I've read plenty of articles and essays that discuss earnest and effective ways to help shake yourself out of an existential funk, but what about simple, materialistic solutions?
Stuff You Can Buy to Make Yourself Feel Better When You're Feeling Depressed and Don't Understand What Your Life Purpose Is and Have the Urge to Maybe Go to Cooking School Even Though You're Not That Into Cooking But You Can't Think of Anything Better To Do.
When I put a hot pink streak in my hair last summer, I swear it made me feel sassy and brave and rebellious, which was a huge departure from my normally blond, bouncy hair that mostly made me feel like a chirpy newscaster. If you're in a funk, try getting bangs, or a pixie cut, or highlights, or extensions, or a perm, or new layers, or a new color, or if you're feeling really intense, all of the above. You have nothing to lose! Except your hair. And your good looks. And your self-esteem. Just go to a good hair stylist, OK?
Seriously though, sometimes a little change in your life can spark a bigger one. And your hair is a really fun place to start.
Few accessories, with the obvious exception of my Power Ranger Nun Chucks, make me feel like I can go out into the world and kick some ass like a sweet pair of boots. The quintessential ass-kicking boots are probably Frye motorcycle boots, but they're expensive, and since many a quarter life crisis has been sparked by unemployment, I'm a huge advocate of $10 thrift shop finds, which come already broken in and ready to roll.
A Sweet Notebook
Use it to write down important career goals or philosophical ideas or emotional epiphanies or travel plans or a hit song or at least to look cool while you sulk at a coffee shop.
Anything Big and Sparkly
Cocktail rings, bedazzled watches, rhinestone earrings, bejeweled sunglasses, whatever. When I'm feeling low, decorating myself with cheap sparkly things never fails to make me feel fabulous.
I have this shirt, and I've gotta say: it's tough to maintain an existential crisis while wearing it. I mean, check that guy out. He is totally secure and content with his life. And why wouldn't he be? It's the best day ever.
UPDATE: There's been such great feedback about the Best Day Ever shirt, I've decided to give one away! Please leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win this awesome grey version in women's size L (please note: sizes run pretty small). Anyone who has already commented is automatically entered. I'll choose a random winner next Friday!