The Things that Make You Happy

Lists are wonderful things. Lists for places to go and things to see. Packing lists, shopping lists, to-do lists, and more. Whether you add or cross things off your list, they are the best way to keep track of what you’ve done or what is left to do, what you want to remember. And life is complicated. It is messy. It can be scary, lonely, and strange. When things don’t go as planned or they take a turn for the worse, sometimes a little cheering up is necessary.

Sometimes, I find a little solace in lists. Alphabetized or organized by importance. Typed up or scribbled by hand. Carefully thought out or quickly assembled. Lists become a collection of sorts. Things that are too important to forget.

So when those things do not go as planned, or they don’t turn out as you expected they would, make a list of the things that make you happy. Whether you fill it with people or places, things that give you the warm fuzzies or just stuff that makes you smile–it should be a long list.

I recently decided it was time I made a list of my own. In no particular order, here are a few of the things that make me happiest:

  1. Being snuggled under a cozy blanket
  2. Chocolate frosted donuts
  3. Cuddling with puppies
  4. Finally receiving a package in the mail
  5. Old board games
  6. Trying something for the first time
  7. Vending machines that accidentally drop more than one item
  8. Crispy colored foliage and falling leaves
  9. Paddle boarding
  10. Decorating for the holidays
  11. Hearing a favorite song on the radio
  12. Solving a difficult puzzle
  13. Chamomile tea
  14. Clouds that look like magical creatures
  15. Kind people
  16. Rabbit hugs and kisses
  17. Fall-scented candles
  18. Using new watercolor paints for the first time
  19. Sleeping in after a long week
  20. Creamy smoothie bowls
  21. Juicy peaches
  22. Mismatched dishes
  23. Finding something you thought was lost
  24. Learning something new
  25. Crime show marathons
  26. Gloomy, rainy autumn days
  27. Falling asleep during a long car ride home
  28. Scarves
  29. Giving the perfect gift to someone special
  30. When your horoscope is ridiculously accurate
  31. Tiny potted plants
  32. People-watching in airports and coffee shops
  33. Unexpectedly running into someone you haven’t seen in a while
  34. Receiving good news
  35. Floating in the ocean
  36. Strangers who smile when they hold the door
  37. Zip-lining
  38. Any baby animal
  39. Basically any animal ever
  40. Feeling the warmth of the sun in your bones
  41. New stamps in your passport
  42. Bubble baths
  43. Not having anywhere to go or anything to do
  44. Laughing with friends over silly things until you can’t breath
  45. Live music
  46. Kaleidoscopes
  47. Watching infomercials in a hotel room
  48. Riding a bike by the beach
  49. Calligraphy and typography and beautiful words
  50. When a new recipe comes out perfect on the first try
  51. Really long hugs
  52. Ice cream in any form–cones, cups, sandwiches, and floats
  53. That “extra” hour (of sleep) when the clocks go back
  54. The first snowfall of the year
  55. Napping in city parks
  56. Coloring books
  57. Towels or sheets fresh from the dryer
  58. Breakfast for dinner
  59. Elephants
  60. Star-gazing
  61. Hand-made holiday cards
  62. Looking through old photographs

Make a list of your happy things, if you don’t have one already. Keep it tucked in a pocket or post it on a wall. Look at it every day or only when you need it most.

What is on the list?


4 thoughts on “The Things that Make You Happy

  1. Mastering Menstruation says:

    I love this! During my senior year of college I started a “gratitude journal” (which is essentially a list of things that make me happy!) and would try to write in it whenever I was feeling down. As of currently, every night when we get in bed I ask Kevin to list off things he’s grateful for, and then I do the same. My mind wanders a LOT lately as I’m falling asleep and when I catch my thoughts jumping I bring myself back to things that make me happy/what I’m grateful for/my life goals and it helps me calm down. When I wake up, I think about the same things to set my attitude for the day 😀


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