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5 Inspirational TED Talks Perfect for Anyone Having a Rough Day

You know those days when your boss blames you for something that wasn’t your fault, or your co-workers are passive-aggressive, or you get some horrible news, or you weren’t picked for the job?

And to be honest, there’s not much you can do besides ride the suckiness out. I usually curl up in bed and watch four-plus episodes of The Office, but sometimes even Jim and Pam’s adorable romance isn’t enough to get me out of a funk.Luckily, I’ve found a new cure: TED talks. An inspiring or poignant speech never fails to reaffirm my faith in humanity—and yes, get me out of bed.

1. If You’re Feeling Blah: The Museum of Four in the Morning

Performance artist and storyteller Tom Rives is obsessed with 4 AM. Yes, the time. He shares the many media and pop culture references to 4 AM that he’s collected with help from strangers around the world.

As you watch this talk, you’ll probably be intrigued but a little confused (at least I was). Be patient—the end is fantastic and will definitely make you smile.

2. If You’re Feeling Sorry for Yourself: Living Beyond Limits

Amy Purdy loved to skateboard and travel. However, pursuing those passions became way more difficult when she unexpectedly lost both of her legs below the knee.

Purdy’s story of her life post-amputation is so impactful, I yelled, “That’s amazing!” to myself.My favorite line: “Because my legs haven’t disabled me. If anything they’ve enabledme.”

3. If You’re Feeling Drained: Your Elusive Creative Genius

This presentation is perfect for anyone who’s feeling creatively challenged. Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, lays out why we shouldn’t think of people as “geniuses.” Instead, we should think of people as vessels for genius.

I’ll let Gilbert explain the why and how of this theory. All you need to know is that listening to her arguments will make you feel optimistic about your abilities and work.

4. If You’re Feeling Sad: The Three A’s of Awesome

Neil Pasricha, whose 1000 Happy Things blog won a Webby, lets us in on his secrets to a happy life.

When I started this video, I thought I knew where it was going—but then it took an unexpected (and awesome) turn.

I dare you to finish watching this without falling in love with Pasricha’s philosophy and feeling at least two times better than you did before.

5. If You’re Feeling Like a Corporate Drone: A Guerrilla Gardener in South Central LA

Sometimes, you need to know there are genuine “good guys” out there, trying to make a difference in unlikely ways.

Well, Ron Finley definitely qualifies. He and his crew take over abandoned lots, traffic medians, and curbside spaces to make urban gardens. His story will not only make you feel better, it might just inspire you to cause some of your own grassroots change. (Pun intended.)