5 Happy Hacks That May Bring Instant Happiness

Try these easy tips on International Happiness Day.

A woman joyfully walks through a field of sunflowers.

(David Prado Perucha / Shutterstock.com)

Happiness impacts every moment and aspect of our existence. Even though life may throw hurdles, happiness is never far away and is available to all. When you are feeling like a pick-me-up, have on hand some quick ‘happiness hacks’ to inspire a positive state of mind right away.

March 20 marks the annual UN International Day of Happiness. To mark this event, the UN is offering webinars with world-renowned experts as well as email coaching. However, you can also get your own dose of happiness without relying on courses, therapy, or self-help books.

Here are five instant pick-me-up ideas to have at your fingertips. Try one today so you too can celebrate the 2022 International Day of Happiness with a smile!

Food is mood

When you are feeling down, you may crave junk food. Before you open your treat cupboard, remember that your negative mood could be a ‘long-distance call’ from your gut saying it needs some healthy food fuel. Eating gut-friendly food may clear a blocked pathway from gut to brain, restoring that sense of well-being.

Choose comfort food in the form of dark chocolate, blueberries, and almonds along with a soothing cup of green tea. A few squares of 70 percent dark chocolate also boosts endorphins and mood.

Fermented food and fiber-rich vegetables are also happiness helpers for the tummy, according to the organization Pursuit of Happiness.

A man holds a bowl of gut-friendly blueberries.

(Krakenimages.com / Shutterstock.com) 

Move your body

It does not matter if it is raining, sleeting, or storming; when that dark mood comes along, take it outside! Go for a walk, a run, or a swim. Physical activity produces natural endorphins, those feel-good chemicals.

A study in the Irish Journal of Medical Science suggests that physical activity may offer comparable benefits to antidepressants. And when you come back inside home, up those endorphin levels even more with a bit of dark chocolate or a hot cup of cocoa!

A man smiles as he jogs in a park.

(Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com)

Open your heart

Call a friend and express your innermost feelings, recommends Pursuit of Happiness. Everyone has dark feelings that they like to bury, but when you are honest, you are authentic. Opening up and showing vulnerability actually invites deeper partnerships with friends, according to Positive Psychology.

Be a good listener; your friend may have some valuable advice. Just remember to ask them how they are feeling before you start expressing your feelings! Friendships are partnerships. If your friend is not available at that moment, take out a journal and write down those deep feelings with complete honesty.

Two friends wrapped in a blanket stand outside on a balcony.

(Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com)

Listen to music

Music is another easy pick-me-up tip. Put on a happy song, be it pop, jazz, or classical, and let your brain do the rest of the happiness work. A study in The Journal of Positive Psychology suggests that listening to positive music increases subjective happiness.

After just 12 minutes of hearing upbeat music, participants felt a mood boost. Adding a positive intention while listening to the music helps this happiness hack work even better! 

A woman sits in a chair enjoying listening to music.

(Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com)

Watch the sunset

Yes, the simple act of watching a sunset can boost your mood! Finding the awe in nature and connecting to it can make you feel more content. A study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology suggests that those who perceive natural beauty through connecting to nature have a higher sense of well-being.

Standing outside in nature as the sun dips also invites you to relax, stop all activity, and be in the moment, as suggested on this Penn State blog. And as that sun slips below the horizon with swirls of violet and coral, you may feel a sense of gratitude for the gift of another day.

A woman stands among trees in the snow watching the sun setting behind buildings.

(Nekrasov Eugene / Shutterstock.com)