3 free ways to feel better right now

Feeling even more stressed than usual? Try any or all of these calm-down ideas.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

This might be the day that finally gets you to try meditating. Fortunately, there are lots of free tools at your disposal.

Angela Lang/CNET

Sigh. Rough day. I can't muster my usual enthusiasm for wireless earbuds, cheap TVs and the like. And because I can't give each and every one of you the big hug I'd like to, I'll instead offer some ideas for chasing away the stress we're all feeling.

1. Take a brisk walk. This is the single best way I can think of to clear your head, boost your mood and just forget all this madness for a bit. If it's cold out, bundle up. If you don't have any lovely nature to look at, listen to some music or a podcast. (Maybe this one?) The key is to get those legs moving and arms swinging, to get your heart rate up just a bit -- and keep it up for at least 30 minutes.

Read more: 6 totally free ways to improve your health in 2021

2. Play a free computer game. Put your phone in another room (so you'll stop doom-scrolling) and settle into a rich, in-depth tactical strategy game that requires full mental focus. This week, Epic Games is giving away Crying Suns, which would normally cost you $25. (And here's something to look forward to: Next week you can get Star Wars Battlefront II: Celebration Edition, also totally free.)

If strategy isn't your cup of tea, scroll down that page a bit; Epic has lots of other free games to choose from.

3. Finally try meditating. Seriously, it can help. The purpose is to quiet, if only for a few minutes, your stressed-out monkey brain, a particularly difficult task right now. There are tons of meditation apps; you've probably heard of Calm, Headspace, Insight Timer and Ten Percent Happier, to name just a few. Most offer a smattering of free meditations to get you started. For a totally free experience, check out Smiling Mind. You can also find lots of free meditation videos on YouTube. 

And that's it for today. Stay safe, everyone, and remember what my mom always says: This too shall pass.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.