Happy woman relaxing in chair

At one point or another, we all need a little pick me up! Extravagant vacations and pricey gifts are wonderful, but not always feasible with our budgets. However, there are other avenues to making yourself happy during stressful or hard times. Give yourself a reason to smile with these simple and inexpensive ways to treat yourself.

1. Draw Yourself a Warm Bath

Wash away all of the worries and stress of the day with a warm, rejuvenating bath. Taking a nice long bath is such a perfect and easy way to treat yourself. In fact, studies show that bathing induces feelings of comfort and easiness, and that kind of environment allows your mind, and your body, to relax. Don’t forget the bubbles and a scented candle (both available at Bath and Body Works) for ultimate relaxation!

2. Start a New Book

In a world full of social media and Netflix, you often overlook simple pleasures like reading. Go to an actual bookstore and buy a book you’ve always thought about reading. You can also be spontaneous and see what catches your eye. Curl up at home for a relaxing read or take it outside to the beach or park as a way to treat your mind and your soul.

3. Buy One of Your Favorite Drinks

Whether it’s coffee, tea, or a sweet milkshake, sipping on your favorite drink never fails as a yummy and inexpensive way to make yourself happy. Make a quick pit stop on your way to work or as you run errands and enjoy!

4. Go Catch a Flick

Escape reality for a couple of hours by catching a movie at your local theater. Matinee tickets are a great option if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to treat yourself.

5. Listen to Music While You Shower

Music soothes the soul and has the power to affect your emotions—use it to your advantage! According to researchers, listening to music has a significant effect on our moods and emotions because of brain dopamine regulation — a neurotransmitter that is highly involved in emotional behavior and mood regulation. So, start your day off right by throwing on some of your favorite uplifting songs while you shower. A little singing and dancing is always a fun method of making yourself happy. Walmart offers a variety of Bluetooth shower speakers at affordable prices!

6. Take a Cat Nap

Life’s responsibilities can take a toll on your sleep schedule. If you feel like you haven’t gotten one second to close your eyes, do everything you can to find that 30-minute break for a cat nap. Power naps can restore alertness and enhance performance, therefore reducing mistakes and accidents. So take a nap and give yourself more energy to conquer the day!

Person turning off cell phone

7. Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode

Your phone is most likely glued to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Excessive smartphone use can disrupt your sleep, which can have a serious impact on your overall mood and mental health. Unplug and take time away from the screen by putting your phone on airplane mode for at least an hour. This will give you time to put your attention on those that matter, including yourself. After all, what better way to make yourself happy than to stop comparing yourself to everyone else?

8. Try a New Route to Work

It’s easy to get into a monotonous routine as you settle into daily life, but simple things like trying a new commute can spice it up and give you new and exciting scenery. Who knows, maybe you’ll spot a store or restaurant you’d like to try along the way!

9. Change Up Your Living Space

Buying brand new furniture and home decor costs a pretty penny, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a couple of small knick-knacks here and there! An easy way to treat yourself is by buying small accent pieces to add new flair to your living space. You can even rearrange your furniture for a completely free makeover.

10. Buy Yourself Flowers

Take control of your own happiness by starting small with a fresh bouquet of flowers! They’re inexpensive, beautiful, and a lovely addition to your home. If you’re feeling bold, you can commit to taking care of a houseplant for a more permanent botanical touch. Pick up a bouquet (or a plant) at Trader Joe’s — they offer great quality flowers at very affordable prices.

11. Indulge in a Sweet Treat

For an immediate mood booster, visit your favorite candy store or bakery and grab a sweet treat. (See’s Candies offers a free sample every time you visit a shop!)  There’s nothing like some yummy sugar to make yourself happy!

Woman exercising outdoors

12. Do a Little Work Out

It’s a well-known fact that exercising does wonders for your mental and physical health. Pick a workout you enjoy (or at least one you don’t hate) and spend 30 minutes or more sweating it out! The release of serotonin and dopamine will give your mood the boost it needs.

13. Spice Up Your Lunch Break

Eating leftovers for your lunch or skipping your break altogether can get quite depressing over time. Make yourself happy by choosing a day every week to get out and spice up your lunch break! Whether you grab a bite at a new restaurant, try a new recipe, or simply take your leftovers to a cool new spot, the change will lift your spirits.

14. Go to the Salon

Self-care in the form of hair, nails, and massages is an absolute must if you’re looking for ways to treat yourself. While taking care of all of these at once can be pricey, one manicure or facial is totally doable every once in a while. You’ll leave feeling beautiful and refreshed!

15. Have a Drink

Sometimes a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail is just what you need to relax after a hard day. As long as you moderate, sipping on a drink can be a tasty way to unwind alone or with friends. Opt for a glass of red as the ingredients red wine can actually block enzymes linked to stress, depression, and anxiety. 

Whatever it is that your heart settles on, BevMo is a one-stop-shop for beers, wine, and liquor. Be sure to shop when they are having their 5¢ “Mix and Match” BOGO deal for extra savings!

16. Get Yourself New Socks

You know you’re officially an adult when a new pair of fuzzy socks are a go-to strategy for making yourself happy. Even if it seems silly, gifting yourself socks for lounging around the house is an awesome idea.

17. Buy One Item for Your Hobby

Having a hobby is important for your mental health and life outside of work. Whether you love to fish, paint, or cook, you can always find one small item to help support your hobby. Get yourself that new crockpot or a tackle box you’ve been eyeing and take time to appreciate the little things!

Woman happy with dog

18. Spend Time with Animals

For an adorable way to treat yourself, spend some time with precious fur babies! Volunteer at a shelter, play with your own pets, or go adopt a furry friend for some much-needed pet therapy. 

19. Try Something New

Forcing yourself to get out of your comfort zone might not be pleasant at first, but it’s rewarding in the end. Find something new to try every month or so. Whether it be a new activity like paddle boarding or a new hiking trail, restaurant, or food dish, there are plenty of things to explore!

20. Check Something Off Your To-Do List

Have you found yourself saying, “I’ll get to that later” when it comes to chores and life goals? Make a list of all of these to-dos and slowly go about checking them off. Feeling a sense of accomplishment once you’re done is guaranteed to make you happy and satisfied. 


Life is busy and stressful and complicated, but there are many affordable ways to treat yourself throughout the journey. Take time to do what you love, mix up your routine, and try new things, and you’ll see a new and improved version of yourself in the end!

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