Want to make 2023 the happiest year yet? Whether you’re in search of inner peace or simply want to increase your joy and contentment, it can be done with a few simple life-changing happiness hacks.
Yes, you can hack your way to happiness! Small lifestyle changes (or hacks) can often have a huge impact on your happiness and overall well-being.
Read on to discover the 23 happiness hacks that will help make 2023 your best year yet!
Smiling is one of the simplest, yet most powerful things you can do to brighten your day. A 2019 meta-analysis in the journal Psychological Bulletin combined data from 138 studies and found that smiling can make you happier. Smiling is also good for your health – it can reduce stress, improve immunity, and even provide pain relief.
Smiling is also contagious. When you smile, the muscles in your face stimulate the muscles in the faces of those around you, causing them to smile as well. So, spread happiness around by putting on a big smile!
Tip: Say “Cheese!”
“Cheese” is the perfect word to say when you want to make yourself smile. Your face smiles when you say the letter “E” and the resulting smile makes you feel happier!
Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also good for your mental health. Exercise has been shown to lower stress levels, improve mood, and boost self-esteem. So if you’re looking for a happiness hack that will also help you get in shape, start exercising!
Tip: Exercise While Brushing Your Teeth
If you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise, try this trick: do some exercises while you brush your teeth. For example, you can do lunges down the hall or squat in place. By the time you’re done brushing your teeth, you’ll have gotten in a quick workout and you’ll be one step closer to your fitness goals!
3. Spend Time With Loved Ones
Spending time with loved ones is a great way to boost your mood and feel happier. Spending quality time with family and friends can give you a sense of comfort, safety, and support. Whether it’s going on vacation together, having a movie night, or simply having a heartfelt conversation over dinner, make sure to take time to enjoy the company of those you care about.
Tip: Set Up A Weekly Video Chat
With today’s technology, it’s easy to keep in touch with loved ones even if they live far away. Set up a weekly video chat with your family or friends and make it a regular part of your schedule. This will give you something to look forward to and allow you to stay connected with those who bring joy into your life.
4. Take Care Of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks when you need them are all essential for feeling your best. When you take care of yourself, you’re more likely to feel happy and healthy.
Tip: Schedule “Me Time!”
Self-care can sometimes feel like a luxury, but it’s actually essential for your well-being. Make self-care a priority in your life and schedule time for activities that make you feel good. Whether it’s taking a yoga class, getting a massage, or taking a long bath, make sure you’re taking care of yourself regularly.
Here are some self-care gift ideas to make your me-time more enjoyable and fun!
5. Be Grateful
Being grateful for what you have is a great way to boost your mood and feel happier. When you take the time to appreciate the good in your life, you’re more likely to feel positive and hopeful. So take a few minutes each day to think about the things you’re grateful for, and express your gratitude in whatever way you can.
Tip: Start A Gratitude Journal
One way to cultivate gratitude is to start a gratitude journal. Every day, write down three things you’re grateful for. This can be anything from your health to a great parking spot. Over time, you’ll start to see how much good there is in your life and your mood will improve as a result.
If you need a little help getting started, read our 100 reasons to be happy!
6. Avoid Comparison
Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say. When you compare yourself to others, you’re more likely to feel negative and unhappy. On the other hand, if you focus on your own life and progress, you’re more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Remember, there’s always someone who has it easier or better than you and there’s always someone who has it worse. You are unique, so focus on your own journey instead of comparing it to others’. When you channel your energy into being the best version of yourself, you’ll be much happier.
Tip: Celebrate Your Accomplishments
It’s important to celebrate your accomplishments, big and small. When you take the time to acknowledge your successes, you’ll feel proud of yourself and be less likely to compare yourself to others. Make a habit of writing down your successes, no matter how small they seem. After all, progress is progress and it’s worth recognizing.
7. Find Your Passion
When you find something you’re passionate about, you’ll naturally feel more fulfilled and happier. Whether it’s a hobby, a sport, or a cause you care about, pursuing your passion can give your life purpose and meaning. So if you’re looking for a happiness hack that will also help you find your purpose in life, this is it!
Tip: Do What You Love
One of the best ways to find happiness is to do what you love. If you’re having a hard time finding something that sparks your interest, try to think of what makes you feel energized and engaged. What brings you joy? What do you get lost in for hours without even realizing it? Once you’ve identified what it is, make time to pursue it!
8. Live In The Present Moment
It’s easy to get caught up in the thoughts of what might happen or how things could have been, but this only keeps you from enjoying the here and now. Learn how to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future.
Instead, focus your attention on what’s going on around you right at this moment. Notice the colors, the sounds, the smells, and how your body feels. Appreciate the beauty of the world and savor every moment. The present is a gift and you can make today great by living in it!
Tip: Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Mindful meditation is a great way to help you stay focused on the present. It allows you to practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Spend some time each day sitting quietly, observing your breath and the sensations in your body. With regular practice, you’ll find it easier to stay present and your happiness will increase as a result.
9. Perform An Act of Kindness
Kindness matters. Whether it’s writing a thank you note, helping a neighbor with chores, or donating to an organization in need, performing an act of kindness can be one of the most rewarding activities.
Doing something for others is a great way to show gratitude as well as to provide a boost of positive energy. When you help others, you not only make them feel good, but you also make yourself feel good! So next time you’re feeling down, try practicing kindness. You’re bound to feel better in no time.
Tip: Do Something Nice For Someone
Do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return. Whether it’s giving someone a compliment, helping a stranger with directions, or simply lending a listening ear, make it a habit to do something nice every day. You’ll quickly see how small acts of kindness can boost happiness and lead to a more meaningful and fulfilled life.
Need ideas? There are so many ways to be kind!
10. Connect With Nature
Research shows that people are substantially happier outdoors. If being outside makes you happy, make it a goal to spend time outside every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Take a walk in the park, sit by the ocean, or take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the natural world around you. The fresh air and vitamin D will do wonders for your mood and your overall health.
Tip: Watch Bees At Work
When you watch bees hard at work pollinating flowers, it’s easy to appreciate the beauty and importance of nature. But bees aren’t just important for the environment – they can also have a positive impact on your mood.
Watching bees helps you live in the present and can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increasing feelings of peace and relaxation. “Beekeeping therapy” is so beneficial that organizations like Hives for Heroes have emerged to assist veterans transitioning from military service cope with depression and PTSD.
11. Savor Life’s Pleasures
Whether it’s savoring a delicious meal, enjoying a beautiful sunset, or simply taking a moment to appreciate the people and things you love, savoring life’s pleasures will help you feel happier and more grateful. Doing this regularly will help you appreciate the beauty in everyday moments, and develop a deeper sense of contentment.
Tip: Print A Photo
Print a photo that makes you happy and put it in a place where you’ll see it every day. Whenever you catch a glimpse of it, take a moment to savor the memory of the event or the person in the photo.
12. Nurture Your Social Relationships
Research shows that strong relationships are the strongest predictor of life satisfaction. So if you want a happier life, make it a priority to cultivate your relationships. Reach out to friends, family members, and colleagues. Make sure you stay connected with them even in times of physical distancing. When you have a strong support network, you’ll feel happier and more resilient.
Tip: Remember Important Dates
Remembering your friends’ important dates shows that you care about them and value your relationships with them. So next time a friend has a birthday or an anniversary, make sure to reach out and wish them well. You can send them a thinking of you gift, a card, or even just drop them a line to say hello. Your friend will appreciate the gesture and it will help keep your relationship strong.
13. Be Optimistic
Optimism affects happiness, health, and overall well-being. Having a positive outlook on life can help to build resilience in difficult times. Optimism helps to reframe bad situations into positive ones, allowing you to see opportunities instead of obstacles. Being optimistic can open doors and create possibilities that may not have been available to you before. So if you want more happiness, look on the bright side of things!
Tip: Practice Positive Visualization
Your thoughts can have a powerful effect on your actions and behaviors. When you visualize yourself achieving a goal, your brain will be more likely to act in order to make it happen. This can help you stay motivated and inspired to keep going, even when things get tough. So take some time each day to visualize what you want to achieve and see yourself achieving it. It’s a great way to stay optimistic!
14. Seek Out Novelty and Challenge
Finding a hobby or activity that allows you to challenge your skills or explore something unfamiliar can be empowering and foster a sense of fulfillment. You can do anything from learning a language or musical instrument, to taking up a sport like rock climbing or yoga. When you challenge yourself, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to learn and grow and that can be incredibly rewarding. You may also find yourself discovering something you really enjoy!
Tip: Set New Goals
Setting new goals is a great way to seek out novelty and challenge. What new skill do you want to learn? What project would you like to complete? What would be exciting to try out? Break down your goals into smaller, achievable steps to make them more manageable, and celebrate each accomplishment (the small wins!) along the way.
15. Spend Money On Other People
A 2008 social experiment showed that spending money on other people (prosocial spending) is an effective way to increase happiness. So if you’re looking for a way to make yourself feel better, try making a donation to charity, buying a gift for a friend, or treating a loved one to their favorite meal. It may not seem like much at the time, but you’ll likely be surprised by how good it makes you feel.
Tip: Support A Cause That Is Important To A Loved One
When you support a cause that is important to someone you love, you not only make them happy, but you also show them how much you care about them. Moreover, the donation will make you feel good knowing that you’re making a difference in someone else’s life too.
16. Seek Out New Experiences
Constantly experiencing new activities, ideas and places can help you feel more happy emotions like excitement, awe, and joy. New experiences can also help you learn and grow as a person. So go out and explore the world. Try new things, visit new places, and meet new people!
Tip: Be A Tourist In Your Own City
If you need a break from the monotony of your everyday life, try being a tourist in your own city. Check out some of the tourist spots you’ve never visited, or go to some of your favorite places and explore them in a new way. Not only will this give you a fresh perspective on your life and surroundings, but it can also be a lot of fun. Who knows, you might even discover some hidden gems in your own backyard!
17. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for both your physical and mental health. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re more likely to feel stressed, anxious, and depressed. On the other hand, research shows that if you’re well-rested, you’re less sensitive to negative emotions and more responsive to positive ones. So make sure to get enough rest! Take an afternoon nap, or go to bed a little earlier than usual. Your body (and your mind) will thank you.
Tip: Keep A Sleep Diary
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try keeping a sleep diary. This can help you identify patterns and habits that might be affecting your sleep. Once you know what’s causing your sleep problems, you can start to make changes to help you get the rest you need.
18. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you the energy you need to start your day, but it can also help improve your mood and cognitive function. So if you’re looking for a quick happiness boost, make sure to eat breakfast!
Tip: Eat Foods High In Protein And Fiber
Staying full and satisfied throughout the day can help improve your mood and energy levels. Start your day by eating foods that are high in protein and fiber, such as eggs, oats, or yogurt. These foods will help you feel fuller longer and give you the energy you need to power through your day.
19. Limit Your Time In Front Of A Screen
Spending too much time in front of a screen, including watching TV and being on your phone, can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression. If you want to be happier, limit your screen time. Read a good book, go for a walk, or spend time with loved ones instead.
Tip: Take A Digital Detox
If you’re finding it difficult to cut down on your screen time, try taking a digital detox. This means disconnecting from all electronic devices for a set period of time. During this time, focus on connecting with the people and things around you. You might be surprised at how much better you feel when you’re not constantly plugged in.
20. Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
Studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can lead to increased happiness and satisfaction with life. So if you want to be happier, make sure to add some extra fruits and veggies to your diet!
Tip: Make A Green Smoothie
Green smoothies are a great way to sneak in some extra fruits and veggies. They’re easy to make, and you can add whatever ingredients you like. Try adding leafy greens like spinach and kale and blend with fruit such as banana and apple to make a tasty green treat!
21. Listen To Music
A powerful link exists between music and your emotions. Listening to music that you enjoy can improve your mood, reduce stress, and pump up your energy. So, listen to your favorite type of music – whether it be rock, classical, or even something more niche like ambient nature sounds – every day and let the music lift your spirits!
Tip: Create A Happy Music Playlist
Spend time creating a happy music playlist – one filled with your favorite upbeat songs – so that you have it available when you’re feeling down or need an extra lift. It’s a fun project to do and it will also come in handy for when you want to host a dance party with friends or even by yourself. Enjoy the music!
22. Shift Your Mindset
The way you think about yourself and the world around you can have a big impact on your happiness. If you want to be happier, try shifting your mindset. Instead of focusing on the negative, try to focus on the positive. Look for the good in people and situations. When you make this shift, you’ll feel so much happier!
Tip: Say “Thank You” Instead Of “Sorry”
Saying “thank you” instead of “sorry” might seem like a small change, but doing so can have a big impact on your happiness.
- “I’m sorry I’m late” ➡️ “Thanks for waiting for me!”
- “I’m sorry I messed up” ➡️ “Thank you for helping me fix it!”
- “I’m sorry you’re upset” ➡️ “Thank you for telling me how you feel!”
By reframing things that happen into grateful statements, we can train our brains to look on the bright side more often. “Thanks” always sounds better than “Sorry” and expressing gratitude will not only make you feel happier but also boost the mood of the person you’re thanking!
23. Simplify Your Life
A simple life is a happy life. When you make changes to simplify your life, you can focus more of your energy and attention on what matters most. Start by decluttering your home, cutting back on unnecessary expenses, or paring down your to-do list. By having less clutter and fewer distractions, you’ll have more space for the things that make you happy.
Tip: Implement the “1 In 2 Out” Rule
For every item you bring into your home, get rid of two items. You can apply this rule to anything from clothes to furniture and other possessions. It’s a great way to limit your purchases because the item you want has to be worth getting rid of two items you already own. When you do make a purchase, you’ll be purchasing higher quality and/or necessity items and you’ll create more space in your home, which can do wonders for your mental health!
Happiness is not just a pleasant emotion, it’s an important part of living a healthy, fulfilling life. Start with one of these happiness hacks and see how it affects your mood. From there, you can add a few more until you find the perfect combination of happiness-boosting habits that work for you!
How do you get happy? You choose happy. You do happy. You be happy.
Do Happy: Daily Happier Habits App
Start putting these happiness hacks into practice with our Do Happy: Daily Happier Habits app! The app incorporates positive psychology principles to help you boost your happiness. It’s a comprehensive yet simple system of activities, journaling, and relationship-building features that work together to help you nurture your happiness and well-being. Plus, it tracks your progress so you stay accountable for your happiness and can see how much your happiness is improving over time.
Download the Do Happy® app and start living a happier, healthier life today!