50 Ways to Feel Better About Yourself When You've Lost Your Self-Confidence

When you're doubting your self-worth, it can be hard to know how to find self-confidence and self-respect again. Maybe your normal coping mechanisms just aren't working this time, and you don't know how to feel better again. Maybe self-help advice like mantras and affirmations are feeling a lot like toxic positivity. Or maybe you can't muster up the energy to even try the tips and tricks you typically turn to when you need to think about things differently when you're having an attack of insecurity or stuck inside an anxiety cave. Feeling low about yourself can even be alienating — sometimes, it seems like everyone else in the world has their stuff together, and you're the only one to be struggling with a case of self-doubt. (Not true, for the record.)

How To Feel Better

The truth is, there's no magic formula for instantly having a change of heart. And if your bad mood is persistent or intense enough to disrupt your daily routine and life, it's essential for you to seek additional help, such as virtual or in-person therapy.

But for days when you're feeling blah about yourself or your abilities, there are small steps you can take to feel better about yourself. Feeling down can be triggered by seemingly insignificant moments or monumental issues that feel impossible to fix — but no matter what has you doubting your self-worth, try some of these suggestions to make a little progress today. Not every tip is for every person, but chances are you'll find at least a handful that will work for you. Even just reading through the list can provide a mood boost, by reminding yourself that there are little actions you can take to boost your self-confidence.

Additional reporting by Sarah Lipoff

01
Breathing Exercises Could Boost Your Mood
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Breathing Exercises Could Boost Your Mood

Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and visualize things working out. Repeat up to five times, until you feel your mood start to shift — and lift.

02
Make Yourself Feel Better With a "Happy List"
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Make Yourself Feel Better With a "Happy List"

When you need to feel better about yourself, write down five things that you are proud of. Stick the list in your wallet to pull out to remind yourself that you're awesome.

03
Gas Yourself Up to Feel Good About Yourself
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Gas Yourself Up to Feel Good About Yourself

Give yourself a quick pep talk. If you have to, imagine that you're talking to a close friend or loved one. What would you say to them to lift their spirits? You'll be feeling good in no time.

04
Tap Your Support System
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Tap Your Support System

Call a friend and tell them you're feeling down. Sometimes just admitting you're not feeling great makes things better instantly.

05
Just Smiling Can Make You Feel Better
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Just Smiling Can Make You Feel Better

Get in front of a mirror or your phone and smile. Take a minute to acknowledge your looks and appreciate your favorite part of your face. Selfies are a great form of self-care.

06
Comfort Yourself With Animal Therapy
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Comfort Yourself With Animal Therapy

Watch a silly pet video. Enough said.

07
Do Your Nails For a Self-Esteem Boost
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Do Your Nails For a Self-Esteem Boost

Give yourself an at-home manicure with a color you love but you regularly wouldn't wear and flaunt it. Every time you catch a glimpse of your nails, it'll give your spirits a lift.

08
Try This 3-Part Reset to Shake Off Discouragement
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Try This 3-Part Reset to Shake Off Discouragement

First, take a deep breath. Then, acknowledge things aren't going your way. Finally, move on with your day. Repeat as needed. You'll be feeling better about yourself before long.

09
Switch Your Self-Talk For a Positive Lift
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Switch Your Self-Talk For a Positive Lift

Stop with negative self-talk. Switch the thoughts of negativity to positive mantras, such as "I am strong!" This isn't an overnight fix. First, start to notice when you're stuck in a negative self-talk loop. Then, begin replacing negative thoughts with positive ones that feel affirming. Over time, this will become habit.

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Writing Down Goals Can Help You Feel Optimistic
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Writing Down Goals Can Help You Feel Optimistic

Write out a list of goals. The key: make sure your goals are super-realistic and attainable. Then, carry that list with you to motivate you and remind you of your purpose.

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Practicing Mindfulness Can Shift Your Outlook
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Practicing Mindfulness Can Shift Your Outlook

Put down your phone and pay attention to what's going on around you. Just spending a few moments appreciating nature, unique faces, and the hustle and bustle gets your mind off things.

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Center Yourself With Meditation
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Center Yourself With Meditation

If you can sit for 20 minutes, great. If that sounds terrifying, keep your meditation short: close your eyes, take 10 deep breaths, and imagine something relaxing.

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Remember to Run Your Own Race
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Remember to Run Your Own Race

One of the best ways to feel better about yourself is to stop comparing yourself to others! By trying to be similar to someone else, you're forgetting what's awesome about you.

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Working Out Can Boost Your Endorphins
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Working Out Can Boost Your Endorphins

Get some exercise, and you'll feel better in no time. Working out is a distraction from being in the dumps, and helps you tap into some sweet, sweet endorphins. One tip: choose your very favorite type of workout. No need to do something that feels grueling in the best of times when you're already in a funk.

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Play Spa to Increase Your Self-Worth
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Play Spa to Increase Your Self-Worth

Give yourself an at-home facial. When you spend time taking care of yourself, you remind yourself that you're worthy.

16
Give In to Tears to Shake Off the Blues
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Give In to Tears to Shake Off the Blues

When you need to shake off a mood and feel better about yourself, go ahead and cry it out. Sometimes, it's cathartic.

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Feel Better By Practicing Gratitude
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Feel Better By Practicing Gratitude

Write down what you're thankful for. Make sure to focus on things you really do feel grateful for, rather than trying to force yourself. Add to the list in your head throughout the day, when you notice something you appreciate.

18
Take a Walk to Lift Your Mind
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Take a Walk to Lift Your Mind

Take a walk by yourself. Stay in the moment, breathe in and out, and slow down. Call it a hot girl walk, if you feel so inclined.

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Belt It Out to Lighten Your Day
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Belt It Out to Lighten Your Day

Sing like no one can hear you. Really, it will change your mood and have you feeling better about yourself in no time. If you're feeling especially adventurous, pair the song with a few dance moves.

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Feel More Connected By Spreading Social Love
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Feel More Connected By Spreading Social Love

Say something positive to someone on social media. There's nothing to be afraid of — just make a bit of small talk, which is a fun way to connect with strangers.

21
Clear Your Workspace to Feel More In Control
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Clear Your Workspace to Feel More In Control

Clean your desk. There's something symbolic about clearing off your workspace — it gives you a chance to mentally reset and start fresh.

22
De-Clutter Your Closet to Lighten Your Spirits
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De-Clutter Your Closet to Lighten Your Spirits

Go through your closet and make a collection of clothes to donate. You'll feel better knowing your clothes will go to someone in need. And there is something about opening the door to a clean closet that makes you feel super accomplished.

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Spread Kindness to Feel More Joy
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Spread Kindness to Feel More Joy

Send flowers to a good friend. Or Venmo them $5 to spend on coffee or a small treat. The simple act of giving to others is a sneaky way to lift your own spirits.

24
Get Close to a Pet to Calm Your Mind
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Get Close to a Pet to Calm Your Mind

Pet a dog or cat, which instantly calms nerves and lowers blood pressure. If you don't have your own, "borrow" a friend's.

25
Think Back to Happy Thoughts
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Think Back to Happy Thoughts

Relive a favorite memory. Try to pull in all of your senses — what were you seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting? Hold onto the feeling, savor them, and let the good feelings flood in.

26
Make Yourself Feel Better By Hugging It Out
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Make Yourself Feel Better By Hugging It Out

If you're wondering how to feel good, here's an easy way: give someone (or yourself!) a hug. Instant oxytocin boost.

27
Smile at a Stranger to Change Your Mindset
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Smile at a Stranger to Change Your Mindset

Smile big at a stranger. It can be surprisingly scary to try, but once you start, it's hard to stop.

28
Make Like a Model For a Confidence Boost
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Make Like a Model For a Confidence Boost

When you need a feel-good boost, put your shoulders back and act like you're walking the red carpet. Even though you're faking it, you'll help elevate your mood.

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Switch Up Your Routine to Get Our of Your Head
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Switch Up Your Routine to Get Our of Your Head

Do something different. If you always take the same route to work, try a different direction. Do something different with your makeup, or your hair.

30
Journal Away Your Negative Thoughts
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Journal Away Your Negative Thoughts

Grab your journal and write about what's bothering you. Don't try to stick to any structure; just free-write until you feel a release.

31
Stop and Smell the Flowers For an Instant Lift
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Stop and Smell the Flowers For an Instant Lift

Literally, smell flowers — or treat yourself to a stunning bouquet. Something about bringing nature near you can be instantly relaxing.

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Take a Risk To Boost Your Adrenaline
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Take a Risk To Boost Your Adrenaline

A safe risk — like, ask out your crush, or sign up for a class you've been dreaming about for a while, or apply to your dream job. It's sure to jolt you into a different perspective.

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Feel Happier By Moving Your Body
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Feel Happier By Moving Your Body

This one may sound a little out there, but try it before you dismiss it. Mime yourself literally pushing negative thoughts to the side, as you turn your thoughts to something positive.

34
Plan a Vacation to Put a Smile On Your Face
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Plan a Vacation to Put a Smile On Your Face

Plan the ultimate vacation, focusing on everything you want to do. Write down all the awesome places you'd like to explore and keep it handy when you need to focus on a better place. This can be a dream trip that never gets realized; just researching a new place is an excellent way to feed your spirit and feel better about yourself and your future.

35
Create a "Power Board" to Help Yourself Dream Bigger
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Create a "Power Board" to Help Yourself Dream Bigger

A "power board" is a poster board filled with pictures of yourself with loved ones, along with inspirational words and images. Just the act of creating it can be affirming, and if you end up in a funk later on, you can revisit the board to lift your spirits.

36
Remind Yourself of the Uncontrollable To Shake Off Rumination
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Remind Yourself of the Uncontrollable To Shake Off Rumination

Ask yourself what you really have control over in the present moment. If there's something you can reasonably change to help improve your situation, go for it. But chances are, there's a lot that's out of your control. Identify those things, and let yourself off the hook for being responsible for them.

37
Let the Past Be the Past
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Let the Past Be the Past

This is easier said than done, but: stop with should-have-could-have scenarios. You can't change the past, but you can put your best foot forward. In practice, this tip looks like catching yourself when you're rehashing a past event, reminding yourself that you can't change what happened, reassuring yourself that you're probably being harder on yourself than anyone else would be, and redirecting your attention to the present moment.

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Treat Yourself to Something You Love
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Treat Yourself to Something You Love

Indulge in something you love and remind yourself why it's one of your favorite things. Buy yourself that really-too-expensive coffee drink you usually don't splurge on; take yourself to a cafe to read a book while enjoying a pastry; wear your very favorite but kind of fancy outfit even if you aren't going anywhere special. You'll be feeling good in no time.

39
Practice Self-Compassion to Soothe Yourself
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Practice Self-Compassion to Soothe Yourself

It can be hard to find ways to show yourself kindness, so consider asking yourself how you would be kind to a friend, and doing the same for you. Buy yourself a greeting card and write a nice message inside, for instance, or take yourself for a walk, or intentionally think to yourself a message of compassion when you're beating yourself up.

40
Learn to Let Go of Perfectionism
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Learn to Let Go of Perfectionism

Be honest with yourself: Are you really the worst, or are you simply holding yourself to wayyy too high a standard? What would happen if you lowered the bar for yourself? Remind yourself that being perfect isn't possible, and you're doing great just as you are.

41
Think About Your Wins to Get Out of a Slump
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Think About Your Wins to Get Out of a Slump

Reflect on your accomplishments. This can help pull you out of a mental spiral about your current circumstances, and remind you that you are pretty awesome.

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Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To By Picking Up a Hobby
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Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To By Picking Up a Hobby

Whether it's a hobby you already love, a past-time you used to enjoy but lost touch with, or something totally new, a hobby can help take your mind off your troubles, relax you, and reconnect you with yourself.

44
Flood Your Feed With Happy News
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Flood Your Feed With Happy News

There are so many positive social media accounts out there, from TikTok creators dedicating to rounding up clips meant to remind you of humanity's kindness, to Instagram feeds that post uplifting mantras multiple times a day. Try searching positive hashtags and see where they lead you.

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Clear Your Calendar to Take a Mental Reset
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Clear Your Calendar to Take a Mental Reset

Remember it's OK to say no when you're feeling overwhelmed. Look at your schedule and if there are events you're dreading — either because you're already busy or because it involves doing something or seeing something you aren't looking forward to — try to cancel.

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Try Something New For a Quick Thrill
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Try Something New For a Quick Thrill

To help yourself feel good, challenge yourself to try something new — signing up for a race or a pottery class, for instance. Even if you don't enjoy, novelty can be thrilling, and help get you out of your head.

47
Fish for Compliments to Comfort Yourself
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Fish for Compliments to Comfort Yourself

Make a coffee or phone date with a good friend, and get vulnerable: ask them what they like about you. This might feel scary or rude, but a close friend will welcome a chance to talk about why they love you — and hearing the words from someone else's mouth will help you internalize them.

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Make a FaceTime Date With Someone You Love
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Make a FaceTime Date With Someone You Love

Sometimes, a mere phone call doesn't cut it. Instead, have a virtual happy hour with your long-distance friends. Even just having plans on the calendar can be mood-boosting.

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Sit with Your Feelings and Comfort Yourself
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Sit with Your Feelings and Comfort Yourself

Acknowledge your feelings. It's totally natural to feel insecure, and admitting it is courageous.

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