ILLUSTRATION: Sad smiley face
(Tribune News Service)

It’s said that true happiness comes from within, so what happens when you need a little dose of external joy? Check out these tips for an instant pick-me-up.

Delight in the Panda Cam

Nothing brings happiness quite like watching a real-time camera feed of furry animals. Whether it’s five minutes or 50 minutes, you can take a virtual visit to the zoo at any hour. The San Diego Zoo has a live camera feed for their pandas, and many other animals, at

Revisit past memories

Dig out some old photos or scroll through your camera roll on your phone. Reminiscing about vacations, outings or events is an easy way to recharge your mood.

Make someone smile

Pay someone a compliment, do a good deed or send a friendly text. Boosting someone else’s happiness can give you a blissful feeling from helping others.

Open the curtains

Sit by a window or take a walk outside. Sunshine stimulates serotonin and melatonin production in the brain, which can help to maintain a happy and awake feeling.

Plan your weekend

Give yourself something to look forward to by arranging fun activities for your days off. There’s also an added bonus here! A little pre-planning can help to ensure you make the most out of your weekend.

Cross something off of your to-do list

Take a few minutes to do one simple task. It can be scheduling an appointment or running an errand. By taking care of just one little chore, you can allow yourself to feel accomplished and rid yourself of guilt, however small it may seem.

Head to YouTube

The home of surprised kittens, music videos and much more, browsing YouTube is pure entertainment.

Just a few minutes of distraction and relaxation can rejuvenate you.

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