10 Reasons to Smile Even if You’re Totally Bummed Out

There are plenty of reasons why you might be feeling down in the dumps. It’s freezing, you haven’t been exposed to sunshine in eons, work sucks, you might be going through a breakup, you got into a fight with your best friend, school just started yet you’re unbelievably overwhelmed, you have to wait until next fall for American Horror Story to come back, and I could keep going, but I think we can all resonate, right?

When I was sixteen, I would come home brooding and pissed because that’s what teenagers are best at. Plus, who could blame me? High school was a pain in the ass. My dad would take one look at me and tell me to “cheer up” or “smile” and in return I would defiantly say, “No I will not cheer up or smile, obviously.” Like, who do you think you are, Dad? Fast forward seven years and now I’m the one telling myself to cheer up because you know what? Life is pretty good. You’ve got plenty of reasons to be happy, such as:

1. Freshly baked cookies.

I’m not saying you should solve your problems with cookie dough, but how good does a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies sound? Better yet, a batch of chocolate chip cookies and cool glass of milk (soymilk for me). Revert back to childhood. Prepare a plate of cookies for yourself and cuddle up on the couch and enjoy the sweet things.

2. The economy.

You weren’t expecting that word, were you? “The economy” has been the most dreaded term for the last five years. Us recent college grads reluctantly made our way into the world, encountering a suffering job market and slim opportunities. Yes, times have been tough. But things are getting better! More and more jobs are becoming available and the US seems to be healing itself ever so slowly. So, if you’re in college and you’re worried about finding a job after you graduate, this is good news for you!

3. Going through your old diary.

I was recently at my parent’s house and I came across an old journal from when I was 12. Reading it made me want to hug little Gina. She was so young and silly and had this huge crush on a boy who had no interest in her. It made me laugh, reading about my triumphs and failures, knowing how much I would grow and how things would change. Reading your old journals is a cool way to put things into perspective.

4. Spring television shows

The Walking Dead is coming back, Shameless and Girls already started, and Game of Thrones returns in April. Hoorah!

5. Jenny Lewis has a new album coming out in the spring.

If you think you haven’t heard of Jenny Lewis, chances are you probably have. Lead singer for the now defunct band Rilo Kiley, backup vocalist for The Postal Service, writer and singer of the song “Completely Not Me” on HBO’s GIRLS’ soundtrack, and all around awesome lady, Jenny Lewis has been super busy these last several years. Right now, she’s working on the score for the new Anne Hathaway movie, One Song, which Jenny says really inspired her with her new album. I can’t wait!


6. Puppies.

Or kittens, if you’re not a dog person. Please YouTube a video of kittens meowing or a puppy bouncing, and tell me if you still feel sad. I dare you.

Also THIS:

7. Really soft, clean sheets.

Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that make me super happy, such as sprawling on my bed right after I’ve done a load of laundry and inhaling that fresh, spring scent. Divine.

8. Little kids and their honesty.

Kids say the funniest sh*t. I swear, being around a five year-old and listening to them stumbling over words or trying to explain why the sky is blue will instantly cheer me up. I love how children never fail at being the most blunt individuals, ever and will always say what’s on their minds.

9. Water parks.

There’s something about going to the water park that makes me feel like a kid on summer vacation. It’s such a communal activity, whizzing around water slides in donut tubes and splashing around in a gigantic pool. Like, who even invented the waterpark? Did someone have a water slide in their backyard and decide to build a monster water slide which you can slide on using a tube? Plus, water parks usually always have a lazy river, which is one of my favorites places in the world.

10. Listening to inspirational music at the gym.

I’m sure you’ve read in just about every single fitness magazine that exercise releases endorphins and reduces stress and is just about the greatest thing you can do for your body. Well, I’m going to have to agree, but I’d also like to add that nothing makes you feel more like you’re on top of the world than exercising while listening to a really great playlist. Put me on an elliptical with Katy Perry’s “Roar” on my Ipod, and I feel like I can accomplish anything, no matter how defeated I feel.

Bonus Reason: Cows released after a long winter (I think many of us will feel the same way come May)


What are some things that make you instantly happier?

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Related posts:

Smile For Me, Pussycat 

How to Smile Every Day

The Secret of Happiness