Why bad moods are good for you

Do you regularly find yourself in bad moods, or at the very least pretty irritable? Well, this might not be as bad a thing as you think it is. Let’s be honest, there are so many different things that can put us in a bad mood – a rough day at work, a fight with a loved one, even our sports team getting thrashed (here’s looking at you Browns fans). But, you might be surprised that studies have shown bad moods are actually good for you.

Yes, you heard that correctly. So, the next time someone has a go at you for being in a bad mood you can defeat them with science! These days it seems like maintaining a positive appearance all the time is expected of us, and that can be pretty draining. Don’t ever think that bad moods should be avoided; sure, if you’re in a bad mood ALL the time, this probably isn’t healthy. But, understand that bad moods are a good thing, and here’s why:

Improved communication

Believe it or not, when you are in a bad mood, this can actually improve the way you communicate. Studies show that you display a more detailed and attentive thinking style when you’re in a bad mood. People who feel sad have been proven to make more coherent and persuasive arguments, and be more easily understood. So, perhaps the next time you have to debate something you should make sure you’re in a bad mood first!


As well as improving communication, being in a bad mood can also wind up improving your memory as well. You actually retain specific details much better when you are flooded with negative feelings. It is actually interesting to note that eyewitness testimonies from people who are sad, or in a bad mood, are actually more reliable. Memory is very important, and if you want to improve your memory, try to recall things when you’re in a bad mood!

Better judgment

Do you find yourself to be a bad judge of character? Well, it could be that you are in a good mood too much of the time. In fact, it turns out that if you are in a foul mood, you are actually a better judge of character. You are less gullible, and more likely to think critically about certain situations. You also end up reducing your biases when you aren’t in a good mood, and that’s better for making judgments.


We can often struggle to motivate ourselves in life, and at work, and this can lead to people struggling to achieve things. Self-motivation actually comes more quickly and comfortably, to those who are in a worsened mood. Consider this the next time you have that project to tackle, and you’re struggling to motivate yourself. Think about how much Einstein must have been in a bad mood over the course of his life.

So, there you have it, bad moods are actually good for you. They can help you to develop your cognitive ability, and improve your problem-solving skills. If you want to improve your memory, judgment, and motivation, it might not be such a bad thing to embrace your foul mood once in a while!