13 Short Positive Quotes that Will Boost Your Mood Right Now
If you're finding yourself in desperate need of an attitude adjustment, these short positive quotes should do the trick.
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Getting in a good mood
The Covid-19 pandemic has transformed our world. It’s no surprise that more than one-third of Americans have reported feelings of anxiety and depression in the ongoing federal Household Pulse Survey. “Living through a global pandemic keeps us in a low-grade state of anxiety,” confirms Hayley Gallagher, a licensed professional counselor specializing in family therapy, self-care, and wellness. “The constant feed of stress streaming in the background can lead to mental health issues even in the most centered of humans.”
But there’s hope for us, Gallagher adds, if we can maintain a positive attitude, which can reduce stress and encourage feelings of well-being. In fact, a wide spectrum of evidence documents the healing powers of “positive affect”—science-speak for a good mood. Although putting yourself in a good mood when you’re not feeling it can seem challenging, sometimes all it takes is an encouraging word or two to boost your mood. That’s where these short positive quotes come in.
You never know what might be your salvation
“The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.” — Barbara Kingsolver
In her book of essays, Small Wonder, writer Barbara Kingsolver muses about people, nature, and society, managing to find wonder in the smallest of things while also demonstrating that our perceptions of how things are and how they should be are often in need of a bit of tweaking. (Here’s why reading is so important for your brain.)
Keep at it
“That’s the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and WORTH the doing.” — Ray Bradbury
This comes from Ray Bradbury’s science fiction classic, Fahrenheit 451. The character of Granger—a patient intellectual committed to preserving books through the dark times—speaks these words. (If you’re feeling down, these depression quotes may help.)
Something new is just about to happen
“Don’t worry. Just when you think your life is over, a new storyline falls from the sky and lands right in your lap.” — Rebekah Crane
When things are going well, we want them to stay the same. They never do, and thank goodness, because it follows that when things are going poorly, they’re also going to change, as novelist Rebekah Crane points out in her young adult novel, The Upside of Falling Down. (Some change is great, like these changes that can really benefit your health.)
Change can be exciting
“Isn’t life exciting? Everything can change all of a sudden, and for no reason at all!” — Tove Jansson
Finnish author, Tove Jansson, wrote this series of children’s fantasy novels more than 50 years ago. Her Moominpappa at Sea, which is about a family moving to a lighthouse on a remote island, is chock full of eternal and universal truths such as this one. (Keep your family entertained with these fun family activities.)
There’s joy in this moment
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” — Henry David Thoreau
You don’t have to do what Henry David Thoreau did—spend two years living in an isolated cabin in the woods of Walden, Massachusetts—to gain from what he learned there. In his book Walden, Thoreau writes about his discovery that every moment contains its own pleasures.
Let nature nurture you
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside.” — Anne Frank
In Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, published after Anne Frank’s death at Bergen-Belsen, a World War II-era concentration camp, she sings the praises of communing with nature and its “simple beauty.” As long as it exists, she points out, “I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.” (Head outdoors and learn about the benefits of forest bathing here.)
Be there for it
“There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it,’ said my mother. ‘Put yourself in the way of beauty.” — Cheryl Strayed
When Cheryl Strayed was reeling after the death of her mother, she found herself looking back at her life and not liking the view. Inspired by her mother’s words, she made the decision to “be the change” she needed by hiking along the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed describes her transformative experience in Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.
You are the ideal you
“Our true nature is not some ideal that we have to live up to. It’s who we are right now, and that’s what we can celebrate.” — Pema Chödrön
This comes from The Wisdom of No Escape, authored by American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön. The book is a transcription of lectures she gave during a month-long meditation retreat in 1989. (See what Chödrön and others have to say about the importance of self-care.)
There is still light
“And when the night is cloudy,
there is still a light that shines on me.” — Paul McCartney
The title of this classic Beatles song, “Let It Be,” could alone be the positive inspiration you’re looking for. (Here are 17 short inspirational quotes to brighten your day.)
“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” — Voltaire
From the 17th century comes these words of wisdom from French Enlightenment author, Voltaire, which echo the advice of today’s mental health experts who advise cultivating gratitude as a way of finding joy. “The most powerful technique to stay upbeat is to practice radical gratitude,” advises John Sovec, a licensed marriage and family therapist and coach in Pasadena, California. Sovec defines “radical gratitude” as finding the small things that make our lives magical, such as “the sound of the dog snoring, the feel of sunlight on one’s skin, the taste of a cool glass of water” and cultivating gratitude for them. “Small gratitudes add up and re-energize you.”
The power of positive thinking
“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” — William Shakespeare
Though these words signal doom for Hamlet, they are true and you can use them to set yourself on an upbeat path. (Here are six easy steps to building a positive attitude.)
Better things are on the way
“Be an optimist instead
And somehow happiness will find you
Forget what happened yesterday
I know that better things are on the way” — Ray Davies
The song, “Better Things,” from The Kinks’ album Give the People What They Want, may be the most optimistic song ever written. These lines are preceded by “Here’s hoping all the days ahead/Won’t be as bitter as the ones behind you.” When you’re feeling beaten down, let these four lines remind you that it’s all just temporary.
Next up, here are more positive thinking quotes to inspire you.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Household Pulse Survey"
- Hayley Gallagher, MA, AT, LPC, licensed professional counselor and art therapist specializing in family therapy, self-care and wellness
- American Psychology: "Positive Affect and the Complex Dynamics of Human Flourishing"
- John Sovec, licensed therapist and coach in Pasadena California