things that make me happy - horseback riding with mom

100 Things That Make Me Truly Happy: Now And In The Long Run

Welcome back for day 25 of my Happy.Healthy.Whole Project (HHWP)! If you are just joining me on my journey, or have been following along but have a few posts to catch up on, check out my HHWP page!

Today is my 25th straight day of blogging, tomorrow is my 35th birthday, and the day after that is Halloween! Tomorrow, I plan to update you on how my October goals for the HHWP went. And on November 1st, I will be filling you in on what my November HHWP goals will be.

But for today, on the eve of my birth, I thought I would share a little bit of my happiness with you, by letting you in on 100 things that make me happy!

My first time on a sailboat, trying my hand a steering!

The World Happiness Day Challenge

Did you know that March 20th is World Happiness Day? I didn’t either until just this year when I saw it on social media. Someone, I don’t even remember who, had challenged their social media followers to make a list of 20 things that made them truly and genuinely happy.

On March 20th of this year (2020) as I’m sure I do not have to point out, a global pandemic was sweeping across the planet. Plus, that was the week that pretty much everyone here in Hawaii was laid off from their jobs. 

For these reasons, I thought it would be a great idea to reflect on the things that made me happy. So I said what the heck, opened my note taking app on my phone, and sat down to jot down 20 things that made me happy.

But it was so much harder than I thought it would be. I wracked my brain, put my phone away, thought about it for a while more, and in the course of a day, came up with a measly 17 things…

Then, today, more than 7 months later, I opened that note back up, and came up with so many more things that made me happy! Granted, me attempting this challenge at the beginning of a global pandemic surely affected my ability to think of happy things. 

But I also credit being able to think of a lot more things that make me happy to my extensive research into happiness and self reflection about what happiness means to me.

things that make me happy - horseback riding with mom
Taking mom horseback riding her first time to Kauai!

100 Things That Make Me Truly Happy

One thing I wanted to point out, for those of you who haven’t been following along with my HHWP, is that researchers generally agree that there are two different types of happiness. 

Long-term happiness has to do with meaning, purpose, growth, and value. Whereas, short-term happiness or pleasure has more to do with enjoying the here and now, the simple things in life if you will. In order to live a fulfilling and happy life, we must have both long and short-term happiness in our lives.

And on that note, here is my list of what makes me happy!

  1. Trying something for the first time – as they say, variety is the spice of life.
  2. Learning a new skill set – this could be anything from trying knots for climbing/repelling, learning about the latest scientific research, or trying to get a grasp on SEO.
  3. Puppy cuddles.
  4. Catching up with family and friends.
  5. Finishing a tough workout.
  6. Playing old school games like rummy, farkel, cribbage, and backgammon with my siblings.
  7. Unplugging somewhere without phone reception or wifi – preferably at a cabin or while camping!.
  8. Making progress on an important goal.
  9. Taking a road trip – this is one thing I miss a lot while living on an island.
  10. Sitting around a bonfire.
  11. Going somewhere new, be it a new restaurant, national park, or another country. 
  12. Grabbing a blanket, a loved one, and laying out to stargaze – especially on the beach.
  13. Feeling small in nature.
  14. How a tough workout can put me in the zone and make me forget my troubles for a while.
  15. Feeling strong and capable.
  16. Hugs from behind from that special someone. I don’t know why, but they make me smile every single time.
  17. Eating food that you’ve grown yourself.
  18. Having a partner to share everything with. 
  19. Training for and competing in something.
  20. Belonging to a team.
  21. Cuddling up and getting cozy on a rainy day.
  22. A good book, or even better, a good series!
  23. Coming across an idea that challenges my way of thinking.
  24. Baby giggles.
  25. The smell of rain.
  26. Awkward Yeti comics.
  27. Getting together to watch football with friends every Sunday.
  28. Yearly traditions with loved ones.
  29. The way it feels to reach the top of a rock climbing pitch.
  30. Accomplishing something I once thought was impossible.
  31. Helping others accomplish something they thought was impossible.
  32. Learning about other cultures and their traditions first hand.
  33. Creating something that’s all my own.
  34. Solving a tough problem.
  35. Patti’s pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
  36. Family dinners at dad’s house.
  37. Cool crisp autumn mornings.
  38. Feeling the spray of a waterfall on my face.
  39. Apple and pumpkin picking at the farm.
  40. Hayrides and corn mazes.
  41. The adrenaline rush I get from trying a new adventure.
  42. The smell of coffee brewing in the morning. 
  43. Getting a note from someone about how I’ve made a difference in their life.
  44. Kisses and hugs for no reason at all.
  45. Being able to spoil someone I love.
  46. Having friends that I know will be there for me no matter what.
  47. Pau hanas with my teammates after a tough paddle practice.
  48. Crossing something off my bucket list.
  49. Rainbows!
  50. A new hiking trail.
  51. Seeing whales and dolphins play in the wild.
  52. Getting a handwritten letter in the mail.
  53. Having an adventure buddy that’s up for all of my crazy ideas.
  54. Having fresh cut flowers in the house.
  55. The anticipation of planning a big trip or adventure.
  56. The San Juan Islands – my happy place.
  57. Huckleberry picking.
  58. Being afraid, but doing it anyway.
  59. Festivals and fairs.
  60. Live music and concerts.
  61. Finding a pair of jeans that fit me just right.
  62. Laughing so hard I cry.
  63. Baking Christmas cookies with my family.
  64. A good massage or pedicure.
  65. Picnics with a view.
  66. Seafood! Especially crabs, scallops, halibut and salmon!
  67. When the perfect song comes on the radio and you just can’t help but dance.
  68. Visiting a brewery that makes a beer that I love.
  69. Feeling comfortable in my own skin.
  70. Feeling appreciated. 
  71. Being able to cross everything off my to do list.
  72. Making someone else laugh.
  73. Seeing how excited my dog is with a new toy.
  74. Being spontaneous.
  75. Taking the truck somewhere to park and watch sunset.
  76. Botanical gardens.
  77. A towel, still warm from the dryer.
  78. Making consistent and measurable progress on a goal.
  79. Seeing eagles, osprey, or Iwa hunting for fish.
  80. Flying over Mount Rainier on the way into Seattle. 
  81. Feeling a loved one’s heart beat against your cheek.
  82. An unexpected day off from work.
  83. Being able to show a loved one something or somewhere that’s meaningful to me.
  84. Seeing the daffodil, tulip, or lavender fields of Western Washington.
  85. How magical a fresh layer of snow looks before anyone walks in it.
  86. Going to the aquarium.
  87. Being able to relax, guilt-free.
  88. When that inspiration hits.
  89. The feeling of awe and wonder I get out in nature.
  90. The intense energy of a crowd at a live sporting event.
  91. Swimming with sea turtles.
  92. Pushing my own personal limits and challenging myself to grow.
  93. An ice cream cone on a hot day.
  94. Hearing the person I love sing to themselves in the morning.
  95. Going for a leisurely bike ride on a sunny day.
  96. Finding something that I am passionate about and being excited to put in the work on it.
  97. Knowing that you’ve found the love of your life.
  98. The unconditional love and constant companionship of pets.
  99. Driving on a nice day with the windows rolled down.
  100. Reading the comments and feedback on my blog about other people’s thoughts and experiences in relation to what I’m writing about.
Things that make me truly happy - my team for the Na Pali Challenge
My Team for the Na Pali Coast Challenge (me on left)


So there you have it, 100 things that make me happy. If you look closely, you might notice some recurring themes for me (time in nature, family, adventure, lifelong learning, personal growth). 

Now that you have read my list, I would highly encourage you to make your own! It doesn’t have to be 100 things, or even 25 if that seems a little intimidating. I do find it to be a very helpful exercise though.

If you do plan to make your own happiness list as I have done here, I would challenge you to include things that make you happy both in the long AND the short-term.

That’s it for today! Tomorrow I am excited to share my progress update on how my October goals went for the first month of my HHWP!

Until tomorrow,


Share the knowledge!

Author: clarissa.cabbage

Clarissa is a health coach, autoimmune warrior, and avid adventurer. And she is on a mission to help women escape the diet-culture mentality so they can build healthy habits they actually WANT to stick to - without all the guilt, deprivation and FOMO! When she's not coaching amazing women like yourself, you'll find her outside - hiking, paddling, and hunting for hidden waterfalls on the island of Kauai where she lives with her partner and furry side-kick, Ipo!

27 Replies to “100 Things That Make Me Truly Happy: Now And In The Long Run

  1. Reading this post brought a smile to my face! While I can’t relate to some, others made me say to myself ‘yeah, I should be happy about that as well’. I always seem to focus on the BIG moments, rather than the little moments that are equally as special.

    I think I’ll take your advice and make my own list to remind myself of what is important. 💜

    Thank you for sharing this uplifting post, and happy birthday for tomorrow, I hope you have a lovely day, 🥳

    1. Awwww thanks so much! That makes my day to think that I have inspired you to make your own list of things that make you happy. It really is surprising how much of a difference appreciating those “little things” can make.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and for checking out my project as well! ☺️

  2. I loved reading this post first thing this morning. I am naturally quite a positive person but with everything going on, I find myself slipping into panic. You’re right though, spending time with my family makes me so so happy!


    1. I agree Rosie, there is a lot to be anxious about these days, with cases spiking and lockdowns happening again. And here in the US, I am having massive anxiety about our upcoming election. I think that’s all the more reason to remember what makes us happy. Hang in there!

    1. Thank you Fadima! So far the birthday is great and I get to visit my family very soon! Thanks for stopping by to read and I hope you were able to relate to at least a few of the things on this list!

  3. Great list! We don’t spend enough time really thinking about what makes us happy. Most of us only have a vague idea of what we enjoy, allowing ourselves to get caught up in the everyday humdrum. I definitely think everyone should make a list of what makes them happy. Thanks for the idea and thanks for sharing your journey!

    1. I would agree that this would be a great exercise for everyone to do at some point or another Tiffany! I am happy to share my journey with others, I hope it will inspire them to set out on their own journey! Thank you for following along!

  4. I love this! Gratitude can do wonders for our mental health and it encourages other to do so as well. Happy early birthday, and congrats on almost a full month of blogging!

  5. Congratulations on all your hard work and dedication in sticking with this blogging challenge, you’re doing a great job. I love the idea of making a list of the things that bring us joy, the things that we are truly thankful for in our lives. I have a short list in the front of my planner on a post-it so that I can flip back to it any time that I’m feeling frustrated or upset. It’s a good reminder of why I push through the work to get to those happy moments.

    1. That’s an awesome idea Britt! I keep mine in my Google drive which I can access easily from my phone, but I love that you have strategically placed yours where you know you will need the reminders. What a great idea – thank you for sharing!

  6. I love that you were able to list 100 things that make you happy. I found myself agreeing to many of the things you listed such as going somewhere new, baby giggles, learning new cultures, and concerts (I really miss concerts and fan meets!!). Your list reminds me that there are so many things to be grateful for. 😊

    1. Awww I am glad that I could help remind you of that Izzy! It’s a good time to remember it with all that is going on in the world right now. I’m glad that you could relate to some of the things on my list! I forgot, you were a music blogger first right? You probably really miss the concerts!

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