Cheap Ways to Improve Your Day

At Home

  1. Spend a day in your pyjamas.
  2. Use something you save for best.
  3. Pick daisies and buttercups and arrange them in a teeny tiny vase/milk jug/sugar bowl/egg cup.
  4. Build a blanket fort.
  5. Plant some seeds.
  6. Get up early.
  7. Have an afternoon nap.
  8. Get eight hours sleep a night every night for a week.

Food and Drink

  1. Try a strange fruit or vegetable.
  2. Go to the ice cream shop (the local one, not the super-expensive international chain one) and try a new flavour.
  3. Have a picnic. Make the sandwiches yourself.
  4. Make pizzas from scratch.
  5. Add mini marshmallows to your hot chocolate.
  6. Have a tea party. You provide the tea; ask your friends to bring snacks.
  7. Make something outside your cooking comfort zone.
  8. Drink more water.
  9. Bake something and share it with friends.
  10. Eat at a table. With a candle and everything.
  11. Buy the really good chocolate.
  12. Try a different brand of a staple food.
  13. Flip pancakes.
  14. Bake bread.
  15. Select your cereal for the free toy.
  16. Make soup.
  17. Take your time over breakfast. Eat food which you need to prepare.
  18. Have a midnight feast.

Go Outdoors

  1. Play on the swings. And the roundabout.
  2. Watch a sport.
  3. Splash in puddles.
  4. Kick through leaves.
  5. Hopscotch your way along the pavement. Don't step on any lines.
  6. Turn a few different corners on a familiar path.
  7. Go to a local parade or event.
  8. Sit outside on your own and don't play with your phone.
  9. Visit a local interest spot.
  10. Take the long walk home.
  11. Volunteer at an event.
  12. Wander aimlessly.
  13. Go for a midnight stroll.
  14. Go geocaching.
  15. Feed the ducks.
  16. Go to a museum or art gallery. Play at being a tourist in your own town.
  17. Stargaze during a meteor shower.
  18. Watch the sun set. And the sun rise.
  19. Catch a bus or a train to somewhere you've never been.
  20. Decorate a bus stop (without causing any damage, obviously!).
  21. Find shapes in the clouds. 
  22. Go foraging for berries.
  23. Draw pictures in the sand.
  24. Explore the countryside.
  25. Climb a tree.
  26. Make a daisy chain.
  27. Map out five different routes for a journey you do every day. Try them all this week, both directions.
  28. Feed the birds.

Other People

  1. Go through your contacts list and message someone you haven't spoken to in ages.
  2. Invite someone to meet you for coffee. In your own home, if money is tight.
  3. Pop your friend's favourite sweet treat through their letterbox. Anonymously.
  4. Do something nice for somebody you don't know.
  5. Tell someone you love them.
  6. Arrange a book swap/used clothes swap/homemade cake swap with your friends. 
  7. Switch your phone off when you're spending time with friends.
  8. Send a friend something silly to make them smile. 
  9. Pay a stranger a compliment.
  10. Have a huge game of hide and seek. 
  11. Send a thank you card.
  12. Find out more about your family. Ask your relatives for stories.
  13. Meet someone for a quick coffee and cake after work.
  14. Take a long lunch hour and do something special with it.

Arts, Crafts and Photography

  1. Photograph a favourite place.
  2. Change your phone/desktop background to a favourite photograph.
  3. Make one of those things you've pinned. Something which doesn't require you to go to the craft shop first. Origami. Refashioning a T-shirt. Drawing on crockery.
  4. Photograph strangers (with their permission).
  5. Hang something new on the wall. Make it yourself.
  6. Frame or display something with sentimental value.
  7. Photograph a rainbow of colours.
  8. Get some favourite photos printed.
  9. Make pompoms. Sew them to your hats or string them up like bunting.
  10. Recreate an old photograph.
  11. Set your camera to black and white and go for a walk with it.
  12. Stick googly eyes on everything. Draw faces on your (unpeeled) fruit. Paint a face on a flower pot.
  13. Fly paper aeroplanes.
  14. Swap around the different coloured inks in your printer and print out some pictures.
  15. Take a photo a friend would like, not one you (necessarily) would.
  16. Do some colouring in.
  17. Make a bouquet of paper or fabric flowers. Fill a vase.
  18. Take a photo then turn 180 degrees and photograph what's behind you.
  19. Take a photo every five minutes for an hour.
  20. Photograph your parents' (or a significant person from your childhood's) home. Look for design elements you unconsciously repeat in your own home.

Reading and Writing

  1. Have an early night with a good book.
  2. Write honestly about how you're feeling these days.
  3. Send a postcard just because.
  4. Write your manifesto.
  5. Pick a book outside your usual genres and read it.
  6. Read a biography.
  7. Leave a good book for a stranger to find. 
  8. Write a letter to an old friend.
  9. Join the library.
  10. Re-read your favourite book from childhood.

Films, Music and Pop Culture

  1. Watch a favourite film or TV show from your childhood.
  2. Make a compilation of all the songs which take you back to specific times and places in your life.
  3. Put on an old favourite song and dance.
  4. Ask your friends for music recommendations. Listen to them.
  5. Have a DVD day.
  6. Dance like nobody's watching.
  7. Sing like nobody's listening.
  8. Play a board game. One you already own or a random one from the charity shop.
  9. Watch a classic film you've never got around to before.
  10. Watch a really silly film you're a little embarrassed about. Don't be afraid to laugh.
  11. Make a mix tape (or, okay, a playlist) of all your favourite bouncy songs. Listen to it all the way through.
  12. Watch scary films on Friday 13th.
  13. Watch a film which you wouldn't normally bother with. Give it shot.
  14. Put on music you think you're too cool for and dance without irony.

Dressing Up

  1. Wear something you save for best. 
  2. Put on silly clothes and pose for the camera. Involve your friends.
  3. Wear something you haven't worn for a very long time. Decide if you really want to keep it.
  4. Overdress.
  5. Paint your toenails.
  6. Organise your wardrobe by colour. Or length. Or style.
  7. Dress up as somebody else. Walk around in clothes which feel weird to you.
  8. Wear the thing you bought but were too scared to be seen in. Brightly coloured tights. Low neck line. Slogan T-shirt.
  9. Wrap up warm.

Be Productive

  1. Score a couple of simple things off your to do list (tighten that screw; replace that battery; dust that light shade). Feel like you've accomplished something.
  2. Rearrange some furniture.
  3. Get rid of five things you no longer love.
  4. Spend a day blitzing your to do list.
  5. Repair one of the things in your mending pile.
  6. Make that appointment you've been procrastinating about.
  7. Clear out your toiletries. If something's been open more than a year, get rid of it. 
  8. Clean something you usually ignore. The inside of the oven. Behind the sofa. The tops of your books.
  9. Check all the best before dates in your kitchen.
  10. Look into better bank accounts. If you find one, apply for it.
  11. Throw out uncomfortable clothes and shoes.
  12. Cull your contacts list. Get rid of the exes and the electrician who never showed up.
  13. Set a timer for one hour. Clean and tidy everything you can.
  14. Clear out your blog reader.
  15. Donate something. Especially blood.
  16. Chuck out your tatty underwear.
  17. Tidy one room. Just one.
  18. Spend ten minutes unsubscribing from junk emails.


  1. Have an techno - (or at least internet) - free weekend.
  2. Write a big, long list of things that make you happy.
  3. Give up your biggest vice for a week.
  4. Get some exercise.
  5. Do something you loved to do as a kid. Climb trees. Finger paint. Jump in puddles.
  6. Write down one guilty secret and let it go.
  7. Make a big fuss of your (or friends') pets.
  8. Make plans. Happy plans.
  9. Write down three things which made you happy today. Every day. For at least a week.
  10. Email your future self.
  11. Smile at your own reflection.
  12. Bite back the negativity. Especially about yourself. See if you can manage a week.
  13. List at least ten things you love about the town/city/village you live in.