How can I feel happier?

What you’ll learn from this article:

  • Learn the principles to help you thrive, not just survive
  • Understand the mental and physical aspects of how to feel happy
  • Discover 10 things to do to start feeling happy right now
  • Read about how the people you surround yourself with affect your joy

Do you find yourself in a depressed state, wondering what you’re missing? Are you thinking that there must be something else that you should be doing? Are you unsure of how to feel happy and fulfilled? Or maybe times are tough, and you don’t know what to do to make it through the challenges you’re currently facing. You may have even had a period in your life where you achieved happiness, but lost it. You’re left wondering how to make yourself feel happy again.

Feeling happy isn’t as easy as reaching the top of the corporate ladder or running a six-minute mile. Though getting what you want and achieving peak states of performance are essential to the constant progress needed to be satisfied in life, they may not give you the deep sense of internal contentment you’re seeking.

Here we’ll cover the happiness principles that will help you thrive, not just survive. You’ll learn how to feel happy as well as become more focused and energized by creating a foundation of physical health, empowerment and gratitude. We’ll also cover 10 strategies for feeling happy in the moment that you can implement right away. If you’ve been asking how to make yourself feel happy again, you need to incorporate these principles into your life.

Need help creating your own action plan to thrive?

Take the Wheel of Life Quiz
Building the foundation for feeling happy

There are no huge secrets when it comes to how to feel happy. It’s all about taking care of your body and mind, focusing on the needs of others and looking to role models who have already walked in your shoes. When you put these principles in place, you’ll have the foundation you need to build meaningful experiences and start feeling happy.

17 ways to feel happy

1. Feed and condition your mind

Jim Rohn said, “Every day, you have to stand guard at the door of your mind.” Why? Because what you let into your mind – your beliefs – creates the meaning that you give to everything else in life. What are you thinking about most often? What you feed your mind is what you become. As Tony says, where focus goes, energy flows. Put your focus on feeding your mind nutritious content and you’ll give it the fuel it needs to learn how to feel happy.

To feed your mind, read at least 30 minutes a day of something substantive. Social media doesn’t count. Try reading biographies of people who have achieved amazing things or books about science and history. You should be challenged and excited by what you’re consuming. Not much of a reader? Try audio books or even podcasts to provide the same level of brain nutrition. This will help immensely as you explore how to make yourself feel happy.

2. Strengthen your body daily

No matter how much you feed your mind, it’s difficult to make an actual change in your life and discover how to feel happy if your body is telling you it’s unhealthy. Your mind and body are one unit. Whether you feel uncertain or fantastic, your physiology changes. When you are feeling physically strong and powerful, your mind follows suit.

To strengthen your body, adopt a sustainable, healthy diet that incorporates whole grains and the nutrients you need for energy and cuts out sugars and additives that harm your health. Aim for five days a week minimum of exercise. Push yourself so your heart is racing for at least 10 minutes to get the full cardiovascular benefit. Aside from exercise, create a daily ritual to help make you strong. Tony uses a cold plunge. Your daily ritual might be a session of yoga, time in the sauna or light weightlifting

3. Get a role model

Whether we’re seeking career success or inner happiness, role models and mentors can show us the right path. As Jim Rohn often said, “Success breeds clues.” Find someone who has overcome obstacles to feeling happy or think of someone you admire who is wildly happy. What mindsets or empowering beliefs do they have that allow them to feel happy? You might also consider getting a Results Coach who can provide you with tips on how to feel happy as well as how to increase fulfillment in your personal and professional life.

Tony Robbins is an example of a role model who learned how to feel happy. He came up with the concepts behind 5 to Thrive after he’d been kicked out of his house by his angry mother on Christmas Eve. He was still in high school, had no money and going home was no longer an option. An action plan for feeling happy was born, one that Tony has used in his own life and has expanded on over the years.

4. Elevate your peer group

Many of us stay around people who are at our level of happiness or below it, partly because it makes us feel good about ourselves and partly because they don’t present a challenge. When we stay around people who are comfortable, there’s no impetus to grow. As Tony says, who you spend time with is who you become.

If you hang around people who are consistently negative and only look at the downsides of life, chances are you will, too. Opt to surround yourself with those who have an abundance mindset instead and see how much easier it is to find ways to feel happy. You need to be around people who do what you want to be doing. If you keep putting yourself there, something positive will happen. If you want to know how to feel happy, spend time with others who share your passions or who can teach you something new. You should also work on your ability to make new and meaningful connections. The more people you connect with, the more likely you are to find how to feel happy.

5. Give more than you expect to receive

Giving will change your state of mind in ways you can only imagine. In fact, Tony says that giving without expecting anything in return and just trying to be a blessing in the lives of everyone you meet will give you the energy to do the previous four things and will inevitably lead to being happy.

No matter how bad things may seem, find someone who’s worse off than you and help them. Even if you can’t give a lot of money, there are plenty of ways you can make a contribution. You can give them food, have a conversation or help them solve a problem. Whether it’s large or small, offer something to others and don’t expect anything in return. Remember: the secret to living is giving. When you’re grateful for what you have and always on the lookout for how you can improve someone else’s life, you’ve truly discovered how to feel happy.

6. Spend more time outdoors

Living near green spaces and regular exposure to fresh air is associated with a better mindset and is one of the ways to feel happy. Sunlight produces vitamin D, which is important to fight depression, and nature sparks curiosity and wonder.

Schedule time to spend outdoors. You should enjoy nature with your family and friends as well as spend time alone outdoors to process thoughts and reconnect with yourself. Regular exposure to fresh air, green grass and the sounds of water is a sure path to how to feel happy.

learn how to feel happy by spending time outdoors

7. Get plenty of sleep

get plenty of sleep to feel happy

When we’re exhausted, we may give up on figuring out how to feel happy – we just want to zone out in front of the TV or go to bed. Feeling happy is much easier when you’re well-rested and able to face the day with optimism and energy. If you have trouble sleeping or if you’re so overcommitted that you don’t take the time for seven to eight hours of sleep per night, you need to make some changes.

Create some healthy habits that help you power down in the evening and prepare your brain and body for sleep. Say no to commitments that keep you from adequate rest. Turn off electronics an hour before bedtime and read by a dim light instead of watching TV or scrolling Facebook. Try aromatherapy or play relaxing music or white noise to help you fall asleep. When you get quality sleep, learning how to feel happy becomes easier.

8. Listen to upbeat music

Music activates the brain’s reward system and is one of the most powerful ways to feel happy. Music can act as medicine, a mood enhancer and a powerful form of self-expression. Slip on your headphones and crank up an upbeat playlist. You can do this while you work out, as you’re making dinner or anytime you’re struggling with your mood or feel like your world is spinning out of control.

listen to upbeat music to feel happy

9. Practice letting go

learn how to let go to feel happy

One reason so many people struggle with how to feel happy is the inability to let go. Whether you can’t let go of traumatic experiences in the past or can’t let go of an imagined slight from a co-worker, holding on to negativity leads to unhappiness. Identify emotional patterns that are preventing you from letting go and feeling happy, then make a conscious effort to change those patterns.

Have you experienced a life event that makes you wonder how to make yourself feel happy again? Remember that blame is a recipe for unhappiness. Whether you blame your ex or yourself for the end of your relationship, blame a higher power for letting your loved one die or blame your former boss for firing you, letting go of that blame and finding a way to forgive is the key to how to feel happy.

10. Practice self-care

Those who continually do for others without taking care of their own needs often end up wondering how to feel happy. Practicing self-care on a daily basis is the key to how to feel happier because we cannot live a full life unless we treat ourselves well.

Take some time every day to do nice things for yourself. It can be as little as getting an espresso at your favorite café or taking a 30-minute nap before going out to meet friends. Then, schedule bigger self-care activities like massages or vacations on a weekly or monthly basis. When you start taking care of yourself, you’ll find yourself feeling happy and better able to help others.

practice self care to feel happy

11. Disconnect from social media

disconnect from social media to feel happy

Though it has many positive uses, social media can hurt you and keep you from discovering how to feel happy, especially if you’ve just been through a break-up or divorce. Whether you are constantly checking your ex’s status on Facebook or dwelling on pictures of all the other people who look happier than you, staying away from social media when you feel sad or are looking for ways to feel happy can help you improve your mood.

12. Avoid blame

Blame is a recipe of unhappiness and staying stuck in negative feelings. Whether you blame your ex or yourself for the end of your relationship, blame a higher power for letting your loved one die or blame your former boss for firing you, letting go of that blame and finding a way to forgive is the key to how to feel happy.

avoid blame to feel happy

13. Find activities that keep you busy

find activities to keep you busy to stay happy

Being too idle can lead to overthinking and rumination. When you’re trying to learn how to feel happy, you may find it difficult to get interested in things you used to love. However, the more you isolate yourself and avoid activities, the more you risk falling into a depression. Stay busy with hobbies you used to enjoy and you’ll eventually find they start bringing you happiness again.

14. Realize that life happens for you

It’s easy to fall into a victim mentality when you see life as a series of negative events that happen to you. Change your mindset: Life is happening for you, not to you. Every situation in your life happens for a reason and is a stepping stone to the next level of growth.

realize that life happens for you to feel happy

15. Connect with others

connect with others to feel happy

Life takes on more meaning when you connect and share experiences with people. This may be more difficult for introverts or those who experience social anxiety; however, it’s important to put yourself out there and form new connections as well as create deeper connections with loved ones already in your life. Something as simple as a half hour lunch with someone you enjoy talking to is one of the easiest ways to feel happy and enrich your life.

16. Plan a fun activity

You may not be able to get in the car and take that day trip or hit the beach right now – but even penciling it into your calendar can boost your mood. Part of how to feel happy is having things to look forward to, so go ahead and plan that weekend getaway or friend’s birthday party, even if it’s not happening for weeks.

fun activity

17. Write it down

make a behavior plan to lose weight naturally

Writing helps to process emotions. Whether you’ve had a particular experience that’s left you wondering how to feel happy, like a break-up, or you’ve just been feeling down, write it out. You may discover a new perspective or a solution you never thought of before. As another exercise, write down five things you’re grateful for. The benefits of adopting an attitude of gratitude are proven.

There are no huge secrets when it comes to how to feel happy. It’s all about taking care of your body and mind, focusing on the needs of others and looking to role models who have already walked in your shoes. When you put these 15 principles in place, you will experience more fulfillment in every part of your life and have meaningful experiences on a regular basis.

Need help learning how to feel happy?

Your limiting beliefs could be holding you back. Achieve your true balance and begin learning how to feel happy with Tony Robbins’ Free Guide to Eliminating Limiting Beliefs.