What makes you happy?

That’s a difficult question to answer isn’t it?

Sometimes I will be in the middle of doing something, something really simple like reading a good book and drinking a cup of tea, and I will be overcome with contentment and will think to myself ‘this, this is it. Remember this for when you are next feeling sad.’

Quite often I will make a physical list of things that I know I enjoy doing to refer back to as required.

And then I will have a moment where I feel really sad and I will look at the list with scorn, wondering how I could have ever been so shallow as to find comfort in tea. ‘Pah!’ I will say to myself, ‘What was I thinking? I am way too sad to be cheered with an episode of Friends. This is it now for ever, I will never be happy again.’

Of course I am happy again though, and often within minutes of feeling like there is no point even bothering to get up because the human race is so doomed to fail, and it really is the little things on my list that can make all of the difference, especially at the times when you feel like they won’t.

Here are a few of the things I have done this morning, several not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I knew I should:

  • I got up. Great start! It seems a bit obvious, but this can sometimes be the hardest one.
  • I had a shower. More excellent work.
  • I tamed my professorial eyebrows and put on some make-up. It’s an instant self-esteem boost knowing your nose is looking a little less shiny than normal.
  • I dropped a litre of chocolate soy milk on the floor just as I was leaving for work. This did NOT make me happy but I am included it here as an example of the sort of thing NOT to do.
  • I thought a lot about buying this turtle from the bear shop near my office. £35 is more than I have ever spent on a turtle before though so I haven’t bought it yet. Anticipation is half the fun after all.

plush turtle

  • I bought a loaf of bread and took the entire thing to work. Then I took a picture of it for Twitter:

get happy tips

So what makes you happy? What’s on your list?



  1. 15 January, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    Gin. Gin makes me happy. Or at least makes me not care about not being happy. Does that count?

  2. 15 January, 2015 / 7:08 pm

    A loaf of bread on my laptop always makes me happy!

  3. 16 January, 2015 / 1:32 am

    As I get older, the list of things that make me happy get’s longer and probably simpler. Of course my family, my friends, my pup are all a the top. However, a really great cup of coffee, in a really comfy chair, a deliciously sippable red wine, and episodes of Miranda have moved upwards on the simple pleasure list.

  4. 16 January, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    The picture of the bread kind of does it for me!

    Erm, I dunno! What makes me happy? Philip Scofield asked me this very question on Monday, and I came to the conclusion that it was probably salt & vinegar hula hoops that got me the most giddy! My kids are quite good little happy-providers too though ;)

  5. 16 January, 2015 / 6:34 pm

    When i was in the midst of depression, I found keeping a list of all the little things that made me happy really helped… toast, tea, a good book and fresh flowers are all on my list

  6. 17 January, 2015 / 5:49 pm

    Often it’s the simplest things that make me happy and the list just keeps on growing the older I get. Biscuits, listening to my iPod and talking to the cat make me ridiculously happy, wine also helps a lot.

  7. 19 January, 2015 / 12:33 am

    A litre of chocolate soya milk – eek!! I know this IS tea but every evening I make a pot of jasmine tea and it really does make me happy. It’s my moment of calm, when everyone else is in bed and I like the ritual of constantly filling the pot and pouring small cups of jasmine tea which is warming and comforting. I love it.

  8. 19 January, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    I would weep many real tears if I dropped so much chocolate soya milk on the floor. So messy, so tasty. When I am having a terrible day, I make my small child run at me from across the room, arms wide open, shouting “reset!” It works, but probably is maybe a symptom of being unhinged/a weird way to raise a child…x

  9. 20 January, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    I would definitely say £35 is too much to spend on the turtle! finding money on the street makes me happy, I love a good random reward! Ha that’s very superficial isn’t it?! Good food, good company, good music and feeling comfortable all make me happy!

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