January 6, 2012

Feeling Low? Make a Pleasant Events List

In honor of the New Year and good intentions to make improvements in our lives, I am re-posting a revised Pleasant Events List.  Those of you who read the previous post will be glad to see I've made a few changes, out with some of the old and in with some new ideas.

For those reading this list for the first time, what is it all about?

When someone is experiencing a sad, down, angry, lonely, or otherwise lowered mood, one tip that can help is to consult your own personal Pleasant Events List.

Below is a lonnnnnng list of Pleasant Events. It was compiled from a variety of sources, some of which I no longer recall. But I do remember a co-therapist telling me she gathered lists generated by clients in a former therapy group she ran. I kept most of the list intact, even when I was puzzled by the content. Different people find different activities uplifting (cleaning the bathroom, being one that I find a real stretch, but... different strokes).

The list is meant as a starting point: A list of ideas that will help you generate a list of your own. So that you can write your own personalized list of activities and thoughts you find pleasant, fun, funny, joyful, entertaining, relaxing, soothing, or in some other way, mood-lifting.

So I post this list in the hopes that readers will be inspired to read it, to do some of the things on the list, or to merely think about doing some of the things on the list, to leave a comment with some new pleasant event that can be added to the list, or to generate a new list of your own. Best of all, generate your list with as many readily do-able, easily accessable, easily affordable events as you can come up with.

As one exercise, I often suggest before reading the list that you rate your mood on a scale of 1 to 10, where:

1 = feeling very down or "low"


10 = feeling really happy or "up"

Then, after you have finished reading the list, rate how you feel once again. Any change?


1. Soaking in the bathtub   

2. Looking at the stars       

3. Feeling the wind in my hair

4. Collecting things (coins, shells, etc)

5. Listening to fun, educational programming, such as TED or NPR podcasts

6. Thinking how it will be when I finish school

7. Working a crossword or sudoku puzzle

8. Trying out a new hair style

9. Sitting under a shade tree

10. Going to a movie in the middle of the week