50 Ways to Find Joy

Simple, health-boosting pleasures you can enjoy anytime.
50 Ways to Find Joy
Pin it courtesy of Shutterstock

31 Send birthday joy. For their birthdays, write your friends letters recounting favorite memories or telling them what they mean to you. Hint that you like receiving mail, too.

32 Meditate while you walk. Stroll through a familiar part of town and focus your mind on its sights, smells, and sounds. If other thoughts pop up, acknowledge them but return your concentration to what's around you.

33 Be an active constituent. Take steps to resolve a political issue that worries you by writing your congressperson. Visit to find his or her address in a flash.

34 Remember kindness. Recall a situation in which a friend treated you kindly. Mentally extend the feelings of joy she inspired back to her.

35 Practice relaxation. Regular use of progressive muscle relaxation can increase feelings of joy. To try it, lie in a quiet place. For 10 to 20 minutes, slowly contract and release every muscle in your body, starting with the muscles in your toes and ending with those on your face.

36 Paint a picture. You don't have to create a masterpiece. Buy some inexpensive watercolors and a pad of paper, and let the colors guide you.

37 Croon in your car. When you're stuck in traffic, play your favorite music and sing along as loud as you can.

38 Tidy up your bathroom. You wince. But a spotless toilet, shining sink, and clean fluffy towels are a joy for the next visitor—even if it's you.

39 Marry beauty and practicality. Next time you need an everyday object, like a cereal bowl or a coffee mug, choose the most pleasing replacement you can afford. When you use it, notice its simple elegance.

40 Finish off a to-do list. Set reasonable goals so that by the end of your work week, you can complete all your tasks. When Friday comes, feel the weight of worry, lift off your shoulders.