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9 Ways to Treat Yourself That Don't Cost Any Money

Experts share their best wellness tips to make you instantly feel better for free.

A little self-care can turn even the worst days around. Unfortunately, many of the ways we tend to treat ourselves—like going to the spa or ordering our favorite food for takeout—can end up costing a pretty penny. As a result, the positive effects may dwindle a bit when you check your bank account. But what if you could provide the same kind of joy in your life for free? Talking to experts, we gathered the best wellness tips that will make you feel instantly better without breaking the bank. Read on to discover the nine ways to treat yourself that don't cost any money.

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Set up a clothing swap with friends.

Clothes and jeans in a laundry basket on Wood floor
namtipStudio / Shutterstock

Many of us love buying new clothes, but this can quickly become a costly habit. You can still treat yourself to new looks for free by setting up a clothing swap with friends, recommends money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.

"We all have clothing we don't wear just taking up space in our closets. So instead of tossing or donating these pieces, find other friends to swap with," she says. "This is a great way to give everyone something new to wear without spending any money, and it's also a fun evening with friends."

Organize your closet.

Mature woman choosing clothes in the closet at home

If you don't have friends to swap clothes with, just organizing your existing wardrobe can be a treat in itself, according to Marie Clark, retail expert and editor of the shopping site CostContessa. "If your closet makes you cringe, you're not alone," she says. "But a one- to two-hour investment in self-care in your closet really pays off."

According to Clark, having an organized closet can come with a lot of perks. "We spend less time looking for things, reduce frustration, save money by finding items we forgot about or lost (I like to call that 'shopping in my own closet') instead of buying new items, and overall feel a sense of peace when we open the closet doors—which is priceless," she explains.

Cook a special meal.

young woman preparing chicken meat

Another way many of us like to treat ourselves is by buying our favorite fast food or going to a fancy restaurant. But you can get a similar effect at no cost by cooking yourself a "delicious and unique meal" using ingredients you already have at home, says Robert Farrington, America's Millennial Money Expert and founder of The College Investor.

"Trying out new recipes can be a fun and satisfying experience," Farrington says. "When you're only able to use ingredients you have on hand, you're more likely to cook something you normally wouldn't."

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Reward yourself.

Fetch Rewards App

Your previous purchases can also help you treat yourself for free in the future. To do so, Woroch recommends people tap into their reward possibilities. "Take pictures of all your receipts for day-to-day purchases such as gas and groceries using a free cash back app like Fetch to earn points towards free gift cards to a variety of stores like Target, Sephora, or Starbucks, which you can use to treat yourself," she explains.

Make it a movie day.

family watching a movie together for father's day
Shutterstock /

What about a free film? Janine Marsh, finance expert and content creator at MoneyNerd, tells Best Life that one of her "favorite ways to treat herself and her family for no money is by simply having a movie day" using already-paid-for subscriptions or resources.

"We pick all of our favorite classics, or any new releases that we've been meaning to catch for a while on TV, and sit down for an afternoon to relax with the story," Marsh explains. "Escapism through films is such a brilliant way of keeping yourself occupied on a budget!"

RELATED: 8 Affirmations to Feel Ridiculously Happy Every Day in Retirement.

Get a new book from the library.

man reading

If one of your preferred pastimes is reading, a good book can lift your spirits at no cost. "Visit your local library or reread a favorite book you already own," Farrington recommends. "Reading allows you to escape into different worlds and expand your knowledge without spending a dime."

Find some free classes.

CandyRetriever / iStock

Picking up a new hobby can also bring joy—and you might be able to learn at no cost. In fact, many places in your area may offer free classes, according to Woroch. "Check local listings available through your newspaper and join local community-based Facebook groups for free community events," she says.

Many retailers also offer free classes from cooking to crafts to fitness, Woroch adds. "For example, Michael's craft store has free craft classes on weekends, Williams Sonoma offers different cooking classes like knife skills, some Lululemon stores offer free running clubs and free cross-fit training workouts, and select Athleta locations offer a variety of free fitness classes like Zumba and Yoga," she says.

RELATED: 15 Life-Changing Habits to Add to Your Wellness Routine.

Get out in nature.

two people walking with each other

There are many ways you can treat yourself by getting out and enjoying nature too, according to Farrington. "Take a walk in a nearby park, go for a hike, or simply sit outside and soak up some fresh air and sunlight," he suggests. "Nature can be incredibly rejuvenating, and it's completely free."

Change your sheets.

Householder making bed and organizing room in the morning, while doing cleaning

If you're not looking to leave your home, tackle something indoors to improve your mood at no cost: Change your sheets, Jennifer Nason, customer experience manager at Accora Village, recommends. After all, this may be the ultimate form of free self-care.

"There is no better feeling than crawling into your bed after a long day to fresh sheets," Nason notes. "Changing your sheets ensures any oils, bacteria, and dead skin cells from the night before are cleared off before you lay your head to rest. Once you change your sheets, take a nice warm shower and put on a fresh pair of pajamas for the ultimate night's sleep."

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Kali Coleman
Kali Coleman is a Senior Editor at Best Life. Her primary focus is covering news, where she often keeps readers informed on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and up-to-date on the latest retail closures. Read more
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