There is nothing so off-putting as a "have-to".
I "have to" take out the trash.
I "have to" drive my kid to hockey/soccer/violin practice.
I "have to" read that long-ass blog post that Shelly published yesterday...
I "have to" write a new blog post every day for the entire month of November.
I got into the habit, around 15-odd years ago, to exchange the words "have to" with the words "GET to". I won't lie, I sort of did it to annoy people--like if someone said, "I have to have a mammogram" and sounded all mopey, I'd say, "You mean you GET to have a mammogram?" And I'd add a super-enthusiastic "That's AWESOME!", just to sound as fake-cheerful as humanly possible. The mopey person in question will generally shoot me a withering look, but, usually, they snap out of mopey.
Breast squishing! Woot! (That ought to help my stats considerably, since people already visit this blog after searching "barely contained breasts". Really? What the hell IS that? Do people still write like that? Thats so dime novel...)
You see...I don't believe in gently massaging someone out of a crappy mood. I'm more of a fan of smacking the crappy mood right out of them through the liberal application of absurdity. You need someone to cut the tension? That would be me...trust me, I've been doing this for 40 years. (Um, yeah...classic middle child, semi-tense household situation growing up, you know the drill...)
Honestly, though, Tension Defense Mechanism aside, it makes so much more sense to me to make light of something than it does to let things be heavy. To a large degree, heavy moods make heavy people--sometimes literally. Think about it this way: if you looked at all of the things that you do each day, and make note of how many of those things are your responsibility, or, things you HAVE to do, you see quite a few things (that is, if you are an adult and you don't have "staff" to take care of those things for you...). If you're going to be spending that much time doing "have to's", eventually, you're going to feel a bit downtrodden. Just take a few of those "have to's" and make them "GET to's". Do it just today, or, just this week, and see how it goes--changes your whole perspective, doesn't it? If nothing else, you'll make the techs running the boob squisher wonder what you're up to...