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The idea that happiness comes from within doesn’t mean you have to always look inside to experience joy. In fact, if you make some effort, you can surround yourself with things that bring you joy, people who make your heart expand, and live in an environment that makes you feel blessed every day.
In this post, I listed 111 simple things that make you happy: from the little things that improve your mood to the simplest daily concepts that just feel incredibly good.
We’ll talk about a bunch of things that make you happy in a relationship, as well as little things that positively affect how you feel at work. Additionally, there are things on this list that can make you feel happy instantly, and a few things you can do to make someone else happy.
I wrote all these 111 things based on my own experiences and whatever contributes to me feeling happy every day. Some of these might not apply to your life, while others might apply perfectly and make you realize you already have lots of things to be grateful for.
If you are looking for something to make you happy, you are in the right place! Read through this list, and then look around and find a bunch of your own special things that make you happy.
111 simple things that make you happy
1. Following your heart. Nobody ever regrets following their heart. You might face fears, insecurities, and uncertainty along the way, but if you keep going and trust yourself, it’s always rewarding. To the contrary, unhappy people often have plenty of regrets at the end of life about never doing things they always wanted to do.
2. Positive decor. The first tip I usually give for being happy every day is to surround yourself with things that bring you joy. These are the little items around you that make you smile every time they catch your eye. I have a bunch of examples here.
3. Sunshine. The sun is by definition associated with happiness and smiles. Vitamin D is known to elevate depression symptoms and improve your mood. If you don’t get exposed to it enough where you live, consider investing in a light therapy lamp to regulate your mood.
4. Your worst fear not coming true. We worry so much about everything, making up horrible possible outcomes in our minds and fearing them for no logical reason. Funnily, research shows that 91% of our fears never come true, so we probably shouldn’t worry as much. In any case, when you can’t reach someone you love on the phone for a while, finally seeing them alive and well results in a burst of happiness out of relief.
5. Compliments. Ever noticed how a person’s face instantly lights up after hearing a genuine compliment? Don’t hesitate to verbalize nice things that you think about people, and say an occasional “I am beautiful” in the mirror, too.
6. Positive news. While modern media seem to make it their goal to exclusively highlight all the horrors in life, hearing a piece of good news always brings us a wave of joy.
7. Waking up well-rested. This sounds so simple and everyone knows it but how many people actually sleep a healthy 8+ hours every night? Studies show repeatedly that more quality sleep makes us happier, so make sure to adjust your bedtime and use things like a sleep mask and earplugs if needed to protect your sleep from disturbances.
8. Feeling attractive. When you go out feeling beautiful, the whole day seems to be in your favor.
9. Having a purpose. While it sounds so simple, it’s not always easily achieved. Some people go on a long journey of self-discovery before they find their calling. But when you finally do, a sense of purpose alone can make you happy.
10. Popping bubble wrap. This is a silly thing that somehow brings us massive joy regardless of age.
11. Getting a complimentary something. Because who doesn’t like pleasant surprises and free stuff?
Simple everyday things that make you happy
13. Having a reason to get up in the morning. When you have something to look forward to in the day, it makes you more enthusiastic in the morning, which usually results in a more positive and productive day.
14. Being consistent with your habits. Building new healthy habits takes some willpower but when you are consistent with them, they keep your life in check.
15. Nourishing food. Whether you like to cook delicious meals from scratch or prefer using meal kits to save time, there aren’t many things as fulfilling for your body and soul as a yummy dinner. Nowadays there is no lack of healthy ingredients out there to keep yourself and your family well-fed.
16. Long-awaited package finally arriving. I don’t know about you, but getting a package in my name always puts me in a joyful mood. Especially if it traveled a long distance to reach me.
17. A really comfy bed. If you resist getting out of bed in the morning because it simply feels too good to stay, you probably have a great bed. Feel grateful for it, lucky you! If you don’t get what I mean, you might need a better mattress.
18. Technology. From coffee makers to smartphones, modern technology simplifies our life in more ways than we can count, and gives us extra time to enjoy the day.
19. Managing your time well. If you never have time for yourself or to do things you enjoy doing, take a critical look at your daily schedule. I would start with installing a website blocker that prevents you from losing yourself in the social media vortex, and you’ll be surprised how much time you suddenly get to do some happy things.
20. Nailing perfectly something you’ve been preparing for so long. Whether it’s a job interview, a creative performance, or an important exam, finally getting it done with flying colors never feels less than great.
21. When the day goes exactly as you planned. There are easy days when everything seems to magically work in your favor. A ton of things could go wrong but they just don’t. Isn’t it wonderful?
Resources for daily happiness
If finding things that make you happy every day is a bit of a struggle, these days there are books and journals that can ease this process for you. With prompts and ideas, you’ll always have something to be happy about!
I’m currently reading my copy of The Book of Awesome, and although I don’t agree with all of the points, it reminds me about the little things in life that bring us lots of joy but often go underappreciated.
Feel good things that make you happy
23. Being passionate about something. Having a passion drives you and gives you the energy to live.
24. Waking up at night thinking it’s morning and realizing you have many more hours to sleep. This is one of my favorite things! Whenever I wake up thinking it’s about 6 am and I have to start my day soon, and then I look at my watch and it’s only 2 am! The absolute best feeling.
25. Guided meditations. Whenever I’m feeling a little low, nothing can raise my vibration faster than guided meditation. There are plenty of meditation teachers on Youtube who can guide you into feeling incredible with their magical voices.
26. Winning a game. Whether it’s chess, football, or an online battle, the act of winning gives you a boost of positive emotions every time.
27. Making a vision board. Regardless of whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, a vision board gives you clarity on your future and your current direction in life. And it’s fun to make! I have two vision boards: one with the biggest goals and my “perfect life” ideas, and another one with my goals for the current year. I always make them in Canva and I set the latter as my phone background to remind me daily of my intentions.
28. Getting a massage. Whether you spend the days on your feet or sit all day like me, a relaxing massage gives your body a so-much-needed break.
29. Making new friends. Even if you are a shy introvert and avoid meeting new people at all costs, you can find a way to make it fun. Do it intentionally, hang out in like-minded communities, welcome a couple of amazing people into your life, and feel the joy of being friends with them every time you meet.
30. Watching a feel-good movie. Being a millennial, I find movies from the 2000s particularly warm and pleasant, but you can watch anything that improves your mood and reminds you about happy moments in life and things worth living for.
Simplest things that make you happy
32. Crossing things off your to-do list. There is this feeling of accomplishment that makes you feel good whenever you check something off as done.
33. A long walk. Depending on your lifestyle, spending twenty minutes outside the house can already count like a long walk. If you are more active, going on a hike might be more your thing. Other health benefits aside, a long walk can help you clear your mind, get rid of negative thoughts, make better decisions, or even come up with creative solutions.
34. Human touch. We are biologically wired to respond to human touch, which is partly why being isolated during the global pandemic felt so depressing. Make sure to interact with your favorite humans daily to be a happier person. And if for some reason it’s out of the question, things like weighted blankets, body pillows, all kinds of massagers, or even showers can have somewhat of a similar effect.
35. Familiar pleasant smell. Noticing a smell in the air that reminds you of your favorite bakery, your spouse’s perfume, or your grandma’s kitchen immediately makes you feel happy.
36. Randomly hearing your favorite song. When I go to a new place for dinner and they play my favorite song, suddenly their chances of receiving a positive review noticeably grow. It’s like they know you already, and welcome you in the nicest way!
37. Someone holding the door for you. No more than a polite gesture, but it makes you smile and feel seen nevertheless.
38. Fresh air. Ever noticed how much easier it is to breathe when you escape from the city to remote locations like a forest or the mountains? Air is the most vital thing for us, and thankfully we have an abundance of it for free!
39. Feeling appreciated. From a gift that says “You are amazing!” to a simple “Thank you”, knowing that your input didn’t go unnoticed makes you genuinely happy.
40. Someone wishing you a great day. When instead of simply saying “bye” a person wishes me a wonderful day, not only I’m thankful, but I fully intend to have it!
41. Finding a reason to laugh your head off. Laughing releases tension in your body, uplifts your mood, and brushes the stress away. Make sure to find at least one reason to giggle every day, it’s extremely good for your wellbeing.
Things to make you happy instantly
42. Inspirational quotes. Not all successful people are happy but I’m sure their happiness rates are much higher than those of ordinary people. Reading quotes allows us to learn from their wisdom and get motivated to be the best version of ourselves. Browse my inspirational quotes collection here.
43. Happy affirmations. If you think you need someone else to make you happy, think again. Your mindset is a powerful thing that has direct impact on your happiness level, and you have the exclusive power to change it. Positive self-talk is the easiest tool for this that is always at your fingertips. For starters, check out my free positive affirmations collection and my printable affirmation cards.
44. Looking through favorite photographs. Flipping through the albums with your happiest moments from the past brings back the best memories, as well as all the positive feelings associates with those events. Whether you still print your pictures, keep them digital, or go the extra mile and organize them in photo books, looking through them inevitably brings your mood all the way up.
45. A warm drink of your liking. It can be a cup of hot black coffee, a sophisticated Starbucks latte, a hot chocolate, or mulled wine in the winter months. Let it warm your heart… and the rest of the body.
46. Lighting a special candle. While a regular candle only gives you light, there are all kinds of unique candles that can influence your mood in a positive way with motivational messages. My two personal favorites are witty Anecdote Candles and sassy candles by Malicious Women Co. Not into candles much? Light an incense stick instead.
47. Playing a fun videogame. It takes your mind off your reality for a while, long enough to allow you to rest, recharge, and prepare to handle life more gracefully.
48. Counting your blessings. The attitude of gratitude is a big contributor to everyday happiness. Think about all the things you are grateful for (get inspired by my list of 100 things here), or better take part in my free gratitude challenge.
49. Snacking on something sweet. While sugar is not particularly healthy, it releases dopamine hormone that makes you feel better instantly. Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy snack options that give you the joy of chewing without slowly killing your body in the process.
50. Playing with a pet. We don’t need science to know that our pets make us happier. They just do.
51. Journaling. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, freewriting in your journal helps you calm down and find some clarity. In a more peaceful state of mind, these happy prompts can refresh your perspective and get you into a positive mindset.
Things that make you happy in a relationship
52. Hugs. I don’t think I need to explain this one, a loving hug just makes everything better instantly.
53. Deep conversations. Growing together and continuously learning new things about each other strengthens your bond and ensures a long-lasting happy relationship. If you can’t seem to find new things to discuss, pick up a deck of conversation starters and you’ll have plenty of topics to dive in!
54. Having each other’s back. Your partner is a person who is always on your side and puts you first. This makes you feel safe and supported, and contributes to building loyalty in a relationship.
55. Naturally having the same opinion about something. This is one of my favorite things about my marriage! When we feel exactly on the same wave and agree with each other against someone else’s point of view.
56. Taking responsibility. You are both responsible for building a healthy relationship and keeping it thriving forever. Taking responsibility for your own actions instead of blaming each other or the world helps you solve conflicts easier and flow through life together with much fewer obstacles.
57. Having fun together. Experiencing a spectrum of positive emotions together brings you closer. It also makes it easier to solve conflicts because you get more comfortable sharing different feelings around each other.
58. Someone waiting for you at home. If you come home after a long day and someone is happy to see you, this is a great feeling you need to hold on to.
59. Honesty. From minor details to big life-changing situations, lying is never a way to go in a loving relationship. Be completely honest with yourself and each other as it builds a strong foundation for your future together.
60. Little romantic gestures. Who said you can only surprise your loved one on Valentine’s day? Little random gifts and romantic things you do for each other keep your relationship warm and interesting.
61. Kisses. Other than just being such a pleasant experience, kissing has a ton of health benefits you likely never thought of!
Simple things to do to make you happy
62. Take a self-care day off. Whenever you feel stressed out or exhausted, burnt out or overwhelmed, take a day off work and dedicate it all to relaxing and doing your favorite things. You’ll surely feel happier and refreshed after a day like that!
63. Write down 3 good things that happened today. And make it a habit. This teaches you to subconsciously look for the good around you, and you start noticing the little positive things more and more.
64. Surprise someone with a present randomly. Choosing gifts for birthdays and Christmases almost feels like another chore these days, while a genuine present without any particular occasion is a totally different thing. It gives you both a strong endorphin release, which is also called a “happiness hormone”. It brings you joy and makes your bond stronger through a powerful positive energy exchange.
65. Challenge yourself. Sometimes unhappiness simply comes from stagnation. Set a big mind-blowing goal to achieve, sign up for a 100 day challenge to keep yourself motivated, and give yourself a new reason to be excited every day.
66. Read a nice book. You don’t have to be a bookworm like me to enjoy an occasional good book. Look through the Amazon charts and see if anything sparks your interest. Cuddle in a cozy chair, make yourself a cup of something delicious, and dive into a new world for an hour or two. You won’t regret it!
67. Declutter your space. While clutter makes you feel overwhelmed and exhausted, being in a minimalist clear environment feels like a breath of fresh air.
68. Learn a new skill. Not only it adds something new to your skillset, but it helps you get into a creative flow state which is one of the ways to feel happier. Platforms like Skillshare allow you to try a bunch of different things and take as many courses as you want if you have a monthly subscription.
69. Do a good deed. Not many things make you feel as good about yourself as making someone else’s life better. Whether it’s donating money to a good cause, volunteering, or just doing someone you know a favor, it makes you happy and makes the world a better place.
70. Go to a yoga class. A good yoga session always leaves me feeling inspired, peaceful, and energized. If yoga isn’t your cup of tea, find something that rocks your boat. Think dance classes, mountain climbing, ice skating, or even jogging. The idea is to move your body in an enjoyable way.
71. Play a board game. This is one of my favorite pastimes. It’s relaxing, it takes your mind off things, and it’s fun and engaging at the same time. Besides, it’s a great ice-breaker and lets you get to know someone a little better.
Simple things to make someone happy
Seeing people around us happy somehow makes us happier as well. And watching a loved one going through a difficult time takes away from our own happiness. While you can’t solve everyone’s problems and fix their life, you can fill it with happy moments and help them incorporate a healthy mindset that is a staple for a happy person.
These are simple things you can do to make someone happy:
72. Give them a gift without any occasion. We are used to giving presents for special events and holidays but we rarely do it on a regular day. Next time you meet up with one of your favorite people, grab one of the positive energy gifts and surprise them simply because they deserve it by being so awesome.
73. Get them a self-care box. Everyone needs some regular self-care time. Subscribe your person for one of monthly self-care boxes full of therapeutic goods to give them well-deserved care.
74. Call them just to say hi. So many people only call each other when they need something. Next time you think of someone, give them a quick call to see how they are doing. Hearing from you might even make their day!
75. Plan a trip together. You can make it a total surprise or involve your person in the planning process. In any case, change of scenery will make anyone feel more alive and happy. If your budget allows, book a fun local experience that will make your trip more special and unforgettable.
76. Offer words of encouragement. When life is tough, having someone by your side is important for your wellbeing. Be that person who offers gentle support and positive words of encouragement for a friend in need.
77. Cook for them. If you can cook, make them a nice homemade meal, preferably something you know they love. If you can’t, showing up with their favorite takeout is a nice alternative.
78. Share an inspiring quote. Sometimes hearing an outside perspective makes more impact on your situation. A short saying by an world-known influential person can hit harder than all the encouragement from your inner circle. Spread positivity all around you by sharing inspiring good vibes quotes with your mates.
79. Send them a positive affirmation gift. Positive self-talk is an extremely powerful tool for keeping a healthy mindset and keeping your head above water no matter what. While you can’t do it for someone else, you can at least give them some kind of a positive affirmation gift to serve as prompts or daily reminders.
80. Let them know you are there for them. Whether by sending a supportive text message or by writing a love note on the bathroom mirror, let your person know that you are here and you care.
81. Ask what they want to do together. You can come up with a ton of fun ideas to engage your friend, but it might be not what they need at the moment. Give them options of fun activities, or just ask what is it that they would enjoy right now.
Little things that can make you happy again
82. Figuring out what you want. It’s not an easy task but it’s a simple concept. When you understand what you actually want from life, it takes away all the feelings of being lost or stuck, and brings you on a journey to your dream life.
83. Deciding to be happy no matter what. With everyone saying that happiness comes from within, being happy appears to be easier than ever before. The first step is to choose to be happy regardless of your circumstances, and to not give anything the power to bring you down.
84. Getting a sudden call from someone you love. Especially when you start feeling that no one loves you and you are forgotten, getting a surprise call from someone who cares brings you a huge wave of joy.
85. Realizing how far you’ve already come. We tend to rush toward the next goal on the horizon and rarely stop to appreciate the part of the journey we already passed. Remember to celebrate the little wins along the way, and reward yourself for every tiny achievement.
86. Listening to motivational podcasts daily. Podcasts are hands-free and don’t take much extra time. They can be listened to in the background while you are walking or doing mindless household tasks. Choose a couple of good ones that pump you up and make you excited about your projects or even life in general.
87. Reviewing your goals. Whether you use a weekly planner (I use this pretty turquoise one by Clever Fox) or have another way of tracking your progress, taking a fresh look at your goals reminds you of things you want. You can always jump back on track even if your New Year’s resolutions are long forgotten. Look at the vision board you created after reading thing #27, analyze whether you still want the things you put there, get yourself excited with monthly affirmations, and go be the amazing person you know you can be!
88. Build a new morning routine. A pleasant and consistent morning routine brings an element of stability into your life and sets you up for a good day ahead. Get used to starting your day with a good morning quote, a blood-pumping workout, and a delicious breakfast that gives you the energy to be great.
89. Falling in love. If you are struggling to find happiness after heartbreak, finding a new love might be exactly what you need to feel alive again.
90. Starting a new hobby. Always wanted to learn guitar, dive into photography, or learn how to code? It’s never been easier to start! Doing something new and interesting will get you excited about life again and give you a reason to get up in the morning.
91. Spending quality time with family. When nothing seems to bring you joy, surround yourself with people who love you, do a digital detox, and spend some quality time doing fun things together. Or go on a road trip with friends! Give yourself a break and a permission to just be there in the moment and enjoy what every day has to offer.
Simple things that make you happy when you feel sad
92. Watching motivational content. Whenever I’m feeling down, watching an inspiring Ted Talk or one of my favorite Youtubers gives me a boost of positive encouragement enough to get out of a slump and make a small step towards doing better.
93. Watching pets do funny things. You can’t possibly experience sadness and cuteness overload at the same time. Thankfully, there is no lack of funny animal videos on the Internet to uplift you when you need it the most.
94. Positive self-talk. Positive activities like repeating affirmations or journaling are meant to shift your mood and turn your focus into a positive side of things. Instead of listing all the things that went wrong for you in your head, try repeating all the things that are awesome about you.
95. Coloring. It is no more just for kids. Coloring is recognized worldwide as a therapeutic activity and used in art therapy, physical therapy, and in all kinds of healing sessions. Check out the adult coloring pages with affirmations, encouraging words, and hand-drawn patterns that I have in my shop!
96. Knowing that the sun will rise again tomorrow no matter what. Hope is a powerful feeling that can keep us afloat because we know better days are coming soon.
97. Receiving a positive comment on social media. Thanks to technology, our social interaction is not limited by our circle of friends. Sometimes when you feel sad, a random positive comment on social media is enough to make you smile.
98. Getting a message from a long-distance friend. No matter what happens in your life, an old friend reaching out always warms your heart. You can also send them a long-distance gift yourself to let them know that no amount of miles can ruin your friendship.
99. Visualizing your dream life. Sadness is always in your head. If you replace your negative thoughts with happy thoughts and images, your mood will also change. Visualize yourself living your best life for a few minutes, and notice how your energy inevitably goes up!
100. Doing something productive. Engaging in some activities that make you feel productive distract you from your negative thoughts and help you almost forget that you felt sad.
Little things that make you happy at work
101. Taking part in an interesting project. Compared to someone who sits at the office desk bored to death and can’t wait until it’s time to leave, a person participating in an interesting project is obviously much happier.
102. Find a solution to a difficult problem. Successfully solving problems at work brings you joy because you feel valuable and grow as a professional.
103. Getting a raise. I don’t think I need to explain this one. Earning more money makes you feel better in more than one way.
104. Being friends with a coworker. Research shows that having a close friend in the workplace increases your level of happiness at work. Besides, isn’t it nice to have a normal conversation with someone instead of just small talks about the weather or the project every day?
105. Decorating your workspace to match your personality. Can someone connect your desk to you or does it look the same as all the others? While you should still keep it professional-looking, it’s fun to have some knick-knacks and little things on your desk to bring you joy. And if you work at home, there is a great variety of ways to make your office space look fun yet professional.
106. Being asked your professional opinion. Every time someone asks for your opinion at work, it makes you realize how valuable you are and destroys your imposter syndrome.
107. A productive brainstorming session. It’s such a pleasant feeling when you spend time in another meeting and it happens to actually be efficient and bring some fresh ideas into the picture.
108. Getting recognition. It might be in a form of appreciation gift from the company, or just your boss emphasizing your input during a staff meeting, but every little thing like that makes you feel happier at work because you know you are in the right place.
109. A day off you didn’t know about. There are some public holidays that are always there but you never remember them. When you suddenly hear on a Friday that you have a long weekend, doesn’t it make your already positive Friday a little happier?
110. Being invited somewhere after work. Proffessional recognition is one thing, but an invitation from coworker to spend time together after hours means that you are also recognized as an interesting human being worth getting to know, which is surely something to be happy about.
111. Making a real impact. Whether it’s reflected in company’s numbers or making a difference in client’s lives, it gives you a feeling that you chose the right career and a joy of being a vital member of the team.
Final thoughts on simple things that make you happy
These were 111 little things that make me happy every day, and I’m sure most of these apply to your life as well! Let me know if you enjoyed reading this and if you have something to add to the list.
To find happiness all around you, pay attention to the little things that make you smile. Notice all the deep things that you usually take for granted. Focus on the good side of every situation. And know that you have the power to make yourself happy no matter what.