I’ve had days so ugly that I spent weeks recuperating. Whether it’s a family dinner gone terribly wrong or a day at work that has turned me off from ever trying my hardest again, I have been there – that horrible anti-happy place. And I’ve realized that it’s the small things that make you feel like your normal self again. The simple, perfect antidotes that reaffirm your belief in GOOD.

1. Eating all the chips and salsa and then asking for more.

It’s perfectly okay to devour all the warm, salty tortilla chips they have perfected at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Even though you ordered a giant plate of awesome, it’s alright to say “yes” when your server asks if you would like more chips. You can’t get these anywhere else (at least not like this) and the crunch is just too satisfying. Order the chips.

2. Sinking your face into a pile of warm, freshly washed clothes.

Nothing smells and feels as good as a bundle of warm, clean clothes after the weekly hassle of hunting down two empty washers and dryers, climbing up and down stairs with a basket full of clothing, and separating darks and whites is over. Go ahead and nestle up. Breathe in that soothing laundry detergent smell and be thankful you don’t have to do this again for another week.

3.Buying a new notebook even though you haven’t used up your old one (or two, or ten)

I have at least twenty notebooks that are half-filled with notes, stories, essays, diary entries, or drawings, but it doesn’t feel quite right starting the semester off with a used notebook, or beginning a new year with a diary from last year’s thoughts. Getting a new notebook and writing on the first pristinely white and baby-blue lined page is just so good. This ties with finding the perfect pen that inspires you to write neatly because of its magical pen qualities (ballpoint, grip, quality ink).

4. Harry Potter marathons.

The ABC Family Harry Potter marathons are the best. Staying home in pajamas and not leaving the couch because you want to re-live the moment Harry saves Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets or all the times Hermione is extremely sassy and smarter than everyone is definitely one the best things you can do for yourself and your childhood memories. Long live Harry Potter!

5. Skyping with someone you haven’t seen in forever.

And accepting its initial awkwardness but then getting back into the groove of knowing this person and why you love them. Making sure you don’t have a double chin while you rant and rave about your crazy neighbor or listen to them tell you there are way too many trees where they live now. Not realizing it’s been over two hours since you dialed them up.

6.Buying shampoo solely based on its scent

Parabens? Non-organic? Sulfates? Who cares. If your shampoo smells like apples or vanilla-lavender, it’s totally worth it.

7. Finding a crazy recipe on Pinterest and managing to pull it off.

Like those soups that people make in vegetables, or brownies that taste like the ones from the box but are actually made with kale and avocados. Most of the time, I end up with brown pools of inedible garbage in my cake tins, but sometimes you just NAIL it and create something genius and delicious.

8. Managing to find a pair of jeans that fit in one shopping trip.

Alas, this feat is close to impossible. While you’re a 2 in one store, you might be an 8 in another. Boot-cut is weird, and why does everyone have those pre-ripped pants? Stop it already. But there’s this one day you’ll have, maybe once every other year, where you walk into a single store and you find jeans that hug you in all the right ways, the wash is a perfect blue, and they actually FIT your thighs, ass, and calves. HALLELUJAH, I say.

9.Deleting an ex from Facebook.

It’s just the internet, but clicking the “un-friend” button when you know you’ve been holding on for no reason whatsoever is so, so satisfying. They’ll never see pictures of you having the time of your life without them because they don’t deserve to.

10. Showering when you haven’t in awhile

Days go by until you realize your hair desperately needs to be shampooed. And lathered. And rinsed. And your armpit hair is outrageous and you kind of smell like deodorant and old sheets. Um, I know I’ve been there. Try grading 75 essays in a single weekend and you will forget the word “shower”. Stepping inside the steaming hot tub and letting the water pour down your body is insanely amazing. The feeling of squeaky-clean in a pair of unworn PJs is just awesome.

11. Someone complimenting your outfit.

I’m not vain or anything, but if someone stops what they’re doing and informs me that my dress or hair or shoes are nice, I feel a billion times more confident about myself and sense of style. And no, you don’t need the affirmation to feel good about yourself. But it’s a pretty nice gesture, right?

12. That feeling you get when you know everything is going to be okay.

After a gruesome week at work, or crappy day at school, all the negativity clouds your vision and senses like bad perfume. You would be fine if you never had to leave your apartment again and you consider moving to a country that is thousands of miles away from everything that’s getting you down. But after awhile, you fall asleep. And you wake up. And you make a pot of coffee. And you step outside and the air is perfectly crisp. It is then that you understand that everything is going to be okay. It will always be okay.

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