All kinds of ordinary stuff including traffic jams, rude store clerks—even the nightly news—can make you cranky. But there's an upside to feeling down. Bad moods give you a chance to appreciate the days you feel great. Snap out of that funk fast with these 12 tips designed to help you see the sunny side of life again, pronto:

1. Indulge your dark side.

There's nothing wrong with allowing yourself to be miserable. As long as you're not stuck there for too long, bad moods can serve you by forcing you to lay low, de-stress, take-it-easy and think about what might be causing you to feel so irritable. Chances are, five minutes of sad self-indulgence may be just what the doctor ordered.

2. Get moving.

Nothing perks up a draggy, sluggish feeling like a brisk walk outdoors, a swim, jog or any type of physical activity that gets your heart pumping. Exercise increases endorphins in your body, which are associated with feelings of happiness.

3. Go outside.

Even if it's gray and drizzly, step outdoors for a few minutes and let Mother Nature flip that switch. Breathing fresh air is guaranteed to make you feel better. Natural light, open spaces, flowers, trees, the birds and the bees will boost your mood automatically.

4. Sniff a lemon.

For a quick pick-me-up, slice a lemon or other citrus fruit and inhale the sharp, tangy, bright scent. Fresh, natural citrus is aromatherapy that will make you smile.

5. Do a gratitude slam.

Write down ten things you're grateful for as fast as you can. Focus on the here and now to shift your perspective from gloomy to grateful in an instant.

6. Blast some peppy music.

Turn on the radio or pop in your earbuds and crank your favorite upbeat tunes. Go for the ones that make you want to tap your feet, not the melancholy melodies that make you want to cry. Need some ideas? Think Michael Jackson's "Thriller" or Michael Franti's "Sound of Sunshine." Music by Nicki Minaj or Taylor Swift are also good choices.

7. Dance the blues away.

Since you've already got the music cranked up, you might as well make the most of it and bust a move. Movin' to some groovin' tunes does wonders to clear your head.

8. Get goofy.

Distract yourself from those rain clouds by playing with your child, your pet or your partner. Toss a ball, play a favorite board game, take out some crayons and color or throw a Frisbee to unwind. The idea is to quit working, get together with someone else and create some instant fun. Laughing at a skit on a funny website can also do the trick.

9. Tidy up.

Pick a counter, desk drawer or other small area and do some serious clutter busting for five minutes. Sometimes creating a little order is all you need to lift your spirits.

10. Call a friend.

Social support is a great mood-buster. Make sure to spend time listening to your friend talk about his or her life. Being a good friend—or doing something nice for someone else—is guaranteed to turn that frown around.  

11. Groom yourself.

Take a shower, trim your bangs (or your facial hair if you are a man), try a new hairstyle, or give yourself a manicure or pedicure. When you act lovingly toward yourself, you feel better.

12. Eat something sweet.

Because of all the obvious health consequences from indulging in high calorie food with little nutrition, save this tip for last, but when all else fails, sweeten up that sour mood with a piece of chocolate or a handful of jelly beans.

LeslieBeth Wish, MSS, EDD, reviewed this article.