25 Effective Ways to Relieve Stress

Cleaning while listening to music can help you relieve stress now and in the future. Pascal Broze/Getty Images

I’ve already published a list of 25 top stress relievers, and it’s time for 25 more! With a combined total of 50 great stress relievers, there’s something for everyone. Each of the stress relievers listed is a clickable link to more information on the benefits of that particular stress reliever, and most of the links contain information on other similarly useful stress relievers as well! So you may want to bookmark this list to keep it handy, and you’ll have a great selection of ideas on stress relievers to try so you can banish stress from your days and enjoy your life more.

Without further ado, on to the stress relievers!

Throw On Some Music and Clean House

This is more fun than it sounds.  The music can lift your mood and energize you, the physical activity of cleaning can provide you with additional benefits, and you'll be left with a less cluttered, more soothing environment.  It's a triple-threat stress relief strategy!

Watch Aquarium Fish

Even if you're just watching one fish swim around a bowl, taking some time to relax and watch a fish glide around in the water can help you to slow down, focus on something other than your stressors, and relax for a few minutes.

Take a Walk With A Friend

Social support is one of the most effective stress relievers around.  Taking time to nurture your relationships when you're stressed can get you into a better place emotionally, and can be good for your friends, too.

Sing Along With Music

Music has the ability to sooth stress in several ways, and belting out a song can not only be an immersive experience, but a cathartic one as well.

 Plus, singing can bring a special feeling of tension release during stressed times.  (If you're shy about your singing abilities, you can always sing in the shower or your car.)

Set Up a Home Spa

The whole home spa experience can be wonderfully soothing.  Running a bubble bath with some soothing sounds can leave you feeling clean and relaxed, and cared for.

 Incorporating aromatherapy can intensify the stress relief.  (And if you don't have a tub, even a quick foot soak and lotion can help you feel like great.)

Cut Down On Some of Your Commitments

Living a full life is great, but when you're exhausted and overwhelmed, you are probably enjoying everything less than you could be.  Sometimes cutting out some of the most stressful or least necessary activities can do wonders for your stress levels.

Try a 5-Minute Meditation

One of the reasons some people give for not taking on a meditation habit is that they don't have the time for a daily 20-minute session.  Virtually all of us can squeeze in five minutes of meditation, no matter how busy we are, and fortunately, that's enough to make a difference.

Use Chocolate to Your Advantage

Large quantities of chocolate can make you feel sick and regretful.  But small amounts of the good stuff can give wonderful flavor and provide an exercise in mindfulness without those downsides.  And dark chocolate brings additional benefits as well!

Walk Your Dog

Getting out in the sunshine (or rain, if that's what's out there) with your dog can give both of you the exercise and bonding time you deserve, and can relieve stress in the process.

Try Breathing Exercises

These stress relievers are wonderful because you can use them anywhere and the work--quickly!

Draw a Picture

Enjoying your creativity can be a wonderful way to relieve stress, and it's not just an activity for artists.  It's been proven that drawing and coloring can effectively relieve stress, so pick up a pencil and doodle.

Dance to Your Favorite Music

If you liked singing as a stress reliever, try getting up and dancing!

Work on Becoming An Optimist

Optimists tend to have happier, healthier lives, which probably means they stress less as well.  Fortunately, you can build your own tendency toward optimism and notice what's good in your life more often.

Try Focused Meditation

Meditation can be practiced in many ways, and one of my favorites is to focus on an object or thought. Learn how to do this, and practice with various focus objects.  You may find this type of meditation easier than you expect.

Use a Fitness Tracker to Relieve Stress

Fitness trackers aren't just for counting steps (though they're great for that!), so if you wear a Fitbit, Apple Watch, or other fitness tracker, here's how to use it to your advantage.

Take a Mini-Vacation

Many, many vacation days go unused by people who think they don't have the time or money for a larger trip.  Fortunately, mini-vacations can really be enjoyable and relaxing!  Here's how to make the most of one.


Many people turn to spirituality for stress relief, and studies show it works.  Prayer can be physically relaxing as well as emotionally comforting and spiritually uplifting.  The next time you feel stressed, don't forget the power of prayer.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Counting your blessings does more than remind you of those things you have to be grateful for; it puts you into a mindset where you more often notice other things you have to be grateful for, and your stressors feel smaller in comparison.  It also reminds you of all of the resources you have to cope with the stress, which can be quite empowering.

Play Music and Cook Something Wonderful

Yes, music is so helpful for stress that I had to mention it again.  Paired with the sweet smells and satisfying feeling of cooking something delicious, music can again transport you to a less stressed state.  (Plus, the people you share your cooking with will love you for this!)

Surround Yourself With Positive Energy

It may sound like a no-brainer to say that if you feel stressed, you should remove yourself from those stressful situations.  However, surrounding yourself with supportive people and a soothing environment can do more than move you away from stress; it gets you closer to inner peace.

Learn to Say No to Demands on Your Time

Setting boundaries and refusing to overbook yourself can be easier said than done, but it eliminates a whole host of stressors you would have to otherwise manage.  If you're not comfortable doing this yet, this article can help.

Take a Nap

Sleep deprivation can make us all stressful.  Fortunately, naps can contribute to the overall sleep needs, and can help you to feel less stressed and more refreshed.  Here's more about the benefits of a good power-nap.

Get Daily Stress Tips

Having access to a steady stream of actionable strategies can keep stress management in the forefront of your mind, so even if you're not ready to try some of these new coping strategies ​now, when you need them, they won't be far.  Get connected to more here.

Reduce Stress at Your Job

Certain types of job stress can make you dread going to work!  Here's how to help if the problem isn't you

Take on a New Stress Relief Habit and Stick With It!

Sometimes just finding a new way to relieve stress and incorporating it into your routine can transform the way you feel about your life and how you manage stress. Don't just think about trying some of these - put some of them into practice today! (And again tomorrow.)

BONUS: Here are 25 MORE Stress Relief Ideas

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