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Self-Care Sunday: 500 Things to be Happy About

wearing a tutu, from Happiness Is book

I recently bought a sweet book called Happiness Is…500 Things to Be Happy About by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar. (The above and below images are from the book.) It’s an important reminder of the beautiful and powerful things in our lives, in this world. Because sometimes — actually oftentimes — we forget.

We forget that there are hundreds of things to be happy about every single day.

Today, I challenge all of us to come up with our own list of 500 things that make us happy — from the biggest to the smallest. Yes, 500!

It’s a list you can start today, and then add to every day or every week. You can even dedicate a separate notebook or binder for capturing your list. In fact, you can add photos, images, your own doodles and sketches, and any small keepsakes or souvenirs or meaningful objects.

When you need a reminder, open your book, and breathe it in.

Autum Leaves from Happiness Is book

Here are some things that make me happy:

  • day-long dates with my hubby
  • chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles (the good kind)
  • curling up on the couch and watching HGTV
  • a clear, sunny day
  • a new song to listen to over and over
  • taking a nap after being outside for hours
  • fresh-cut watermelon
  • walks with my mom
  • a new pen and notebook
  • reading before bed
  • playing with Play-Doh
  • picking out the perfect print for your home
  • sending thank-you cards
  • sending a small package of goodies to someone who said they were having a tough day, and your gift really helped
  • drinking a whole bottle of water when you’re thirsty
  • putting on pj’s after a long day
  • starting a new planner
  • fresh bread from the bakery
  • tulips and carnations
  • beautiful sentences
  • honest stories
  • soft sweatshirts
  • yummy smelling candles
  • holding hands with my hubby
  • taking the time to savor what you’re eating
  • a package by the front door
  • organizing and working on our home
  • finding something you thought you lost forever
  • hot tea on a cool day
  • seeing snow and feeling it on your face
  • swimming in the ocean on a sweltering day
  • being so absorbed in something you tune out everything else
  • sleeping on your stomach
  • taking a shower after you just cleaned the bathroom
  • stepping into a heated home after a chilly day outside
  • when you can’t stop laughing

Life is filled with difficult, heartbreaking things. But it’s also filled with happiness. Which we find in the everyday, in big occasions and celebrations, and in small, maybe even silly, routines.

What makes you happy? What things will you put on your long list?

Self-Care Sunday: 500 Things to be Happy About

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2015). Self-Care Sunday: 500 Things to be Happy About. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 20 Sep 2015
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