Image by Tasy Hong from Pixabay 


Being happy need not cost you the earth. It is so easy as simply wearing a smile on your face, listening to music, reading or cracking a joke, etc.

Guaranteed ways to cheer yourself up:

1. Smile, smile, smile 

Even if you don’t feel like smiling, do it anyway.

“Your facial muscles send messages to your brain telling you to experience that positive emotion,” counsellor Luke Sheedy says.

2. Enjoy the sunshine

About one-third of Australians lack vitamin D, which can cause depression. During summer, get a few minutes of sun in the morning or late afternoon. In winter, you need 20 minutes.

3. Dress up

A UK survey of 100 women found that wearing clothes that flatter the figure helps to set a positive vibe for the day.

4. Take up yoga

“Yoga will give you more energy and focus,” instructor Charlotte Dodson says.

5. Say “Ohm”

Meditation improves brain and immune function, a US study shows. Just 30 minutes a day can make a difference.

6. Stop and smell the flowers 

Students exposed to a floral scent used three times as many happiness-related words in an essay.

7. Use fruity scents

Citrus scents have been proven to banish negative moods. Add some to your bath, oil burner or even grate some peel into a salad.

8. Read this book...

What’s the best book for happiness? Novelist Susan Elderkin recommends The Darling Buds Of May by H.E Bates. “Because spending time in the bosom of this family is such a joyous experience,” Elderkin says.

“They love and laugh and gorge on life’s fecundity and don’t let themselves get bogged down by annoying details like taxes.”

9. Take a dance class

Swedish researchers found that dancing boosts mental health and mood.

10. Watch a tearjerker

Forget comedies. Apparently sad movies cheer us up more.

11. Be social

“Catch up with friends: it’s good for your health and happiness,” Sheedy says.

12. Have a hug

“Touch can increase the happiness chemicals oxytocin and serotonin,” author Gretchen Rubin says.

13. Grow older

Stanford University found ageing leads to more emotional stability and compassion.

14. Kiss

A US study reveals kissing is a key indicator of long-term relationship satisfaction.

15. Strike a pose

Lie with your legs up the wall, advises Dodson. “It will soothe your nervous and hormonal systems.”

16. Let love in

“Happiness is love” – that was the finding of George Vaillant’s Grant Study, after following 268 Harvard men for 75 years.

17. Get lippy

Many women swear lipstick lifts their spirits. It even has a name: the Lipstick Effect.

18. Eat chocolate

Swinburne University of Technology research found that dark chocolate increases calmness and contentedness.

19. Have a coffee

Caffeine increases your dopamine transmission.

20. Live near friends

Living near a cheerful friend raises your likeliness of happiness by 25 per cent, according to a Harvard study.

21. Paint rooms blue

You may feel blue, but colour experts say that painting your walls the hue of the sky can bring a sense of calm.

22. Enjoy a new experience

We’re not only happier when we have new adventures, but our moods are lifted the moment we book or buy them.

23. Take a walk

Exercise releases endorphins, which translates into happy feelings. Aim to walk 10,000 steps a day.

24. Get Naked

Older married individuals with a satisfying sex life are happier, according to a study presented at the Gerontological Society of America. Our cheerfulness also increases if we believe that we’re getting more action than our neighbours.

25. Run a bath

A warm bath helps boost your mood, Dr Anthony Grant and Alison Leigh say in their book Eight Steps To Happiness.

26. Pick up a book

Those who read are happier, a University of Maryland study has found.

27. Play a game

A study found 91 per cent of families report that playing games together improves their mood.

28. Jump in the pool

Swimming laps helps the brain replace cells that have been lost through stress.

29. Go fish

Populations eating most fish have the least depression. One study found fish oil boosts the effectiveness of Prozac.

30. Go with the flow

Early research suggests tai chi may help to improve mood as well as mobility.

31. Write it down 

List three good things that happen to you each week to feel happier, psychologist Aleks George says.

32. Crank the sounds

Research from the University of Missouri found that listening to upbeat music can improve your mood.

33. Grow a plant

A US survey of 298 people found most gardeners were happier than those who didn’t get their hands dirty.

34. Borrow books

Regularly visiting a library can equal the happiness you’d feel after a $2600 pay rise.

35. Procreate

Studies found parents were happiest around the birth of their children.

36. Limit treats

Over-indulging in fatty, sugary foods often leaves us feeling worse than ever.

37. Hit the surf

Research shows positivity and tranquillity increase after just 30 minutes in the ocean.

38. Get outside

Being at one with nature for 20 minutes a day significantly boosts your vitality levels.

39. Walk tall

Your posture can affect your mood, so pull those shoulders back and strut your stuff.

40. Exercise 

“Moving more could be the first step to a happier life,” Dr Tim Sharp of The Happiness Institute says.

41. Get a pet 

A survey found those with a pet had higher self-esteem and a sense of belonging.

42. Think like Popeye

Iron is required to help our bodies make energy. The result? A happier, clearer mind. If you’re taking an iron supplement, down it with orange juice to help absorption.

43. Eat fruit & veg

A UK study found that more than a third of people with good mental wellbeing ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

44. Ditch the car 

Walking or cycling to work can boost your mood and help you feel focused.

45. Exercise with friends

“When we have other people to share the experience with us, it makes the journey more enjoyable,” Sharp says.

46. Go skiing

South Korean research found skiers were happier after just one day on the slopes.

47. Do good

Donating your time to others will leave you happier and less prone to illness.

48. Follow a formula

Live in the moment, think of others, take care of your body, do what you love – that’s the key of psychologist Todd Kashdan.

49. Go to bed

A US study shows an extra hour of sleep each night makes us happier than earning $70,000 more a year.

50. Mow the lawn

Cutting the grass releases a chemical that can make us feel happy and relaxed, University of Queensland neuro­scientists say.

51. And... breathe

To relieve stress take 20 deep breaths right into the belly, wellness advisor Jo Brown says.

52. Be altruistic

Buying gifts for others or for charity boosts your happiness levels, and more so than if you treated yourself.

53. Be grateful

“It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful,” Benedictine monk David Steindl-Rast said.

54. Don’t look back in anger

Viewing bad memories in a more optimistic light can help make life happier.

55. Think about death

Contemplating your own death can cheer you up by helping you gain perspective.

56. Open your heart

“Keep your heart open and form real connections with others,” doctor of Chinese medicine Shura Ford says.

57. Eat more beans

Beans, peas and other legumes all contain high levels of magnesium, which boosts energy and your mood. Aim for two serves a day.

58. Watch a winner

A Danish study found the whole country was uplifted for years by its 1992 Football Championship win.

59. Take the train

A study revealed commuting by bus or train had positive effects as “it gave people time to relax”, researcher Adam Martin says.

60. Set a challenge

One study found that doing activities such as puzzles at twice your usual speed can lift your mood.

61. Log off

Spending time away from social media can boost your overall wellbeing.

62. Bake 

A study found that people reported feeling comforted and calmed by the smell of baking.

63. Aim low 

If we don’t expect happiness, we’re more likely to be cheerful, a study reveals.

64. Eat quinoa

A serving a day of quinoa will boost your mood.

65. Eat your cereal

Low-sugar breakfast cereal is the easiest way to get your daily amount of folic acid. Replenishing folate can reverse depressive symptoms.

66. Go nuts

Walnuts contain high amounts of serotonin, which your brain needs to feel calm and happy.

67. Munch on a crunch

Crunchy foods trigger the release of joyful dopamine and norepinephrine.

68. Add some Zs

Low levels of zinc can lead to depression. Lift yours with seafood, meat and nuts.

69. Eat mushrooms

Add mushrooms to your salads or roast them. They contain happiness-boosting selenium and magnesium.

70. Include apricots

Apricots are packed with vitamin B6, which has been found to reduce depression in people 65 years and older.

71. Be more greek

The Mediterranean way of eating provides high levels of the protein BDNF, a lack of which can cause depression.

72. Stop bitching

Sniping about others may feel good now, but forgiveness has greater long-term benefits.

73. Run for a high

Many runners experience a post exercise “high” that leaves them feeling euphoric.

74. Join a team

Researchers found participating in team sports leads to better mental health than exercising alone.

75. Add vitamin B

Vitamin B12 – found in seafood, beef, chicken and dairy – can alleviate depression.

76. Go green

A US study found green tea can boost dopamine, which is linked to good moods.

77. Stand up

We spend up to 70 per cent of our day sitting. Instead, stand up at your desk – it’s been linked to weight loss and improved health and moods.

78. Get a plant

A Texas State University study found strong evidence to support the benefits of office plants in reducing stress and negative mood states.

79. Plan a holiday

Just the action of planning a holiday is enough to turn grey skies blue, researchers say.

80. Do something unexpected 

Scientists believe that we’re happiest when we’re dealing with new challenges.

81. Revisit the past

An Open University study found old photos made people feel 11 per cent happier.

82. Seek it

“Living with deliberate curiosity will bring you more happiness than accidental certainty,” psychologist Lindsay Spencer-Matthews says.

83. Ask for a payrise

A Spanish study found higher earnings improve happiness at work, especially if you earn more than your colleagues.

84. Be mindful

“Mindfulness enables us to find joy in our everyday lives,” counsellor Celina Gregory-Phillips says.

85. Remind yourself

“Write different things that make you happy, and stick them where you’ll see them,” life coach Fiona Craig says.

86. Believe

Having spiritual beliefs has been linked to levels of increased happiness.

87. Grin at the grill

Scientists are developing home appliances that won’t work until you smile. Don’t wait for science – practise now!

88. Learn

Mastering a new skill can lead to a cheerier outlook long-term.

89. Appreciate it

US researchers found that past satisfaction leads to happiness in our later years.

90. Tell a story

The same study found that centenarians were happy when sharing their memories of the olden days.

91. Get married 

Time to pop the question? Married people with children are happier than unwed parents, researchers from the University of Glasgow say.

92. Seek a smile

If your group of friends are generally a cheery bunch, researchers say odds are that their smiles are infectious.

93. Work out

Exercise has been proven to help overcome depression, Shawn Achor says in his book The Happiness Advantage.

94. Anticipate it

Looking forward to a comedy show or a funny movie can increase your happy hormones by 27 per cent.

95. Drink water

Even slight dehydration can lower your mood.

96. Be cultured

Visiting a gallery to view beautiful works of art can lift your spirits.

97. Fail

Failing at something leads to a greater sense of achievement when you finally reach your goal.

98. Get crafty

Knit that jumper or embroider that pillow. Artistic tasks can give you satisfaction, but only if you finish the job.

99. Share your diary

Keep a journal of your happy thoughts, then share it with others to boost your level of enjoyment even more.

100. Do nothing

“Being still and simply observing your thoughts is one of the best ways to listen to your body and intuition,” Dodson says. “Stillness teaches you to enjoy what’s going on right now.”


The biggest fortune all of us seek in life is happiness. To be happy, you must first feel happy. Happiness and sadness are not caused by others. You must seek happiness, get it, enjoy it and spread or share it with others like family and friends so that it gets multiplied several times. 

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