101 Ways to be Happy

Do you want to be happy? Of course you do, who doesn’t?!  Here are 101 easy ways to achieve a better, happier life!

It’s not things that make us happy but our experiences.

Travel can have a profound effect on us by taking us out of our comfort zones and opening our eyes to some of the different places and lives that were unknown to us. It’s also just fun!

We’re obviously big fans of travel, but what else can make you happy? Read on for 101 ways to change your life for the better:


1) Travel when you can. Travel can open your eyes to the world and offer a fresh new perspective.

2) Take a weekend trip. If you haven’t got the funds for a jaunt to Paris, no matter. Even a weekend or day long break from home can make you happier.

3) Spend time by the ocean. There’s nothing like sand between your toes and fresh sea air.

4) Go camping. Commune with nature closer to home—the food will taste better and you’ll sleep deeper in the great outdoors.

5) Go skydiving. Face your fears and reap the benefits of this exhilarating extreme sport—you’ll be euphoric for weeks.

6) Go stargazing. Find a spot relatively free of unnatural light and marvel at the beauty of the night sky.

7) Sit in front of a beautiful view. Find a spot close by with a nice view that you can visit when you need a break.


8 ) Make enough money to meet your basic needs. Studies have shown that anything beyond that amount will not necessarily make you happier.

9) Avoid financial hierarchies. For a new job, choose a place where everyone makes a similar amount. People feel better when they feel equal to their co-workers.

10) Find satisfaction in the job you have. Don’t expect to find one job that will make you happy—instead focus on the positive aspects of your work instead of blaming a job for your unhappiness.

11) Take initiative at work. You’ll gain professional respect, self-fulfillment and feel more in control in the workplace.

12) Keep plants in your workspace. The LA Times found that employees who decorate their office space are more satisfied with their jobs.

13) Bake cookies and bring them to work. You’ll enjoy the baking and making your co-workers happy.


14) Get enough sleep. Sleeping for 8 hours per night can elevate your mood and better prepare you to greet the day.

15) Take vitamin C. Keeping your immune system happy will keep you happy.

16) Laugh out loud. Laughing releases endorphins and lowers levels of stress hormones.

17) Cook with more garlic. Garlic not only adds delicious flavor to meals, it also keeps blood pressure down to keep you relaxed and healthy.

18) Get more fresh air. Fresh air is invigorating and alters the levels of serotonin in your brain—the stuff that makes you happy!

19) Eat more foods with tryptophan. It has an amino acid needed to make serotonin, the chemicals that make you happy. Try more bananas, dairy products and poultry.

20) Work out. Exercising can not only make you feel better about yourself, it also releases endorphins in your body to give you a natural high.

21) Eat chocolate. Besides releasing endorphins and stimulating serotonin production in your brain, chocolate releases phenylethylamine, the chemical that causes feelings of love.

22) Meditate. According to the Dalai Lama as well as several medical studies, meditation not only decreases stress, but also triggers a neurological response that makes you happy.

23) Do yoga. Learning to control your breathing through yoga practice helps you control your responses to stress and fear.

24) Get a massage. Besides its relaxing properties, the touch involved in massage creates warmth in your body and releases the chemical oxytocin—also known as the cuddle hormone.

25) Eat chickpeas (or other beans). Chickpeas have an amino acid that makes you happy, and beans keep your sugar levels steady throughout the day.

26) Have sex. Numerous studies show that a healthy sexual intimacy with a caring partner can have tremendous physical and emotional benefits.

27) Install more windows in your house. Getting enough exposure to the sun has been proven to be crucial to happiness and well-being.

28) Put full-spectrum lights in your home or office. If you live in a wintry climate that doesn’t get much sun, you can replicate the effect with light bulbs that mimic the sun’s rays.

29) Drink coffee. Studies in Brazil showed that people who drink coffee every day are less likely to suffer from depression. Coffee is the world’s most popular mood-enhancing drug, but remember to drink in moderation

30) Eat more spinach. Popeye’s favorite green is packed with folic acid, an important vitamin that boosts serotonin production.

31) Eat foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Certain kinds of fish like salmon or sardines have Omega-3, which is known to elevate mood levels—high doses are even used to treat depression.

32) Eat more colorful fruits and vegetables. They contain antioxidants which help remove toxins from our bodies that cause stress and aging.

33) Put some strawberries in your breakfast. The smell of strawberries is known to invigorate and energize.

34) Drink hot mint tea. The scent of fresh mint is energizing and the steam will perk you up.


35) Smile. It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.

36) Make a grateful list. Focus on all the great things in your life to enhance feelings of joy and attract more good things.

37) Break outside your comfort zone. Being comfortable doesn’t make you happy—challenging yourself does.

38) Follow your gut. Most of the time your first instinct is not only correct, but the best choice.

39) Don’t regret your decisions. If it turns out you were wrong, don’t waste time worrying about it, instead make the next best decision and move forward.

40) Accept that you can’t be happy all the time. Focus on being content and the truly happiness will be all that much sweeter.

41) Try to see from others’ perspectives. Much of our unhappiness comes from our frustration with other people not understanding us. Try to imagine how they see the world and the frustration will ease.

42) Let the little things go. There’s no sense in wasting your energy and inhibiting your happiness by worrying about things you can’t change.

43) Make the decision to be happy. Happiness is an attitude, not a physical state.

44) Don’t take things personally. So often, anger and frustration directed at us is a result of someone else’s misplaced stress. Recognize that it’s not necessarily about you and you’ll remain calmer and happier.

45) Savor the small moments. People who take longer to enjoy small moments and then reflect on them later in the day show significant increases in happiness.

46) Avoid comparing yourself to others. It’s damaging to self-esteem—focus on your own achievements.

47) Make meaningful goals. Harvard scientists say humans need a sense of purpose to thrive and that people with dreams and aspirations are happier than those without.

48) Embrace spirituality. Research suggests that people who participate in a religious community or explore alternate sets of beliefs are happier and better adjusted in life.

49) Have a good cry when you need it. Allowing yourself to break down completely is cathartic and you’ll feel better after you let it all out.

50) Learn to forgive yourself. Focusing on your past mistakes serves no purpose besides keeping you from moving on.

51) Maintain perspective. When life starts to feel out of control, remind yourself of the positive things in your life and how lucky you are.

52) Define what happiness means for you. Don’t worry about what other people define as happy, find what makes you happy and go for it.


53) Stay close to friends and family. Moving far away from networks of support can take a toll on your level of happiness—even if you have moved in order to make more money.

54) Get a dog. The studies showing the positive effects man’s best friend can have on your psyche are numerous: better emotional and physical health and a wagging tail.

55) Give more hugs. Hugging releases the same chemical as massage and is always free!

56) Make time for your friends. Personal connections are so important and making even a little time to be with people who make you smile can keep you happy.

57) Make new friends. Meeting other people is exciting and finding a new person with whom to connect can only enhance your fulfillment.

58) Write thank-you notes. Expressing gratitude makes you and the recipient happy.

59) Call your mom. Or your dad, or your grandma or anyone you haven’t talked to in a while and surprise them with a chat.

60) Get a cat. If you’re not a dog person, cats make wonderful, loving, stress-reducing housemates and bed-warmers.

61) Cuddle up with someone you love. Enjoy time with your kids or your partner for instant happiness.

62) Babysit for a friend. Being around children’s infectious optimism is sure to boost your mood.

63) Hold a baby. They’re cute and cuddly and without a care in the world—you’ll feel instantly uplifted.


64) De-clutter. A clean home is a clean mind, and you’ll feel better in an orderly environment.

65) Donate to charity. Giving to those less fortunate than you will make you appreciate what you have.

66) Rent a comedy. Take an hour and a half out of your day for pure laughing entertainment and you’ll feel instantly boosted.

67) Watch kittehroulette.com. If watching nonstop videos of playful kittens doesn’t lift your spirits, nothing will.

68) Take a nap. A quick power nap, especially on a sunny afternoon, is luxurious and will help you make it through the day.

69) Change one thing in your daily routine. You’ll stave off boredom and might discover something new that delights you.

70) Take a walk. Taking a quick walk, even just around the block can clear your mind and raise your mood.

71) Surround yourself with smells that make you happy. Smell is a much overlooked sense that greatly affects our mood—try a coconut shampoo that reminds you of a vacation or bake cookies that remind you of childhood.

72) Listen to upbeat music. Even just a few minutes of a hip-shaking tune gets your blood flowing and makes you feel more positive.

73) Set your alarm early on a day you know you get to sleep in. When you wake up you’ll get the pleasure of realizing that you don’t have to get out of bed—then rolling over for some more satisfying zzz’s.

74) Paint a room in your house yellow. Looking at the color yellow has been proven to improve moods.

75) Make a home cooked-meal. You’ll get not only tasty food, but the pride of having made it yourself.

76) Dress up for no reason. Putting on clothes that make you feel good increases your self-esteem and your mood.

77) Add some soft blue to your bedroom. Light blue has been shown to be the most calming color and can set the mood for a restful night’s sleep—essential to a positive attitude.

78) Do something you loved as a kid. Riding a roller-coaster or going sledding can help you connect to your inner child and remember simple thrills.

79) Wear red. Red can make us feel confident, powerful and strong.

80) Splash on some perfume/aftershave. Studies show that floral scents can make you happier.

81) Volunteer your time. Selfless acts and helping others is a fast route to genuine contentment.

82) Decorate your home for the holidays. Preparing for holiday celebrations is always fun and a great excuse to invite friends and family over.

83) Take time for yourself. Go to a movie, or a museum or a walk around town by yourself to re-connect.

84) Perform random acts of kindness. Hold open a door for a stranger or leave some money in the vending machine, for no other reason than doing something nice for your fellow man.

85) Send snail-mail. Rediscover the pleasure of old-fashioned communication.

86) Make time to curl up with a good book. It can be either a thought-provoking tome or a guilty pleasure.

87) Invest in fancy bedding. Be cozy and happy drifting to sleep and wake up to a happy morning.

88) Go bowling with friends. Throw back to your younger years, and bonus points for matching shirts.

89) Dance. Alone or at a club, dancing is fun and stress-releasing.

90) Pay off your credit card debt. Debt can be a major source of stress and you’ll feel great when you eliminate it from your life.

91) Clean the house. Even if you don’t like cleaning, a clean home can drastically improve your attitude.

92) Volunteer at a local animal shelter. You’ll get the pleasure of knowing you’re lending your time and brightening the day of some furry friends.

93) Find a hobby. Painting, singing, tai chi—it doesn’t matter as long as you have an outlet to express yourself.

94) Turn off your phone for a day. Let people know in advance that you are taking a personal day and can only be reached in case of emergency. Savor the silence.

95) Sing in the shower. It doesn’t matter what you sing, just make sure you belt it as loud as possible.

96) Stash some money in a secret place so you can discover it later. Pick a spot you’re likely to forget so you get a thrill weeks or months later when you stumble on it.

97) Enjoy a guilty pleasure TV show. Make some popcorn and banish the guilt—we all need a cheesy escape sometimes.

98) Go for a walk or jog in the rain. The high produced by exercise will be heightened by the cool rain on your face.

99) Enjoy a cold beer or chilled wine on a hot day. Need I say more?

100) Go to hear live music. Hearing music live puts you in the moment in a way an iPod can’t.

And finally 101,
Share with others! Tell us what makes you happy—the places you’ve been or the things you’ve done–we can all learn from each other!

If you liked this you might also like: Top 10 Happiest Countries in the World.

Photo: Mara reducing stress levels through yoga in Cook National Park, New Zealand.

99 thoughts on “101 Ways to be Happy”

  1. WOW! You’re brilliant. I would never have thought things like drinking a beer or watching tv could make me happy. I was going to try diving under a car…but not seeing it on your list I guess I won’t. Really now, hold a baby? Send snail-mail? Seriously, dress up for now reason? Is that supposed to help me be happy?

  2. If you have to try this hard to be happy, then you are one sad mo’fo. I mean, being healthy and all that is great, but you can be unearthly happy even if you are starving and have no arms or legs. Go to India.

  3. I just wanted to say that I have a disease that made me a quadriplegic,And you are one of the biggest pompous a**holes I have ever read…Do you know how many of these I can do? 6 by myself and less then 20 with help from and aid. You are a heartless person for reminding me of all that I should be able to do…I think I may actually go shoot myself right now…wait….nope can’t even do that…and If you are brilliant enough to go wait…how can he type this with his hands?! Well I can’t do that either..this is done with a device in which I use my mouth.

    So I just hope that you are in the same position soon,and then you can truly try to come up with a real list.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to put together these great suggestions.

    Perhaps you should have added “making rude/ignorant/mean comments on great blog posts that are trying to help people be happy”. Oh wait, that’s just a way to make the person feel better about themselves by putting other people down, and everyone past the third grade or so should realize that’s childish and sad. Keep writing despite negative comments.

    Anyway, thank you again. There are some great new ideas here, along with a few things I’ve thought of but don’t usually get around to. Thanks!

  5. This was an awesome list :D
    I saw a lot of things I already try to do, but I found some other great things too. Really loved this page!

  6. The happiest thing in my life is to get appreciation from my parents for my helpful deeds to my fellow beings, and for caring my family.

  7. Great list! Obviously the people with nasty comments aren’t following the list they need to because they must be seriously unhappy to be that rude.

  8. aaa, what a list!!!
    Thanks guys, I think I haven’t found better post in a long time.
    came here again, to check about some more crazy places around the world and I found this. You really surprised me.

  9. Awesome post! These tips combine such a good variety of sources, I always find myself trying to incorporate different “happiness tips” from various sources but when buddhist philosophy and my free will don’t necessarily overlap it feels like happiness is out of reach. This post really brings in a human element and reminds me happiness isn’t some unreachable goal.

  10. such a nice list, will recommend it to all friends that I concern as unhappy.
    must read for sure!
    thanks to everyone who took effort to write all this useful tips for a modern man who is loosing it self in this technological age.

  11. This was a great list and actually made me think. I do feel guilty when I plan a trip. Also, I feel guilty that I am happy with my job, with my bills paid when I could work more hours and be more stressed. To the weird haters who blasted this posting……what is wrong with all of you? It seems like some of you just revel in spreading misery, which is the opposite of this posting. I know the internet is open for all, but when people post just to be mean, I really think you ought to get some therapy. By the way…I do work in the psychiatric field. Probably will get blasted for this, but, hey, a good article needs defending sometimes.

  12. One of the best things that could truly make you happy is friends. People tend to stay indoors missing the point of human to human interaction thus making them think that they are unhappy. Most kids of today tend to stay at home and interact online. This could affect them psychologically thus making them unrendered for interacting in the realworld.

  13. Great list! Often times it’s the little things in life that can really make a difference. To me, this list is all about the little things. Hopefully this is read by many people so that we all can begin to realize how we can be truly happy.

    Thank you for this great post!

  14. Aww this was really nicee.. I find myself doing the opposite of some of these points sometimes. Definitely saving this!!

  15. I thought this was rather nice, and made a good point: Instead of looking for happiness in outre, exotic things, look at the things that are rather common. It might be they are common because they are highly successful.

  16. Sure, abandon your ability to reason logically, that took millions of years to evolve, and “just believe” in some goofy mythology — any one will do. Because “believing” is “healthy”. Correlation (in one questionable study sponsored by a religious group) does not mean causation. Did they control for intelligence? The worst kind of misinformation…

  17. I LOVE this sooo much! Thank you endlessly!!! :-) I re-posted it for others to see…it’s just soo good!

  18. You are a blithering moron.

    Let’s see: travel often… but don’t take a job that pays more than the sum of your absolute necessities. How the hell am I supposed to travel?

    Take a job that pays everyone the same? Like in Soviet Russia or Red China? Hell, that’s a sure fire way to travel… and never leave.

    Re-read your writing before you publish such a ridiculously stupid piece of work.

  19. I love these tips anyone who says otherwise are often to selfish to see the beauty in life, However I do like a lot of money though !

  20. Loved this list! Another thing- Keeping your home/workplace clean and organized will help keep you in a good mood. And if they need some organization… Turn on some music and dance while you do it! (:

  21. People are so rude. I love this list, I’m 15 and I have better manners then others on here. If you don’t like it, tell them “this doesn’t seem to work for most people” or something like that or even just clicking out of the website. Not, “hey your completely stupid”, or “I’m poor.” So it must be nice to be an as*hole, Just saying. I like the list but some of theses thing i cannot really do, due to my age, but I think you were going for more of the age group 22-55. Being positive is good for your body(:

  22. 101: Read this list and tick off the things you already do to be happy. Sometimes all you need is to be reminded of all the things you’re already doing right.

  23. Cool list, has a few ideas I’ll check out. I agree with moving away, I moved away for college, gave up my job, girlfriend, friends, family. Its tough moving and living in a new place when you don’t know anyone.

    A nice new collared shirt, and a beer by the pool to meet new peeps sounds good.

  24. 102 . when you wake up just raise your hands and roll them and say with a very big smile “happy new day” … “happy new day”
    sure your mood will get boost

  25. i think this list is 101 ways to improve your mood or attitude towards life rather than be happy. yes.. you can be happy in other ways but they are definitely good tips on how to improve your day.

    stop being rude

    great list.. thank you for the tips! :)

  26. Oh wow, what a redicilous stuff.
    Mint tea makes you sleepy.
    I’m working 6 days per week (2 weeks holiday annualy).
    Bring cookies to work? Really? -this is where I stoped reading.

  27. Found this on StumbleUpon and just brightened up my day a bit. It’s easy to get bogged down and while, yes, a lot of these are obvious and the majority of us already know these things, we often forget and need a reminder from someone else about these basic things. Thanks for the post! Oh, and please do ignore the trolls on this site. Some people have nothing better to do, it seems, than write snide remarks to strangers.

  28. Thumbs down! Great advise for those who can financially afford it, which are likely to be happier.

  29. I loved this post. Another thing that makes me happy is driving alone int he night (or day depends on you) with the music on and the windows down. For those who like driving, you should definitely try it!

  30. it is really very good article for how to stay happy.. however some of the things are not possible…but most of them are helpful….

  31. There is such a great truth in this post. We are all creators of our own happiness!
    Even if you do need money for over a half things from list, there is still another half you can do to make you satisfied.

    Thanks Mara for a great post!

  32. 7 free easy steps for a fuller, happier and enjoyable life:

    1) Live a life that serves and improves the lives others: there is so much pleasure to be gained by positively impacting someone else’s life. Try and positively impact another person’s life each day from something as simple as a smile and praise to a charitable gesture. Remember we are all here to improve the lives of others. That is the number one rule in natures law. Your life cannot improve, unless you improve other peoples lives.

    2) Live for today and not for tomorrow and forget about the mistakes of the past: every mistake you have made was a lesson. A lesson which allowed you to get to where you are now and with knowing what you know. Mistakes are a good thing as long as they are not repeated as they are part of education through the journey of life. The future is far away and full of uncertainties. All we have is the now, and we should focus on enjoying it and everything that is important to us.

    3) Keep it simple, stupid (KISS): follow the ‘KISS’ principle in everything you do. Remove all the unnecessary complexities from your life and focus on 2 things: 1) what makes you happy? and 2) what is very important to you? Life is too short waste on worrying and what is out of your control, so focus on the things that are not relevant to you and that can be controlled. Focus on growing, being happy and reaching your destiny. Praise yourself each day for all the good achievements you have reached in your life. You deserve it!

    4) Confront your fears: avoid living the monotonous, boring routine of daily life and step beyond your safety net. Do something adventurous that you have always dreamed of doing but was to afraid to. Jump out of an aeroplane (with a parachute on), learn how to dance or cook, set up a business you believe in and follow your passion. The forces of nature will always favour the brave. Live a lifeof regretting what you did, not what you missed out on. Remember we are not afraid of dying – we are afraid of not having lived!

    5) Continuous improvement: if you don’t go forwards, you go backwards. Keep on seeking to improve and learn as often as possible. Read something of value each day that will improve your knowledge, like an autobiography of someone you admire. His/her’s attributes will rub off on you. Keep pushing the boundaries to reach your destiny. At the end of each day – reflect, on all the good and bad things that you did. Praise yourself for the positive things, and learn from the negative things and avoid them from occurring again.

    6) Take care of your mind and body: exercise as often as possible. Look after your body. Eat wisely, everything in moderation and include as much fresh fruit and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Look after your mind. For 30 minutes each day, take time out from your busy schedule to either meditate or marvel at natures wonders and appreciate what is around us from the sky, stars, flowers, animals etc. Focus on relaxing and appreciating of all the good things in the world that surround us.

    7) Forget about judging your life on material worth: life is more than just money, the size of your house or exotic holiday destinations. The richest person in life is not the person who has the most, but is actually the person who needs the least. With the money, comes all the headaches. Wealth can blind you from what is important to you. As the old saying goes ‘money can’t buy happiness’. Serving others, building strong relationships and gaining in knowledge holds much bigger value.

  33. This is a great list – don’t let the negative comments get to you. Obviously not every single item on the list applies to every single person, but everyone can find something on this list that will cause them to be a little happier. Good job! Thank you :)

  34. Wow.
    How will holding a baby make anyone happy? Babies are NOT cute and cuddly; they cry, smell, have saliva all over themselves and poop in their diapers. Yeah. Really cute.

    As for baking cookies, random acts of kindness and all of that would be actions based upon “personal inclinations (emotiosn)” as Kant labeled them. These are actions done in with no other purpose than to satisfy an emotional desire, and not out of duty itself. Thus, you are expecting for some sort of reward or benefit from doing this. If that’s the case, according to Kant, you turn the person who you are helping — for your own benefit/well being — into a thing, and no longer a person. Kant defined a “thing” as someone used for a means to an end. Persons are an end.
    So…good job. Let’s just reduce people to things so we can appease the first world guilt.

  35. Unfortunately many of the individuals posting comments failed to notice that the list didn’t say “You must do all 1010 things on this list in order to be happy”. While not all options on the list are available to everyone, whether it be because of money, time, or other resources, I’m sure every single person that reads the post can find at least ONE line item that is do-able for them that can boost their mood. Not everything on this list requires material items, and even for the ones that traditionally would, there are ways to make them happen with a little creativity.

    I happened to really need this post today; I was lost in a material world with a lot of anxiety and stress, and when that happens a lot of people fail to remember the little things, like sitting outside on a sunny day or reconnecting with people they love. Thanks for the post!

  36. I am queen of the power nap! It does make you happier. #1-3 also are some of my happiest times. Great recommendations!

  37. kuddos guys.you guys r jst fantastic,will share these with my loved ones and do what i missed to do to complete the hapiness……………….cheers.

  38. I’m the marketing assistant for Robert Scheinfeld, a NY Times bestselling author who just wrote a new book on how to be happy. It’s called “The Ultimate Key To Happiness.” It offers a v-e-r-y different approach to defining what happiness really is, and a very different step-by-step path to experience it all the time, no matter what’s going on around you. The Internet has gotten so complex. So many options. Can anyone here share ideas for how to get the word out there about this important new book? I’d love to hear your ideas. I’m sure there are tons of ideas I’ve never thought of before.

  39. Yeahh….all listed are very simple. I’ve already tried some of them and really it works!!!

  40. Great and imaginative list indeed. But please just add this in conclusion…’Take time to pray!’

  41. All well and good if normal people didn’t have to work 70%+ of their time to be able to afford this list….leaving you 30% time to actually do them. Life is a vicious circle which leaves us working harder to be able to afford things that make us happy, resulting in less time to do them. I guess my point is, No 1 on your list should be “find a job you love”….because most of your time will be spent there.

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