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Mel Robbins at the TEDx San Francisco event.

There are a lot of reasons for people to get discouraged these days. The cost of living is through the roof. We’ve entered the early phases of an election year that Americans of all political stripes are dreading and an increasing number of people are dealing with mental health issues.

That’s why we’re sharing a simple piece of advice from Mel Robbins that can hopefully uplift those feeling down by providing them with a simple tool to help when they feel hopeless.

Mel Robbins is a popular podcast host, author, motivational speaker and former lawyer who caught the public’s attention with her 2011 Ted Talk, “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over.”

“If you’re feeling really discouraged right now or just in survival mode, I have some counterintuitive advice to give you and it's based on research. I didn't believe it when I first heard it, but it actually makes a lot of sense,” Robbins starts her video.

Feeling discouraged? Here is my counterintuitive advice. 


Feeling discouraged? Here is my counterintuitive advice. #melrobbins #dailyinspiration #mindsetmotivation #negativethinking #overwhelm #positivechanges #findyourhappy #spotlighteffect

“See, when things in life feel very hard, our brain tends to focus on what's not working,” she continued. “It magnifies the negative in your life and so it's all you see. And when all you see is the negative, it impacts your energy, and you feel tired, drained, and exhausted by the negative in your life.”

Her solution? Add “one thing” to your life that you love that’s positive. Many people are struggling with money these days, but there are a lot of positive experiences people can enjoy that cost very little or are free.

“Go paint this weekend. Go to an Art Museum. Go hang out with a friend. Sign up for a class. Start running again,” Robbins says.

According to Robbins, adding one positive thing will help divert your attention from your problems and focus them on the things that make life worth living. “You have something to look for, and the positive energy starts to wash away all of the negative things,” she said. “It doesn't make sense, but boy, oh boy, does it work.”

Psychological rehabilitation specialist Kendra Cherry agrees with Robbins in a piece she wrote for Verywell Mind. “When you find yourself ruminating on things, look for an uplifting activity to pull yourself out of this negative mindset,” she wrote. “For example, if you find yourself mentally reviewing some unpleasant event or outcome, consciously try to redirect your attention elsewhere and engage in an activity that brings you joy.”

One of the commenters on the video agreed with the importance of adding a little positivity to one's life because they ahd experienced the benefits first-hand. "My boss had us journal 3 positive things that happened each day. Did it for 3 weeks and it changed my life for years. Need to start it again," Kiki wrote.

“That’s amazing! Your boss was definitely on to something!” Robbins responded.

"Adding 1 positive thing instead of forcing everything to seem ok is great advice,” Eleni added. “You cannot ignore the reality, instead add positive moments.”