What brought you to Los Angeles? The sun? The beach? The fun, fabulous atmosphere of creativity and spunk?
L.A. is a treat, truly. But even in a dream world of sunshine and chill vibes, not every day will have you feelin’ groovy. Between commuting concerns, budget restrictions and the volume of time some jobs have us cooped up indoors, it’s bound to wear on you. And sometimes those bad days turn into bad weeks and sometimes what you really need is a way to simply break the cycle.
If you find yourself in just this situation, never fear. There’s always opportunities around the corner to make improvements to your outlook and find experiences that will build back up your positivity.
Just remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
And for starters? Check out the following list of L.A. specific suggestions.
1. Drive… Like, Really Drive
Escape the congested freeways and take a scenic route by way of Mulholland, the PCH or one of the canyon roads.
You may want to let traffic die down a bit before attempting some of these Dguides.com suggestions – but a jaunt around the Griffith Park Observatory or a glimpse at a seaside view could be a shot in the arm after a tough day working for the man.
2. Get Beached
Aside from the refreshing breeze, open space and sheer beauty of the place, beach time is restorative for your health.
Check out this recent Medical Daily article, in which we learn that walking on sand stimulates feet and legs for neurological and physiological benefit. And the volume of minerals in seawater act as a tonic for the skin and body, not to mention the built-in massage of the tide’s ebb and flow.
Any beach will do, but here are some suggestions from We Like L.A. contributors: 14 Fun Things To Do in Venice Beach Next Time You’re in the Neighborhood and The Ultimate Guide to the Beaches of Malibu.
Rough day? Go to the beach! Everyone’s heading east at the end of the day anyway. Spare yourself some traffic frustration and run off to see the ocean.
3. Move Your Butt
Maybe it goes without saying, but arguably one of the fastest-acting stress busters is exercise. Instead of immediately hopping in the car to jet to your next thing, consider taking advantage of these opportunities to get moving.
Free yoga in the park, on a hike, even at the library!
You could even go on one of Free L.A. Tour’s daily walking tours or check out our city’s numerous secret staircases.
4. Eat Out!
You gotta eat, but why burden yourself with cooking after a challenging day? This is stress eating.
Be it a rooftop bar or food truck, L.A. dining has got you covered. Belly up to any number of local eateries you’ve never tried. Combine with a bar crawl for variety and inspiration.
These lists ought to get your creative juices going:
10 Essential L.A. Food Experiences – featuring In N Out as foodie traveler Anthony Bourdain’s favorite burger.
12 Spots for the Best Happy Hours in Downtown L.A. – when it comes to stress, a half-price margarita can go a long way.
5. Let The Rhythm Move You
Is it possible to be truly focused on dancing your heart while at the same time remember all the crummy things that happened to you this week? Absolutely not.
No matter your style, these L.A. clubs supply plenty of places to bust a move. Check out these lists to swing, salsa, country line dance or simply boogie your blues away.
6. Window Shopping
Retail therapy is an American tradition, but even if your pockets are empty L.A. has plenty to offer by way of window shopping. CBS compiled a list of some top choices for Angelenos.
And if you do have some cash to spend, take a look at our opportunities for sample sales: 12 Ways to Find the Best Sample Sales in Los Angeles.
Another option to find discounts might be checking out one of L.A.’s many awesome thrift stores.
7. Music and Poetry
Test out these open mics for a low key variety show that’s sure to introduce you to some new musical talent. Valley dwellers should add Republic of Pie and Kulak’s Woodshed to the list.
If your artistic side leans more to spoken words, here is a great list of poetry and storytelling events.
Come summertime, the free concert series begin. Cast a glance over We Like L.A.’s 40 Fun & Free list and see which ones you’d like to attend. A free concert is a great end to any day, doldrums or no.
8. Get Some Perspective
With the city closing in on you, it’s tough to feel anything other than overwhelmed. In the absence of wide open spaces, perhaps rising above is the best course of action. From climbing a mountain to ascending a flight of stairs, getting higher is a simple and effective means of lifting your spirits.
Sometimes it’s great to find a spot that has an epic view of the city to make your problems feel small. On other occasions, what you really need is a quiet space to clear your head.
Or, how about combine tips 4 and 6 at one of the 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles.
There are plenty of places to take in the view. So drive or climb to your nearest vantage point and get some perspective on the world.
9. Learn Something
Some days will make you feel kind of stuck. Break out of the rut with some mind expansion through classes in anything from surfing to mixology. Browse books at the public library or barter for knowledge with one of these free classes offered by Trade School L.A. (or better yet, sign up to teach your own!).
If you’re feeling truly intellectual, check out one of the free public lectures at Zocalo Public Square.
10. When All Else Fails: Indulge!
Take a deep breath, un-clench those fists, and order dessert.
Might we specifically recommend chocolate – a magic elixir, scientifically proven to make you feel better when you’re low. You don’t need much, so go for quality. We suggest these 12 Spots For The Best Chocolate Every L.A. Foodie Needs To Try.
The Turning Point
Are you feeling better? If you’ve been inspired to try one of these antidotes to a bad day, I hope you’ll let us know how it went.
Everyone’s strategy for turning around their L.A. blues is different. So tell us, what are your favorite things to do in the city of angels when you’re feeling down?