50 Simple Happiness Boosters

Note: This is a guest post by Anand Dhillon of Self-Help for Self-Mastery.

Here’s a list of 50 different things you can do when you’re not in a good mood and need a quick boost to improve your emotional state.

1. Read a book – Gaining more knowledge will make you better prepared to accomplish what you desire.

2. Volunteer – Helping others is a great way to boost how you feel about yourself.

Happiness 3. Give someone a compliment – Brightening someone else’s day also brightens your own.

4. Dress well – Making yourself look great demonstrates to yourself how valuable you think you are.

5. Say please and thank you – Holding your behaviour to a higher standard makes you feel better about yourself.

6. Look for the best in others – When you see the best in others, the natural tendency is to start to see the best in yourself.

7. Keep a gratitude journal – Write down everything you are grateful for and refer to it any time you need a quick pick-me-up.

8. Eat well – What you consume affects your biochemistry. Eat well to make sure your body is happy.

9. Exercise – Physical exercise releases chemicals in your brain that give you a natural high.

10. Smile – Your physiology and your mental state form a positive feedback loop. Everyone knows that when you are happy, you smile but it’s also true that when you smile, you are happy.

11. Meditate – Clear your mind and melt into the perfection of this moment.

12. Get a massage – Relaxing your muscles will also help relax your mind.

13. Set goals – When you have a direction for your day-to-day experience, your life has more meaning.

14. Take action – Making progress towards something you care about is excellent way to feel a sense of accomplishment.

15. Call your best friend – Connecting with someone who cares about you and who you care about can quickly lift your mood.

16. Visualize success – When you visualize what you want as though you already have it, you get the feelings of already having it.

17. Focus on your successes – The quality of your life is the quality of your thoughts. By focusing on what you have done right, you will feel more upbeat and positive.

18. Learn from your failures – Transmute your mistakes into resources by learning from them.

19. Accept what you can’t change – By resisting what you can’t change, you waste valuable mental energy. By accepting it, you free up that energy for more constructive uses.

20. Start a conversation with a stranger – Human beings are social creatures. There is nothing quite like meeting someone new and making a new friend.

21. Sing – Although you might not like to do this public, everyone knows it’s something you love to do when you’re alone.

22. Reconnect with an old friend – Take some time out to contact a friend you’ve been meaning to connect with but just haven’t had the time.

23. Go for a walk – Take time to clear your head of any stresses and think about what is really important to you.

24. Spend time with friends and family – Nothing beats the feeling of love and connection when you are surrounded by the people you really care about.

25. Enjoy a great meal – Food is great because it involves all five of your senses. Take some time out to really saviour a wonderful meal.

26. Listen to some great music – Music has the power to stir your emotions. Find something you love to listen to and crank it up.

27. Journal – Have some alone time to really reconnect with yourself and get your thoughts on paper.

28. Rejoice in the successes of others – Celebrating the achievement of someone else is sometimes more fun than celebrating your own achievements.

29. Laugh – Make sure that each and every day, you find plenty of time to laugh.

30. Forgive yourself – We all have a tendency to be hard on ourselves and beat ourselves up. Instead of guilt, try forgiving yourself.

31. Get enthusiastic about something – Every day, make sure you do something that really gets you juiced.

32. Slow down – For a few moments, allow yourself to take a break from the hectic pace of life and just be.

33. Spend time in nature – Whether it’s a walk near a forest, or just smelling a flower, take time to connect with nature.

34. Pamper yourself – Go out of your way to do something great for yourself simply because you deserve it.

35. Be spontaneous – Allow yourself to do something on whim just because you feel like it.

36. Watch a sunset – There are few things more beautiful than watching a sunset.

37. Spend time with children – Hopefully their carefree attitude and zest for life will rub off on you.

38. Do something creative – Whether it’s drawing a painting or writing a short story, do something that enables you to express yourself.

39. Play a game – Spend some time just doing something that you enjoy.

40. Ask for help – Be willing to ask for another’s assistance and graciously receive it.

41. Daydream – Give yourself some time to just roam around in your imagination.

42. Give someone a hug – Physical contact just adds to the connection we feel with other people.

43. Breathe deeply – Deep breaths relax the body and quiet the mind.

44. Take a bath – Allow yourself some time to relax and let go in a warm bath.

45. Get into a happy environment – Your environment influences how you feel so make sure you are in one that supports you.

46. Do some gardening – Gardening is a great way to get back into nature as well as get some physical exercise.

47. Think of some pleasant memories – Reflect on some of the best times of your life and the good emotions will come flooding back.

48. Focus on the good in the world – At every moment, there are people falling in love, babies being born and individuals achieving their goals.

49. Complete an unfinished task – Do something you have been putting off for far too long.

50. Decide to be happy – In this moment, simply choose to be happy.

Anand Dhillon blogs about personal development at Self-Help for Self-Mastery.

This article is part of July 2008 theme: Happiness


  1. Outstanding list, Anand! I love it! And might I add:

    51. Dance! It not only is fun, it can actually extend your mental health and consequently your life. I wrote about that at http://shanelyang.com/2008/05/22/wanna-live-longer-dance/

    52. Watch a funny movie! I list 100 of them at http://shanelyang.com/2008/05/16/laughter-is-great-medicine-100-funny-movies/

    53. Remember that there are people much worse off than you are. See real examples of funny resumes and work evaluations at http://shanelyang.com/2008/04/28/funny-resumes-and-work-evaluations/

    These are all excellent ways to smile, laugh, and be happy! : )

  2. Great post, Anand! Sometimes the simplest things can have the greatest impact on how we feel. You’ve reminded me of many things I can do to make today a better day.

  3. @Anand,

    Thanks for these great happiness boosters.


    Thanks for adding to the list.

  4. …and vodka. Don’t forget vodka.

  5. Stay clean and organized, you will feel much better whenever you know where everything is and not to take the time to worry about where you might have left something. DONT PROCRASTINATE

  6. i have read some great lists in my life, but i can truly say this is at the top. profound, insightful, inspirational, and comprehensive.

    thank you for making my night

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  8. Wow – I don’t think I could have come up with 50! Well done.

    I’d like to add another to your list: spend some time with an animal. I’ve got cats who always enjoy a good tummy rub, but I’ve got a friend who has two dogs. Dogs can make you feel great – as if you’re the most important, wonderful, fun, beautiful, best person in the entire world. When I need that extra bit of happiness, I go to her place and play with her dogs. They can pick me up in 30-seconds, but we play for an hour. It’s great. (oh – and so are my cats. 😉

    Thanks for the post!

  9. Wow! just going through these points makes me feel relaxed and happy. With each statement I can remember something and that is what is making me feel good.
    Great list and great things to practice. It is so easy to follow happiness but not many are able to do it. Even after reading the mantra I don’t know how well will I be inculcating it into my life.
    I think I should probably get a printout or something

  10. […] Smiles are infectious.  Spread them. When you’re happy, you smile, and when you smile, you are happy. (nod to Anand […]

  11. […] Smiles are infectious.  Spread them. When you’re happy, you smile, and when you smile, you are happy. (nod to Anand […]

  12. […] I’d hate to work for a miserable manager, and I’d like to think I’m cheerful too.  I follow 3,5,10,14,40, 45 and 49 of these tips to help the team feel happy, appreciated and […]

  13. […] I’d hate to work for a miserable manager, and I’d like to think I’m cheerful too.  I follow 3,5,10,14,40, 45 and 49 of these tips to help the team feel happy, appreciated and […]

  14. Happiness is a state of mind that really depends how we see the situations in our lives each day. you can have all the riches in the world but still see it as a lonely place.;”‘

    • so how does one change that? how we see things regardless of what or how much one has….

  15. well done…

  16. I do spend time with my family to boost my happiness from my busy schedule

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