21 Ways to Improve Your Life

by Alli

Sometimes you’ve just got to try and shake it off (channeling my inner Taylor Swift) and move forward.

Ever since my mom suddenly passed away, my siblings and I have been trying to be there for our dad while dealing with our own grief. I wrote about it here: Is there such a thing as a helicopter child?  I recently made a list of 21 Ways to Improve Your Life while I was thinking about ways for dad (and myself) to keep going.  I think it may help you, too.

It’s so easy for grief to morph into depression. It’s natural to grieve and we don’t always handle loss the same way. However, when grief consumes your life and you begin to feel hopeless or helpless, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

If it’s not depression, and you’re just feeling down, here are 21 ways to improve your life. I promise!

21 Ways to Improve Your Life

21 Ways to Improve Your Life

 1.  Be positive.

According to the Mayo Clinic, being positive has many health benefits, including:

Increased life span
Lower rates of depression
Lower levels of distress
Greater resistance to the common cold
Better psychological and physical well-being
Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

2.  Gain More Knowledge (never stop learning).

3.  Follow Your Dreams.

4.  Care about others.

5.  Listen to music.

6.  Give more hugs.

7.  Practice being truthful.

8.  Forgive others. 

Unforgiveness can lead to bitterness. Who wants to live a bitter life? Not me!

9.  Pay it forward.

Let someone go in front of you in the checkout line. Pay for someone else’s coffee.

10. Spend more time with family and friends.

11. Watch less TV.

12. Start an exercise program and stick with it.

Walking is my favorite exercise. Exercising causes the body to produce endorphins – chemicals that can help you feel more peaceful and happy. Start slow and build up so that you don’t burn out.

13. Drink more water.

14. Get enough sleep.

15. Find a hobby.

16. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies.

17. Reduce sugar intake.

18. Adopt a pet.

19. Read more. 

20. Volunteer.

21. Pray for others. 

When we pray for others, we tend to stop focusing on our problems.

Bonus:  Clean and organize your house. 

There’s just something about a clean and organized house that makes me feel good.

What would you add to my 21 Ways to Improve Your Life?


Is someone you love dealing with grief? Here are 7 Ways to Help a Grieving Friend.

Sometimes we don't know what to do or say when a friend has suffered the loss of a loved one. Here's 7 Ways to Help A Grieving Friend.

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Lisa Jones July 18, 2016 - 9:36 am

You Have Some Great Tips I Try Myself To Do A Lot Of Them Especially Be Kind To Others It Makes Me Feel Good Inside I Love Putting A Smile On A Friend Or Strangers Face I Get Joy Out Of It! Sorry To Hear About Your Mom May She Be By Your Side ALWAYS!!!

Sue Davidson July 18, 2016 - 11:14 am

Hi Ali,
Your post is so timely for me. I lost my sister unexpectedly and my sisters and I have been helping my mom through this difficult period. I think we become numb and don’t realize that the tips such as walking, hugs to others, and helping someone else out help actually help prevent the depression from setting in. Great tips to be reminded of and DO!!

Tiaras & Tantrums July 18, 2016 - 12:15 pm

You have complied a wonderful list Allie. I agree that surrounding yourself with loved ones, positive people and good, fun activities will really help with the grieving process.

Franc Ramon July 18, 2016 - 12:56 pm

It’s really important to have an open mind and constantly gaining new knowledge. It also helps to have a positive outlook as everything becomes easier with that disposition.

Liz Mays July 18, 2016 - 5:03 pm

Getting adequate sleep and water have huge effects on how I feel. I love all of these ideas!

Jenn @ EngineerMommy July 18, 2016 - 5:51 pm

This is a great post with useful advice. I try to reduce my sugar intake on a daily basis. I also try to get some exercise in every day. It helps my mood so much by doing these two things.

Chrishelle Ebner July 18, 2016 - 6:33 pm

I think I would add give out more hugs. Hugs make me happy. Your tips are so great.. I love pay it forward, that’s good for your soul.

Dawn McAlexander July 18, 2016 - 8:01 pm

The first tip is very important. My husband always says knowledge is power. So, if you are always learning, then you are always gaining power.

Bonnie @wemake7 July 18, 2016 - 8:09 pm

These are all really great ways to improve life. I feel really good when my house is organized and clean.

Bella July 19, 2016 - 12:08 am

It is hard to believe that all of these little things can make such a difference in life but they really do. Staying positive is hard to master but once you get it things are a lot brighter.

Kendall July 19, 2016 - 1:13 am

These are amazing tips! I love this post! Drinking more water, doing things for other people and listening to music are my favorites on your list! Great tips!

Annemarie LeBlanc July 19, 2016 - 3:35 am

These are all great tips. My mother always told me, “Love yourself first. You cannot love others if you have not mastered this habit yet.” I hear this advice at the back of my mind when I lapse into those “I don’t care about how I look” moments. My life has always been good whenever I remind myself of my mom’s advice.

Inspiring Kitchen July 19, 2016 - 5:01 am

These are all great ways to improve your life. It always makes me feel great when I have helped others.

Amanda Love July 19, 2016 - 7:16 am

I couldn’t agree more with number 1! Having a positive outlook is important especially when you’re starting to raise a family. Learning never ends when school does and it’s important that you take every experience as a lesson as well. These are very good tips!

Kristen from The Road to Domestication July 19, 2016 - 9:35 am

These are great! And I must say, the drink water one is very true! I’m at a gallon a day now, and I can tell the difference when I don’t meet that quota!

Anosa July 19, 2016 - 1:47 pm

So sorry for your loss, these are some great tips. We all have different ways on dealing with grief but we shouldn’t deal on it and allow it to consume us

Ashleigh Walls July 19, 2016 - 4:57 pm

These are some really great tips. I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m glad that you’re trying to help your dad’s life improve.

Heather S-G July 19, 2016 - 5:38 pm

I love this list, it’s such a great reminder and inspiration. We went through something similar at the beginning of the year when my grandma passed away. So sorry for your loss, sending a big virtual hug your way!

ricci July 19, 2016 - 10:20 pm

These are all great tips on improving your life daily!! Love this post!!!

LaShonda Woodard July 19, 2016 - 11:42 pm

These are really good tips! I need to do about half of these. I think its funny how common sense works.

CourtneyLynne July 21, 2016 - 11:04 am

Great tips!!! I’m someone who tries to be positive 24/7! I’m convinced if you change your attitude to a good one, you will always change your life for the better!

Vero July 24, 2016 - 2:25 am

Thanks Alli, great list! I’m trying to practice most of them to some extent plus meditation. Maybe I should try to implement this exercise program thing…

Leila August 26, 2019 - 1:05 am

Thanks, Ali for sorting this great list from your article. I’ve been reading your post for a while since I found it interesting and informative, I hope you can write more post and I’m looking forward to more works! I’ve bookmarked your page already to keep always updated.


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