57 Simple Ideas for Leading a Healthier, Happier Life


It’s raining. I’m dog tired. I ache from new exercises I tried yesterday.

Yet here I sit, feeling like I must write a blog about finding health & happiness in life because the deadline is looming. True inspiration on that topic seems hard to find this morning.

Good thing I took notes last week when the sun was shining and I was feeling better.

The #1 Way to Be Happier Now

So here’s the overriding principle I came up with last week that I think is pretty darn fundamental to being happy:

Do things on a daily basis that make you feel good mentally or physically, and ideally, both.

Because feeling good is pretty darn fundamental to happiness.

Feeling good helps you feel optimistic, to look on the bright side of things. It helps you keep going.

There are all sorts of neurochemical reasons for this. I won’t turn this post into a dissertation on that except to say it makes sense.

Because keeping going is pretty darn fundamental to survival.

So how do we keep going? By taking care of ourselves. By doing things on a daily basis that make us feel good mentally or physically, and ideally, both.

Self-Care Is Not A Luxury

What this gets down to is that self-care is not a luxury.

It’s actually pretty darn fundamental to survival, too.

Given all this, the human body in its wisdom has set things up so that we are driven to take care of ourselves. Things like feeling hungry, feeling tired, feeling listless, feeling harried, feeling overwhelmed, and more. That’s a whole lot of feelings.

In today’s world, though, we can easily get distracted and not pay attention to what we are feeling. What’s more, even if we do recognize our feelings, sometimes we’re not quite sure just what we need to take care of ourselves.

All this said, it’s important to acknowledge that there are many, many other things that can significantly interfere with happiness. Things like poverty, war, illness, and more. So I don’t mean to be Pollyanna about it, but instead to offer up a list of relatively simple ways to practice self-care, some of which work even when things look pretty tough.

See if you can practice at least one every day. The more you do, the more you win!

P.S. I was initially going to try to separate these into ways to practice physical and mental self-care but then I realized that they’re too intertwined. When you feel good physically, you feel better mentally and vice versa. It’s a breath mint. No, it’s a candy mint. Stop, you’re both right! It’s two mints in one!

57 Ways to Be Happy Now

  1. Eat and drink well. #fuelyourbodymindsoul
  2. Go to bed early. #restisthebest
  3. Move your body in a way you enjoy. #exerciseforpleasure
  4. Eat what you want. You may find you don’t want it as much as you thought you did. #saynotodiets #mindfuleating
  5. Spend time with friends. #besocial
  6. Talk to yourself like a long lost friend. #positiveselftalk
  7. Treat your body like someone you love. #loveyourbody
  8. Take time to do something you love every day. #Ilovetoread #favoritetvshowscount
  9. Swim, or soak in the tub. #justgetinwater #preverbalnurturingtechnique
  10. Meditate. #nufsaid
  11. Feel your feelings. #sadisok #angryistoo
  12. Ask for help when you need it. #callafriend
  13. Plan a vacation. #restisthebest
  14. Hug someone. #instantstressrelief
  15. Get a manicure/pedicure or give yourself one. #pamperingisthebest
  16. Wake up each morning and say, “I like you.” #tryit
  17. Write a gratitude list. #gratitudeworks
  18. Practice yoga. #serious2mintsinone
  19. Pause. #timetothink #respondinsteadofreact
  20. Go out to dinner. #treatyourself
  21. Get a massage. #pamperingisthebest #therapeutic
  22. Buy a new piece of clothing that you feel good in today #livetoday
  23. Soak up the sun. #vitaminD #10minutesdoesit
  24. Say please and thank you. #gratitudeworks
  25. Leave your shopping cart where it belongs. #kindnessworks
  26. Tip well. #gratitudeworks
  27. Declutter your home. #freethemind
  28. Donate to a homeless shelter or food bank. #kindnessworks
  29. Donate to an animal shelter. #takeonehome
  30. Remind yourself of the good things you do. #positiveselftalk
  31. Declutter your desk. #freethemind
  32. Take the stairs. #getthingspumping
  33. Take a nap. #restisthebest
  34. Sing. #releaseendorphins #doitintheshower
  35. Smile. #instantstressrelief #infectious
  36. If you have to, fake it. That may help you make it. #instantstressrelief
  37. Give a homeless person a sandwich. #kindnessworks
  38. Stick up for someone you believe isn’t being treated well. #advocateforkindness
  39. Try something new. #varietyisthespice
  40. Smell the roses (or any other flower you like). #justenjoy
  41. Glory in the sunset. #naturesoothes
  42. Seek meaning in your life. #purpose #passion
  43. Challenge your thoughts. #youarewhatyouthink
  44. Be compassionate to yourself and others. #kindnessworks
  45. Feel the fear do it anyway. #believeinyourself
  46. Find the light in your darkness. What is your darkness telling you to do? #trustyourself
  47. Perfection is impossible. Do you. #believeinyourself
  48. Pick yourself up when you fall. (We all fail.) #perfectionisimpossible
  49. Listen to yourself. Are you being kind? What do you really need? #positiveselftalk
  50. What would you do? #believeinyourself
  51. Jump in all the way. #passion #wholeheartedness
  52. Give yourself flowers. #smallpleasures
  53. Express your anger constructively. #kindnessworks #feelyourfeelings
  54. Dig in dirt. Gardening can make you happy. #microbes
  55. Take a hike – hiking has awesome health benefits! #takeahike #womenwhoclimb
  56. Pay it forward. Send this list to a friend. #kindnessworks

So there. Blog written. Which makes me think of one more way to #behappynow

  1. Meet your responsibilities. #jobwelldone

I’m going to go do something else now that will also help me raise my happiness quotient on this gloomy day, aches, pains and all. Hmmm. What to choose from the list?

P.P.S. The sun just broke through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

View Author Page