1. You may be more satisfied with your life if you have more money, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be happier.

  2. Happiness is my favorite subject.
    I could write the longest comment ever about what makes me happy.
    There are the very generic things, like love, travels… but also so many little things. I feel very happy when I am relaxed enough to enjoy the small things in my day to day life. Because it really isn’t much about the result but all about the journey!
    a few examples:
    stretching when I get up in the morning and smiling to myself in the mirror while brushing my teeths
    taking time to do nothing even for a few minutes with my son when we wake up in the morning
    ridding a bike at work to go from one meeting to another (I work on a big campus) and noticing how fresh the air is, how green the grass is, how cute birds are.
    Taking time to put make up on and noticing how pretty it turns out. or not putting any and liking myself anyway
    giving compliments as often as possible and being polite on the road (it can be challenging sometimes)
    challenging myself
    eating pizza+ ice cream and not feeling guilty about it at all. taking another scoop
    making plans to see family. invite people for dinner. organize my life in order to make things happen.
    making the most of most days, and sometimes doing nothing special
    taking time to think about what makes YOU happy
    being grateful for who you know, who you are, where you are

    I mean it is pretty much endless…. see you can’t start me on this one because I won’t stop writing…!!!

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  5. When my best friend says something so funny I cry from laughter, cooking for friends and family, and going for a walk in the woods on a really chilly autumn day.

  6. i had a really good book recommended to me fairly recently about imperfection and how to truly feel happy, called “the gifts of imperfection” by brene brown. it was a fantastic read, and was less like a self-help book than i thought (and yet still managed to bring me to tears at points!). it touched on how the happiest people got to be, and have stayed, happy…and this preview reminded me of some of the book’s messages. anyway, if you’re up for reading it, it’s quite a quick read – i got through it in a few hours, and it really does have a lot of great messages to mull over for at least a few weeks afterwards. :) just thought i’d mention it! and thanks for the head’s up about ‘happy’, i’ll have to see if it’s on netflix canada! :)

  7. Very interesting! I wanna see it!

    I love drinking tea, reading a good book and cuddling on a couch :)


    fai @ cosette

  8. E. says...

    Things that makes me insanely happy: bike rides, travelling, hiking on coastal trails, massages, babies, books!

  9. Here is a trailer for a documentary that you might enjoy! It premieres this week in Pittsburgh!
    It is called “Blood Brother.”


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  12. Hearing my older son’s unique phrases like, “See you next day” instead of “see you tomorrow”. He just turned three and he’s hilarious. Getting an insanely intense bear hug from my younger guy (18 months). Having a glass of wine in bed after a long day. Drinking a full cup of coffee in the morning before the boys wake up. Exercise. Organization. Having a small slice of life that feels like it is just mine. And building a history with my husband.

    I definitely want to see it.

  13. oh this looks and sounds really interesting. I hadn’t heard of it. But if you like this than you might like this short film “Signs” that deliberates lonliness of people today, and unexpected wasy to find companionship. It is much better and sweeter than I just made it sound! haha


  14. I just watched this last week! It was SO good; it really made me think and I came away with a new outlook about being happy and staying happy (:

  15. drinking coffee, walking around in the city, reading a good Japanese comic or watching a Japanese show. having a drink im happy.

  16. Living with my wonderful boyfriend, crisp fall weather, and memorable meals.

  17. I want to see this. Also, hanging out in kitchen drinking wine cooking with Joe is my favorite!!!!

  18. I need to watch this! I love reading and spending time with the hubby. :)

  19. baking with my sister, finding a good movie or movie, drinking tea & girl talk with friends, intensely thought provoking conversations, good musics. my family.

  20. Waking up on weekend morning with my husband, while we head downstairs and have a lazy morning. I literally think that is when I am the happiest in the world.

  21. Love this documentary. I actually got to watch this in my Positive Psychology class last year with the director because my professor worked on the documentary.

    My list includes seeing my nieces and nephew, sitting outside sipping cocktails with good friends and family.

  22. I’m a new mom, so that sweet baby gives me more joy than I imagined possible. Spending time with my hubby ranks up there too. Thanks for the documentary recommendation- I spend lots of time on Netflix when feeding my kiddo.

  23. drinking wine while someone else is cooking…exactly!! that’s pure happiness. oh, and my kids eating everything on their plate without complaining about it:)

  24. Art & Copy documentary about the advertising world. Will relate if you like Madmen.

    In the Realms of the Unreal documentary about Harvey Darger. Love!

    Stone Reader documentary about Dow Mossman. Love!

  25. I really love whrn you ask this kind of questions because I think about it and feel bbeter about my life.
    Fridays after a hard week of work: my wife, a nice chocolate bar, cookies or ice cream and a nice film. That makes me happy. Venice gives me joy. Reading a nice book at home while it rains outside makes me happy too. Travelling with my wife is the epitome of happyness. Remembering my grandparents and being with my mum makes me feel the most happy and lucky person in the world.

  26. I watched this documentary twice in a day about two weeks ago just because I was amazed and confused, both at the same time. What makes me happy? I still have no permanent answer to that question, but right now: novels, wine, chocolate and solitude make me happy (I am totally PMSing).

  27. D2 says...

    P.S. forgot 2 things = dark chocolate covered almonds w/ sea salt and toffee from trader joe’s (my faves).

  28. D2 says...

    It is indeed a great documentary! For sure. Things that make me happy = freshly brewed coffee, sitting down next to my husband on the couch after all 3 kids are in bed and enjoying the “calm,” freshly baked chocolate cookies, hearing our youngest son giggle and call out for his sisters, handwriting a letter, browsing through Anthroplogie’s sale section, going out for brunch, taking an afternoon nap (pure luxury!), graeter’s ice cream, browsing through Flipboard. Creating a list In and of itself made me happy!

  29. This documentary should be a human requirement.
    sundays with my family make me happy.

  30. This is great !

    For me, being outside, makes me happy. Autumn, making raw desserts, picnics with friends.

  31. My boyfriend and I just watched this and we BOTH cried! It was oddly emotional and afterward we talked about what makes us both happy. We’re also going to try compassion meditation. Loved this.

  32. Oh, so great. (I’ll put this on my netflix right away; thank you so much for sharing it!) Here’s what I love, that in turn makes me feel happy:
    + Sitting across from my husband over our big work desk in our art studio; each of us creating our own work, listening to music, eating chocolate, with the dog snoring at our feet.
    + Sitting on our patio drinking beer or coffee or tea
    + Sitting (I do see the pattern that I enjoy sitting) close to the edge of an ocean bluff near our house; alone, under the sunshine, watching the ocean.
    + Taking my bicycle for a ride into town.
    + being able to create something beautiful (hopefully)with my hands every single day for a living
    + Having just learned that the other shoe doesn’t have to drop

    (This was therapeutic. Thank you for the opportunity to share it. I’m off to read others’ comments now…)

  33. Being completely in the present. Whether it is through books, friends, a cup of coffee or nothing in particular. It’s when you are in the present that you fully grasp what beauty there is to be a living thing. Nothing gives me more joy than that.

  34. I’ll have to check out the documentary. I’ve never heard of it!

    The first few things that popped into my head that make me happy are: sitting on the beach without paying attention to the time, sipping my morning coffee, refreshing showers, and watching the trees demonstrate the change of season. :)

  35. Putting jeans and socks on for the first time in the fall.

    Being in a moment and knowing that it’ll never happen again – this is it, it’s happening, and is wonderful.

  36. kisses from my husband when he comes home from work. Sitting outside on a cool fall evening. the feeling after a great yoga session. great conversation at the dinner table with family.

  37. On the topic of documentaries, there is a new one that is coming out in Pittsburgh this Thursday. It should be fantastic, and I believe it is going to Sundance.

    I’m working on writing something about it, but here is a little a bit:

    Developing drugs to cure AIDS is a matter for the lab rats among us, so what can the rest of us do? The new documentary, Blood Brother, chronicles the life of a man that chose to move to rural India to live in an orphanage for kids diagnosed with AIDS.

    Anyways, here is a link about it:

  38. I am happy when I visit NYC, go on dates with my hubby, and anytime my puppies (full grown dogs) look at me a certain way. It melts my heart!

  39. I’ve been so excited to see this, can’t wait! Things that make me happy: walking through a bookstore with iced coffee, movies in the park, and great first sentences.

  40. hot showers make me 10x happier. eating chocolate chip cookies. taking a really good nap. making people smile.

    for some reason I couldn’t find this on netflix instant :(

  41. I love this. I call this what tyckles my fancy on my page, but definitely sitting with friends over a great meal and having those convos where you leave and realize… damn my life is good. I also love dogs with their heads out the windows. They look so happy that you can’t help but be happy with them!

  42. I keep seeing this on Netflix and I keep meaning to watch it! We’re running away to a cabin in Yosemite this weekend so we’ll be sure to watch it on our laptops.

  43. right now, it’s all things fall: salted caramel hot chocolate, colorful tights, cold feet on the hardwood floor in the morning.

  44. Ballet class makes me happy. I couldn’t fall asleep last night, because I just kept thinking about ballet.

    I’m excited that this movie is on Netflix! Thanks for the heads up!

  45. happiness to me means spending time with like minded people, taking that first bite of a meal that just WORKS, and plane tickets with spain as the destination and arrival date as tomorrow! and chocolate chip cookies.

  46. Very good point about drinking wine while someone else cooks…I love that!

    My happiest times are weeknd mornings with my husband and kids all in the bed.

  47. I’m definitely queuing this up on Netflix today. Thanks for the recommendation!

    My happiness comes from dancing with my little girl, road trips, and watching a later night movie with the husband.

  48. i HAVE seen this documentary! it was such a treat! it’s really beautiful to see how people of different cultures define happiness. it really reminded me to be thankful for what i have.

    and i don’t know about you, but the documentary also made me want to visit Okinawa. most hundred year olds per capita because they’re so happy and active? so charming!

  49. Netflix instant??? Yippee! Just finished reading The Happiness Project (highly recommend it if you haven’t read it), and it sounds very similar to this documentary. Ps- headed to Capri this Friday, Joanna! Going to the restaurants and places you noted- thank you!

  50. Thank you Joanna for reminding me that it isn’t money that makes us happy! I’m having a mini-crisis that I’m not pulling my wait in my relationship because I don’t make very much money and I depend my husband’s income to live the lifestyle I want. But I think this is mostly my ego talking!

    So, what makes me happy: anything that combines food and spending time with the people I love. Whether it be making Sunday breakfast for the fam or cooking dinner with my husband, coffee with a good friend or a cold beer to recap the day. Those are the moments I truly don’t want to be anywhere else.
    Also, a really good book, and traveling on the open road. It doesn’t matter if I go half way around the world, or just 20 miles to the next town, I love the change of scenery and the adventure of not knowing what you might discover along the way!

  51. I can’t wait to see this now. My list includes early morning snuggles with my hubs, yoga, and long walks with dear friends.

  52. Totally second your drinking wine while someone else cooks! Brilliant. I do it almost every night :)

    What else makes me happy, really good iced coffee, not caring what time it is, early Sunday walks when the streets of Brooklyn are empty, the smell of the beach, dinners with family that turn into all night gab fests.

    Lindsay @ Darling Clementine

  53. a sleepily content tucked in child and drinking a glass of wine in the kitchen while someone else is cooking have to be at the top of my list!

  54. Just looking at my son’s sweet little face is enough to make me happy.

  55. has anyone ever read “the happiness project”? i started it a while back but never finished… it’s about a woman in NYC who has.. it… all. but somehow was not QUITE happy. she set out to become happy among different areas of her life. it’s a good read (if i could get myself to read the rest!)

    looks like i will put this movie in my queue for this weekend while i have the house to myself! (sha-wing!)

    i am happiest at home with no plans, no obligations :)


  56. This is great, darling! I do find the greatest joy and happiness in the little things: red wine and cheese, a movie, a book, a great conversation, bike rides are awesome too…But to allow myself and even learn to find joy on those things I had to overcome several crisis and breakdowns, that certainly made me stronger as a person and also more receptive and open to enjoy those things (hope this makes sense…) XOXO

  57. Writing and really comfortable sweatpants.

  58. This is awesome! I’m going to bookmark this to watch it tonight.

    So many people think that money will make them happier, but it’s so rarely true. A great reminder to cherish those we love and spend time on the lazy days and simple joys.

  59. Two bits of happiness for me: the moment when my bare foot hits the cool wood floor after a long day in heels; savoring the first sip of coffee in the morning.

  60. Candlelight, red wine in a good company:)

  61. Playing games with family and friends, spending time with my closest friends, reading a good book, and, depending on my mood, sunny and cloudy days.


  62. PS. the documentary is on netflix instant watch right now xoxo

    • ahah thanks!! love the trailer will watch it soon!! Always looking for bright recommendation of things to watch even though I don’t have as much time as I used to. I don’t know if you feel the same way since you became a mum but I don’t feel like watching drama or sad movies anymore either! thanks for the happy share! have a great evening