Sometimes the things that put us in a bad mood are totally obvious, like when you get stuck in traffic going to and from work, come home to find a broken pipe has flooded your bathroom floor or discover your favorite pair of heels are now your puppy’s new toy. But other times bad moods seem to creep up from out of nowhere, sucking the wind out of our upbeat sails. What gives? Well, experts have discovered some surprising, subtle factors that can unknowingly affect your outlook, like the lighting in your bedroom and social gatherings that are supposed to be fun. See if any of these sneaky mood wreckers sound familiar, try our easy science-backed tips for overcoming them, then get smiling again—you deserve to be happy!
A too-bright bedroom
You likely don’t leave the overhead lights on while you sleep at night, but even dim light while you doze could make you depressed, animal research in Psychoneuroendocrinology indicates. Nighttime light suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone tied to mood. You may feel sunnier if you use room-darkening shades and don’t drift off with the TV on.