How To Feel Happier In An Instant

I’ve read The Happiness Project maybe 4 times, and each time I read it, my favorite thing to come from it is the idea of creating a happy/sad list. I’m not sure that’s exactly what the author calls it, but essentially, she talks about creating two lists: one filled with everything that makes you feel good, and one with things that don’t.

And the idea behind it—or what I’ve taken from it—is extremely simple. Do more of your happy list, less of your sad one. There’s no crazy task at hand or some scientific reason behind this piece of happiness-building.

So take a few minutes and jot down what makes you feel your best (and add to these lists whenever!) and the times you feel icky. And try not to fill your happy list with the things you think you should be doing, think about what really makes YOU feel good. Then, try to add at least one bullet of your happiness list to each day, and find ways to avoid what’s on your sad list. I find this especially helpful if I’m in a funk or feeling unmotivated because pulling out my happy list is a simple solution.

If you need a place to start, here are a few items from each of my lists:


  • Walking on the beach
  • A hot cup of something
  • Talking to my best friend
  • Watching Clueless
  • Cuddling
  • Taking a nap


  • Being really hungover
  • Gossiping
  • Eating too much
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Extreme tech time
  • Overspending

What’s on your lists? Please share!



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  1. How can our lists be so alike? I guess tech overtime is a downer for anyone, and a hot tea a balmy moment too.

  2. I love this idea. I was thinking about how sometimes my happy/sad lists can overlap, and thus bringing some clarity to activities that bring “false” or “fleeting” happiness that isn’t worth it long term! Like wine might be on the happy list, but hangover on the sad- the hangover lasts longer than the drinking, and also keeps me from other happy things like exercising or getting up early for breakfast! Also, sometimes a workout makes me sad to start, but the happiness I feel upon completion is way worth it. Anyway, just my meandering Friday thoughts. Thanks for a great read 🙂

  3. thank you for your post………I love new ideas on how to keep happy as well as remaining positive. My new treat is the calm app… it and a hot cup of lemon water or tea is always my other treat!!! I bought an adult coloring book with pencils and it’s the best on nights I can’t sleep or really stressed from a workday.

  4. Loved this! On my list is buying something that I’ve been saving up for, cuddling puppies and watching Legally Blonde!

    xx Rapunzel

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