There are lots of favorite Photoshop editing tools I like but this one is my all time "go to" tool especially when I am not quite sure what the photo needs.
Here's a great example.
This photo just isn't quite right. I thought about adjusting the color but decided to try the Levels tool first. You can do this 2 ways. You can adjust directly on the photo by choosing Control L or Command L (Mac) or a much safer way to adjust is by adding an adjustment layer. (To be honest - I do not know if you have the ability to add adjustment layers in Photoshop Elements.)
Make sure your window is showing adjustment layers. It needs a check mark in front of it like mine.
The Levels Adjustment is the icon to the right of the black/white sun. Click on it to add a new layer just for adjusting the levels of the photo.
This is a safer choice because if you dont' like it you can delete that layer from your layers palette without ever touching the original photo. I always start with the middle slider. Be gentle with these sliders. Usually a little is all you need. Once you adjust the middle one the way you like I always like to bring in some of the darker colors by moving the slider on the far left. Don't move it too much though!
What to remember about this post:
Try using Level Adjustments first when fixing a photo that is not quite right. It may be all you need.