Just make sure to keep it “clean”.

    Hope this doesn’t contradict #9 ;-/

  • Roxanne Nanney

    Decide you want to write a note of encouragement to someone, then do it for the first name that pops into your mind. The Holy Spirit is great about letting you know just the person who needs it.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatGuyKC K.C. Pro

    Great list! Thank you for sharing.
    I think it’s funny how bloggers always have their radar up for post ideas. So much fun. :)

  • Chris Shaughness

    My first post disappeared. I said:

    Oh you missed a HUGE one! Spend time with your pets. Hug, play with, walk your dog. Pet your cat or other small pet. Animals bring love and happiness.

  • http://twitter.com/SusanCrook1 Susan Crook

    #1) That “thang” called prayer works really well. Next, #2) I take a minute to “count my blessings.” I have two good friends with daughters the same age as mine (13) who are fighting for their lives this very minute. Wouldn’t they love it if their only problem was a “funk” day today? #3) I DON’T want to spend 40 years – let alone 40 minutes – in the dessert! We KNOW what God thinks of grumbling and complaining. Yikes! It’s serious stuff! So here’s to a non-funk day!

  • Tom

    I noticed a couple of typos in my post – it should have read, “Here are a couple of thoughts:” :)

  • Cecemines

    Since I never watch TV and rarely watch videos, I put on one of my favorite movies and fast forward to the scenes that make me happy. Sometimes just a scene or two from Bread and Tulips or Howard and Maude (especially the part where she is telling Howard to love life.) will reset my brain.

  • Anonymous

    Very enlightening list Michael! Here’s my share of thoughts of my way of getting out of my funk:
    1. Talk and listen to yourself.
    2. Watch a humorous or inspiring movie. Those that will leave big smiles in your faces at the end.
    3. Read a good book.
    4. Cook. Binge.
    5. Be blessed and be a blessing.

  • Anonymous

    Worship God and let His Spirit lead you.

  • http://www.adjuvancy.com/wordpress Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.

    Wow- 24 items. Either you were in a heck of a funk- or have specific hacks for specific causes!
    I have found calling and speaking with my (grown) kids does wonders. Writing a poem for them or my SO also works. Writing the poem uses enough working memory to overpower the funk- AND gives the rest of my brain a chance to develop a solution to preclude it.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Sometimes, once I get writing I can’t stop. Just the creativity of thinking about this got me out of the funk!

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    Not going to lie, number 7 has really helped at times in the past.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Crying is under-rated, especially for men.

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    I also keep a folder or encouraging notes, letters, and things from other people that have meant a lot to me. Reading and looking through those things is really encouraging.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    Watch a good movie.
    Play a musical instrument (beating on the drums usually does it for me!).
    Hang out with friends.

    Listen to a child laugh – and then join in :-)

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

      I love listening to my kids laugh, talk, play, especially in that high false “toy” voice. It’s so funny.

  • http://divinebalancelifecoaching.com Connie

    Thank you Michael! I needed that today. Think I will print the list and refer to it when needed! :)

  • Anonymous

    Love this list. I would just add
    *Serve or give to someone else.
    *pull out a classic Cary Grant comedy or Guys & Dolls with Marlon Brandon, Jean Simmons & Frank Sinatra

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    I check my schedule. I find that when I work work work there is a big high that then follows with a big low. Mostly because I have been outpouring and not getting filled up.
    I have to find ways to be filled again before I can expect to get out of any funk

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is a really good point. As an introvert, I get trained if I can’t take a break from people. Sometimes, just being alone or having a good’s rest is enough to make the difference.

  • Anonymous

    Having a good cry with a good song. Yup, that’s cleansing. Thank you for posting these, Michael! :)

  • http://renaissancerules.wordpress.com/ Randy Bosch

    #25: Read Michael Hyatt’s new post!

  • TNeal

    Funk! You too?

    I meet with a couple of friends each week and just talked this morning about being down the last two days. I can pinpoint some possible reasons but that doesn’t mean I know how to get out of it.

    Your cycle sounds similar to mine–exceptional weather in mid-March, sudden downturn in temps, and a mental crash a few weeks later. And I thought all I needed to do is move further south. You’re further south. Same problem. Perhaps one should take a cruise. :-)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Cruise? I think I will. (I’m leaving for my first-ever cruise on Saturday.)

      • TNeal

        I knew it was soon just not that soon. I’ll try to catch you in a couple of years. That would be my first.

  • Happier

    Play with my children… without any distractions.

  • Jack Lynady

    In other words, get your heart back. (He + Art= Heart). ;)

  • Mary C

    I like spur-of-the-moment movies for a pick-me-up— though I suspect it’s less the actual movies than giving myself an island of 90 minutes where I’m doing only what I want to do. In an overscheduled life (normally the source of my funk), it’s restorative. I’m also a fan of playing with a child or pet— the perspective shift is golden, and doing something active that makes me smile— dancing of almost any type, or roller skating— something where I feel a little silly but can’t help having fun.

  • Mnmarsh

    Play with my grandkids. That gets me out of my mood and gives my kids a few hours off.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com Nikole Hahn

    I’m feeling in a funk right now. It’s been a week of high and low extremes. Good thing it is Thursday.

  • http://twitter.com/DanNSurrealLife Daniel Sparks

    How would your list differ if you were writing to someone in “survival” mode that has been there for some time?

    A multi-year funk…Living paycheck to paycheck, and unable to afford vacations and massages and hot tubs. :-)

    Granted, most the items on this list ARE still applicable, but is there anything you’d add to help the downtrodden?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Since you are living this, what would you say to someone in a similar situation?

      • http://twitter.com/DanNSurrealLife Daniel Sparks

        I’d likely ammend #24 with “and enjoy God’s omnipotent sovereignty”. There’s rest in knowing that you’re not in control. There’s peace to be found in knowing that He is.

        I’d add “find comfort and joy in the act of suffering” because suffering is the vehicle of our purification and salvation, which will lead to endless comfort. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before him.

        I’d end with “don’t give up.” Cliche’? Yes. Proven? I hope so.

  • http://gatheringrubies.com Janice Garrison

    I always enjoy reading your blog and even thought I’m not in a funk, I received some great inspiration from # 20 today.

    I just want to say “Thank you!”

    You may read about it here

    Sincerely,
    Janice Garrison

    • http://gatheringrubies.com Janice Garrison

      For some reason (likely operator error) the hyperlink didn’t show up. It is http://gatheringrubies.com.

  • http://www.thehahnhuntinglodge.com Nikole Hahn

    God got in the middle of my funk today. Our family pastor stuck a sticker on my shirt that said “reinforced steel.” He said, “Have faith.” What a creative way to make a point that my funk is pointless!

  • http://www.robstill.com Rob Still

    Inspired by this post, I did #20 (although it’s hidden, not mailed). I think you made my day. Thanks!

  • Christie McRae

    I too love to read the Psalms, do something for someone else and ponder a favorite acronym (compliments of Beth Moore)- STOP – Savor The Obvious Presence (of God). When we get full of the trash of the world we can fail to see God’s hand and Him at work all around us. I think about all the “kisses from the King” and treasure each one.

  • Mevans3133

    Oh, besides the ones you mentioned-call or look at the latest pictures of my grandkids!

  • http://twitter.com/ConnieMcKnight Connie McKnight

    Michael,
    The first thing that comes to mind for me is to go visist a baby you love. Last night I went over to my grandson. My grandaughter said to me she can’t stay in a bad mood when she’s around him. They really bring joy into your life.

    I really liked point #8 Take control of that little voice in your head. “Change channels.” It really is that simple. If we want to be sad all we have to do is think about something sad, and the same works for being happy.

    Thanks for the post.

    Connie

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  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I actually grew up on Funk Street, a street called Fünkhgasse (gasse = street/road) in Europe. In German, the word “Funke” means “spark.” Makes sense, ’cause when you’re in a funk, you need some sort of spark to get you out of the funk.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love that!

  • Gzylka

    contemplation, introspection, thinking that is not shallow nor cheap

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Make your family/friends hot fudge Sundaes.

    (It works for me)

    • http://twitter.com/bethanyplanton Bethany Planton

      Ice cream makes everything better!

    • TNeal

      A simply mahhhvelous idea. Hot fudge for the funk.

  • Lynne

    I plan on implementing #4 tomorrow when I hit the road for Florida. The Atlanta weather has been no better than Nashville’s so the sunshine and warm temps will be most welcome.

    I might just stick a nice note to my husband on his desk somewhere (it will be hard to find there, trust me).

    In a recent conversation with a counselor (#5), he told me to embrace a particular fact (emphasis on fact, not feeling) of my life in Christ; that I am completely acceptable and desired by God. He asked me if I believed that Christ is undesirable or unwanted. Of course not. Well then? That was one of those sun-breaking-through-the-clouds kind of moments, if you know what I mean.

    Timely post, Michael. Thank you.

  • 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!

    thanks

    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;
    -praying;
    -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.

    –JM
    http://femmefuel.wordpress.com/

  • 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!