Happiness Hacks - a little dose of happy - aldohappy.com

24 Life-Changing Happiness Hacks for 2024

Want to make 2024 the happiest year yet? Whether searching for inner peace or wanting to increase your joy and contentment, you can improve your happiness 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.

Watch our video to learn about 14 happiness hacks that will transform your life. Once you’re inspired and ready to learn even more, continue reading to discover all 24 happiness hacks that will help make 2024 your best year yet!

1. Smile

a stylish image of the word "smile" with a smiley face

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 relieve pain.

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!”

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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!

2. Exercise

Exercise is not only good for your physical health but also 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

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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 will 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. Being with family and friends can give you a sense of comfort, safety, and support. Whether going on vacation, having a movie night, sharing a good conversation over dinner, or engaging in other fun activities, there are many ways to spend quality time together.

Tip: Set up a Weekly Video Chat

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With today’s technology, keeping in touch with loved ones is easy, 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 help you stay connected with those who bring joy into your life.

4. Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is essential for both your physical and mental health. Eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks when needed are all necessary for feeling your best. When you take care of yourself, you’re more likely to feel happy and healthy.

Tip: Schedule “Me Time!”

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Schedule Me Time"

Self-care can sometimes feel like a luxury, but it’s essential for your well-being. Make self-care a priority in your life and schedule time for activities that make you feel good. Whether 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!

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

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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. You can write about 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 help getting started, read our 100 reasons to be happy!

6. Avoid Comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy, as they say. Comparing yourself to others makes you more likely to feel negative and unhappy. On the other hand, if you focus on yourself and your own 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’. You’ll be much happier when you channel your energy into being the best version of yourself.

Tip: Celebrate Your Accomplishments

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Celebrate Your Accomplishments"

It’s important to celebrate your accomplishments, big and small. Make a habit of writing down your successes, no matter how small they seem. When you take the time to acknowledge your successes, you’ll feel proud of yourself and be less likely to compare yourself to others. After all, progress is progress, and it’s worth recognizing.

7. Find Your Passion

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! When you find something you’re passionate about, you’ll naturally feel more fulfilled and happier.

Tip: Do What You Love

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Do What You Love"

One of the best ways to find happiness is to do what you love. If you’re having difficulty finding something that interests you, try to think of what energizes and engages you. 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

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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.

9. Perform an Act of Kindness

Kindness matters. Whether 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

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Do Something Nice for Someone"

Do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return. Whether it’s complimenting someone, helping a stranger with directions, or simply lending a listening ear, make it a habit to show kindness to others every day. You’ll quickly see how small acts of kindness 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

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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 crucial for the environment – they can also positively impact 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 and 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

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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. You’ll feel happier and more resilient when you have a strong support network.

Tip: Remember Important Dates

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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, reach out and wish them well. You can send them a thinking of you gift, a card, or even 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. A positive outlook on life can help 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

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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 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 reaching 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.

Challenge yourself to learn something new every day. You’ll find that your confidence grows, and you feel more accomplished. You may also find yourself discovering something you really enjoy!

Tip: Set New Goals

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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? Setting a goal and actively working towards it can give you a sense of purpose. Try breaking your goal down into smaller, achievable steps to make it 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) effectively increases happiness. So if you’re looking for a way to make yourself feel better, try donating 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 at how good it makes you feel.

Tip: Support a Cause That is Important to a Loved One

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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 also show them how much you care about them. Moreover, the donation will make you feel good knowing that you’re also making a difference in someone else’s life.

16. Seek Out New Experiences

Try new things, visit new places, and meet new people! Constantly experiencing new activities, ideas, and situations 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!

Tip: Be a Tourist in Your Own City

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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 well-rested people are 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

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If you’re having trouble sleeping, try keeping a sleep diary. This can help you identify patterns and habits affecting your sleep. Once you know what’s causing your sleep problems, you can make changes to help you get the rest you need.

18. Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives you the energy you need to start your day and can also help improve your mood and cognitive function. So if you’re looking for a quick happiness boost, eat breakfast!

Tip: Eat Foods High in Protein and Fiber

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "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 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

If you want to be happier, limit your screen time. 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. Read a good book, go for a walk, or spend time with loved ones instead.

Tip: Take a Digital Detox

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If you’re finding it difficult to reduce 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

Eating a healthy diet is vital for both physical and mental health. Studies have shown that eating more fruits and vegetables can increase happiness and satisfaction with life. So if you want to be happier, add some extra fruits and veggies to your diet!

Tip: Make a Green Smoothie

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Make a Green Smoothie"

Green smoothies are a great way to sneak in extra fruits and veggies. They’re easy to make; 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 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

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Create a Happy Music Playlist"

Spend time creating a happy music playlist filled with your favorite upbeat songs to 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 hosting a dance party with friends or even by yourself. Enjoy the music!

22. Shift Your Mindset

How you think about yourself and the world around you can greatly impact 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”

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Say Thank You Instead of Sorry"

Saying “thank you” instead of “sorry” might seem like a small change, but doing so can significantly impact your happiness.

Instead of:

  • “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 make you feel happier and 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 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 what makes you happy.

Tip: Implement the “1 In, 2 Out” Rule

happiness hack tip from a little dose of happy that says to "Implement The 1 In 2 Out Rule"

Get rid of two items for every item you bring into your home. 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 things you already own. When you do make a purchase, you’ll purchase higher quality or necessity items and create more space in your home, which can do wonders for your mental health!

24. Rediscover Wonder

Rediscovering wonder in everyday life is a delightful happiness hack that invites joy and spontaneity back into your life. This approach encourages you to see the world through a lens of curiosity and amazement, reminiscent of childhood innocence. Engaging in playful activities or marveling at the simple beauties around you can reawaken a sense of awe and excitement.

Whether pausing to appreciate a sunset, laughing heartily at a joke, or getting lost in a captivating story, these moments of wonder enrich our lives. They remind us not only to exist but to live vibrantly, embracing each day with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and openness.

Tip: Play!

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A fantastic way to tap into this sense of wonder is to play games and activities you loved as a child. For instance, you can fly a kite on a windy day, jump in a puddle after a rainstorm, build a fort from blankets, or even chase fireflies at dusk. These simple, joyous activities offer a break from the seriousness of adult life, allowing you to reconnect with a time when life was less complicated and more wonder-filled. Embracing these playful moments can uplift your spirits and rekindle a sense of youthful exuberance.

Final Thoughts

Happiness is not just a pleasant emotion; it’s essential to 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.

a image that says "Choose Happy Do Happy Be Happy" with a smiley face

Happy hacking! 🙂

Do Happy: Daily Happier Habits App

Start practicing these happiness hacks 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 help 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 improves over time.

Download the Do Happy® App and start living a happier, healthier life today!

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