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8 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence — According to Science

We all have those days when we’re feeling low, out of sorts and in a funk. It could be stress that wears you down or just an off day that puts you in a weird mental space — whatever the case may be, every once in a while, we could all use a confidence boost.

And it doesn’t take much to give yourself a much-needed pick-me-up. Sometimes, all it takes it a spritz of some perfume or putting on some music. 

Ahead, we have eight tips and surefire ways to boost your confidence and get your mojo back — and they’re all backed by science.

More: Sorry, I Just Can’t Be Happy for You Right Now — & Yes, That Includes Your Wedding

Wear black or red

No one can argue that loving the way you look immediately puts you in a good mood — be it having a good hair day or wearing a fabulous new outfit. In fact, wearing certain colors can give you an edge. According to a British survey by Buy T-Shirts Online in 2015, wearing black makes you seem smarter, more attractive and more confident — 56 percent of respondents in the survey favored black as a color of confidence. Not a fan of black? Wear red, which came in second.

Put on some music

Music works wonders for our physical and mental health. It can improve motivation, improve sleep quality, reduce stress and so much more. Add to the list one more health benefit: It can help you feel more powerful and confident — a 2014 study in Social Psychological and Personality Science determined just that.

Go for a run

Exercising releases endorphins, and endorphins make you feel good. Not only does exercise make you feel better about your appearance, but it also makes you feel better in general, giving you a major confidence boost. A 2005 study in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research found that exercising, specifically outside in a pleasant environment, had a positive effect on the subjects’ self-esteem. 

More: Most of Us Don’t Exercise Enough — but These States Work Out the Least

Take a selfie

No, seriously — take a selfie. According to a 2016 survey by Today and AOL, 65 percent of teenage girls said seeing their selfies on social media boosted their confidence. So, hey, maybe it’ll do the same for you.


If you haven’t tried it yet, you might want to start now. In addition to reducing stress, controlling anxiety and helping to fight addictions, practicing meditation can also increase your confidence — according to both a 2008 study in the Journal of Exercise Science and Physiotherapy and a 2017 study in Frontiers in Psychology.

Stay calm with self-affirmations

Channel your inner Stuart Smalley and remind yourself how smart and amazing you are. According to a 2015 study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, self-affirmations can calm your nerves, help boost your confidence and help improve your job performance.

“Anytime you have low expectations for your performance, you tend to sink down and meet those low expectations,” lead researcher Sonia Kang said in a statement at the time. “Self-affirmation is a way to neutralize that threat.”

Drop an F-bomb or 2

Swearing is a great way to release those emotions, and according to a 2009 report in NeuroReport, it can help ease physical and emotional pain too. Scientists also believe it can boost confidence and self-esteem — just don’t swear too much or it won’t have the same effect.

Put on some perfume

Seems hokey, but it’s true: Perfume does more than make you smell like a million bucks, it’ll help you feel that way too. A 2011 study in Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward found that 90 percent of women feel more confident while wearing perfume versus those who don’t.

Just please keep in mind that some people are very sensitive to fragrances, like perfumes, so this may be best to do when you’re alone at home rather than in a confined space, like a theater or subway car.

So, the next time you’re a little low on confidence, take a look at these tips, try one of them and see what happens.

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