It’s the middle of winter, the mornings are dark, the evenings are darker, the worst snowstorm in many years has just battered the East Coast of the United States, and the newspapers are filled with tales of strife and struggles.
Against that backdrop, it’s easy to let yourself get into a foul mood.
But why pay out for an expensive therapy session or night on the town to improve your frame of mind, when you could just turn to your trusty Windows operating system?!
Here are six ways that Windows can lift your mood:
1. Change the Theme
The default theme in Windows is a rather cool looking electric blue affair. It’s certainly pleasing on the eye, but they might not be the most appropriate color tones to use when it’s pouring with rain and the prospect of a sunny day seems like a distant dream.
You can get to these themes by going Start > Settings > Personalization > Themes > Theme Settings.
For real options, however, you need to click on Get more themes online and head to the Windows Download Center.
The choices are almost endless. With names like “Blue Water”, “Beaches Panoramic”, and “Sunny Shores”, you can be certain you’ll find something to improve your mindset.
2. Ask Cortana for Jokes
As the old saying goes, “laughter is the best medicine” – so why not let Cortana get you rolling around on the floor in stitches?
Ok, so “rolling around on the floor” might be an exaggeration, Cortana isn’t going to be doing stand-up comedy in Soho Theatre any time soon – her jokes are definitely on the “corny” side of the spectrum.
Either way, she can definitely help bring a smile to your face. It’s just one of the many ways the service can improve your daily life.
Getting Cortana to spill her nuggets of joy is easy. First, you need to make sure the service is enabled by clicking on the search icon on your taskbar and the selecting the gear icon.
Once that’s done, all you need to do is say “Hey Cortana, tell me a joke” into your device’s microphone.
You can even try some other random questions for further amusement – “Can you cook?”, “What are you wearing?”, “Are you sleeping?”, and “What do you eat?” have all been known to provoke hilarity in the past.
3. Play Music
Windows 10 has introduced the all-new Groove Music app as the primary way for users to consume music. It has its critics, but if your music is all tagged correctly and saved in a single location, it works really well.
It also syncs with OneDrive, thus enabling you to listen to your music off any device for free. Though be aware, the free OneDrive storage is limited. There are ways to get more storage for free, but it might not be appropriate if you’ve got a really large library.
If you don’t want to use Groove Music, there are loads of third-party music library apps that you can use.
4. Change the Sounds
If the root of your bad mood is apathy and a lack of motivation, why not replace some of your system’s default tones with your own motivational messages?
You can edit your system sounds by right-clicking on Start > Control Panel > Sound, and then opening the Sounds tab.
You’ll be given a complete list of every single sound and tone on your entire system.
Obviously, it would be folly to change all these sounds, and you also don’t want to change a sound that you hear frequently during the day (it’ll quickly get annoying!). The “Empty Recycle Bin” tone seems like a good candidate.
Grab a (short) motivational quote off YouTube, then use an audio-editing program to make it exactly the length you want.
5. Play a Game
Computer games offer a great escape from the mundanity of everyday life. Whether you want to pretend that you’re the next Lionel Messi on a football sim, or you prefer the mental challenges of Solitaire and Minesweeper, there is something out there for everyone.
Since Microsoft made the decision to remove the hugely popular Hearts game from Windows 10, the only native game still on the operating system is the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection”.
At its core, it’s still the same game that we all know and love, but it’s received a 21st century makeover. For example, you can now sign in with your Microsoft Account to access achievements and leaderboards, it features five different versions of the game (Klondike, FreeCell, Spider, TriPeaks, and Pyramid), it has daily challenges, and even includes customizable themes.
If you yearn for the days of Minesweeper, Ski Free, and Hearts, it is still possible to play them, but you’ll need to import them from elsewhere.
6. Change Your Screensaver
There is something hypnotic about Microsoft’s screensavers. Ever since the days of “Pipes” on Windows XP, they’ve come up with imaginative displays. The offerings in Windows 10 include “Ribbons”, “Bubbles”, and “Mystify”.
You could also pick a photo album to display – perhaps choose one from your last summer vacation so your screen is permanently plastered with images of sun, sand, and surf?
To change your screensaver, navigate to Start > Settings > Personalization > Lock Screen > Screensaver Settings and choose your display of choice.
What Tips Do You Have?
Like the lighting of a room, the look of your desktop can impact your mood. Notice what you respond to and use it to your advantage. It only takes a few moments during commercials or between tasks and you will see Windows 10 in a whole different light.
How do you use Windows 10 to improve your mood? What tips or suggestions can you pass on to your fellow readers?
You can let us know your stories in the comments section below!
Image Credits:using laptop by StockLite via Shutterstock