If you're feeling a bit blue, sometimes a nice animal cuddle is the best way to get your sense of hope back in order. Go hug a sheep, a cow, a goat or even a turkey at the Gentle Barn, a 6-acre rescue sanctuary that's home to more than 160 farm animals recovering from abuse or neglect. The mission of this special facility is to bring people and animals together to provide spiritual healing for all. Each animal at this rehabilitation center has lived through a sad hardship story, which is posted near its pen to create an even deeper bonding experience when you stop by. Visitors are encouraged to give love, hugs and attention to the animals. It's a wonderful feeling to sense their reciprocity. Seeing these formerly abused animals learn to trust the world again makes it possible to put your own worries into perspective. —Nikki Kreuzer
15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, 91390. (661) 252-2440, gentlebarn.org.