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My Happiness List

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I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about my latest This Week at the Brennan’s where I mentioned my Happy List!

There was a good chunk of time this year where I was so drained, emotionally, physically and mentally that nothing sounded fun and nothing seemed like it would make me happy. How could it when I was going a million miles a minute? BUT, now that I’m starting to settle into this new life in New York and all our boxes are unpacked and I feel like I’m getting a grip on things, I am starting to ease up, relax and find happiness and joy in the more simple pleasures of life. Some are cheap, some are free and some are more expensive….the point is it’s good to have a list of things that make you happy for those times when things get a little uncomfortable or busy or stressful.

Maybe your list will look a lot like my list or maybe it will look much different. It doesn’t really matter. But after going through what I went through, I’ve learned in order to maintain balance and happiness in your life, you can’t sprint a marathon. Parts of my life I have sprinted, but it’s completely unreasonable to think it’s managable or maintainable. Hence giving myself time for things I like to do or want to do. So, here is my list! I’d love to hear other things that could be on your list….maybe I’ll have to add more to mine!!

{And for all you married folk, you should make your happy list and give it to your spouse with a note that says “if you notice I’m stressed, make something happen from this list for me!” My husband wants to help from a far any way he can, and him having a list to work from is helpful 🙂 }

A group of palm trees next to a body of water

Favorite TV Shows

(A lot of these are mindless, borderline embarrassing shows. But they are my guilty pleasures and I love them! #notashamed)

  • Chrisley Knows Best
  • Dog the Bounty Hunter (so bad but so good!!)
  • Wendy Williams
  • Seinfeld
  • FRIENDS or Seinfeld bloopers
  • Jimmy Fallon hashtags
  • James Corden Karaoke Carpool


  • Onion Rings from anywhere. I’m not picky.
  • Cookie Dough or Cookies. Again…not picky.
  • Ice Cold Diet Coke
  • Levain Bakery Cookies
  • Cannoli from Julianna’s
  • Chocolate of any kind
  • Boston Cream Donuts
  • Any kind of salad I don’t have to make myself
  • Colorful macarons
  • Pancakes not made by me
  • Spark


Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Other Miscellaneous Stuff
  • A hot bath
  • This podcast
  • People Magazine
  • A nap
  • Facial or massage
  • Flowers
  • Exploring the city alone
  • Looking through old family posts or travel posts
  • Looking at wedding photos or baby pictures of the kids
  • Browsing through Barnes and Noble
  • Going on a walk
  • Cooking and baking for fun and not for work
  • Sitting on a park bench reading trashy magazines
  • Doing a giveaway on my blog/social media
  • warm weather/traveling
  • Going to the gym


Mentally, I have found that having a list to refer to really keeps me aware of my overall happiness levels and being sure I follow through on doing things for me from time to time.

Also, it’s important to note that I’ve started writing in a gratitude journal and a self love journal. Basically, I have a book where I write down what I’m grateful for and then things that I love about myself. When I first started this a few weeks ago, I couldn’t think of anything to write down. That’s when I knew it was important that I keep going because how depressing, right? So, my lists started out small and every day I add a few more items. It has helped immensely with my attitude and my happiness levels during the day. I’m actually amazed at how much its helped. Even my husband has commented at how much happier I seem. So, yay!!

If you feel like you’re in a rut or just down, give this a try! It will help. Just keep at it and slowly you’ll notice huge progress 🙂

What is on your happy list?

Have a wonderful weekend!!

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11 Responses
  1. Nancy Conley

    I love this! I need to make a list, too. Quickly thinking that list would include hiking alone, a really good latte, making friends laugh and squeezing any baby!

  2. Dominique

    Thank you for being honest with us and sharing what’s make you happy. Since last August, i’ve been focusing on my own happiness. This idea came mostly because of your happiness list. I’m a positive person, always smilie but last August, I was going through a difficult situation and you kinda help me going through it. I also shared your happiness list to a lot of my friends and co-worker. I believe that EVERYBODY should have an happiness list. 🙂

  3. Maria

    Love this post. Made me take a deep breath and slow down for a second to admire every that makes me happy. So often you are so busy that you forget.

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  5. Pam

    I love how honest you are on your blog. So often we do not realize the challenges that others are facing until after the fact. My husband went back to medical school last year and I have found it a struggle at times to hold it together while working part-time myself. I needed to see your post today to encourage me to focus more on the positives. Thank you!

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    […] inspiration for My Happiness List is from the blog Lauren’s Latest.  If you haven’t yet, check out Lauren’s blog.  She and her family just moved from […]

  7. Kelly

    Hi! I have a lot of the same things that make me happy. I started waking up a little earlier than my kids a couple of years ago to have a cup of coffee in peace and quiet and it’s the thing that makes me the most happy in the morning to start my day. Now, thisbwas after my kids were over the age of probably 6 and they actually slept until like 7 (so late) LOL! But really…baking anything chocolate (and eating it) makes me happy, the mountains, going for a walk/run alone, and mindless tv. Keep on being awesome and find your happy…it’s there, just need a little digging! ????????

  8. Julie

    Love this! For my happy list I’d have to throw in a getting big cup of coffee, Gilmore Girls, and taking time to polish (or file, or just “revive”) my nails.

  9. Beth

    Thanks for being so honest and open in your blog! I honestly don’t know how you do it all! Do you ever look back and see how much you have accomplished over this past year? It might not be where you wanted to be professionally, but you have accomplishments that not many would be able to do on their own, like moving across country with 3 kids! Finding a new place to live in a world renown city! Selling half if not more of your posessions! All of those things are amazing feats! I too have faced some difficulties recently and have struggled to find my happy. Typically I’m a glass half full kind of gal, so this is new territory for me. One tip I read was to create a thankful journal for you and your spouse. At the end of the night you both need to come up with 3 things that happened in that day that were positive. This has really helped, as somehow sometimes you get so focused on the negative that you forget the positive. Simple things like eating lucky charms for breakfast can be on your positive list! It’s helpful and it also brings you and your spouse closer together. Some of my happy things: Getting dressed up and doing my makeup, always makes me feel good! Chocolate of course! Lucky Charms…yes. Nature. Being near the water. My neice and nephews. Watching Game of Thrones and then laughing at the memes that come out after each episode. Dinner with a girlfriend. Doing something nice for someone else. Driving and cranking up my favorite jams in the car. I was diagnosed with MS just over a year ago, and it’s completely change my life. My husband and I have been unsuccessful in trying to start a family up to this point, and I’m slowly starting to close the door of having children, and that has been difficult to deal with as I always imagined a life with children. I’ve sort of had to go through a rebirth of myself and really focus on what I want from this life now that my life has taken this new turn. I’m just trying to be the best version of myself each and every day. It’s hard, but I know me. I won’t allow life’s bumps in the road to try to drag me down. There is too much good in my life to allow that to happen. Focus on the positive, life has its seasons. You are a strong woman from what I’ve read in your blog posts, and after all the changes that have occurred in your life recently, you are allowed to feel the way you do. Keep being you, and know that Tahiti will be calling your name soon! Hugs! ♡