10 Great and Cheap Ideas to Make Your Life Happier

10 Great and Cheap Ways to Make Your Life Happier
Written by Oana Schneider

Do you know the exact answer to the question “What will truly make you happy?” Whether you’re waiting for the love of your life, working to climb up the corporate ladder, or wishing and working for a dream to come true, would any of these things make you really happy?

Perhaps it would once you achieve the specific goal. But after the happy haze has faded, there will always be something that you might not necessarily be happy about.

This is the reason why happiness takes work. Sure, there will be times when you simply would not find anything about the current state of your life to smile about.

But finding that ray of sunlight somewhere else requires a bit of effort. Upon doing so, you can live a better life being happy with whatever it is that you have.

Top 10 Tips to Be Instantly Happy

There really is no magical formula that you can use to be happy. However, there are little things in life that, if you only allow it, will bring you simple joys and lots of happiness. Take a look at our top ten tips on how you can be instantly happy:

1. Get at least seven minutes of exercise per day.

The New York Times recently published The Scientific 7-Minute Workout where a dozen exercises using only a chair, a wall, and body weight can be used as the ultimate workout. Its effects equate to that of a high-intensity workout, and it has a scientific basis as researched by the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal.

The exercises are intense and there’s even an advanced version. The upside is that you only need seven minutes to experience great workout results without slaving away your hours in the gym. But what does exercising have to do with happiness?

If you feel great about your body, you’re fit, and you are sweating it out, your self-confidence will be given a huge boost as well. Even if you don’t lose much weight, the fact that you are toning your muscles and you are exerting the extra effort in making yourself healthier will give you that instant jolt of happiness. 

Get at least seven minutes of exercise per day.

Trying to get in shape but can’t afford the gym? Check this out: Losing Weight at Home: Top 10 YouTube Tutorials!

2. Have more actual human connection.

You’ve seen those YouTube videos or memes of how we get so absorbed with our mobile phones or other gadgets, that we fail to make actual human connection. Sure, social media is an excellent way to stay in touch with friends and family – but it should not be your ultimate focus.

To be happier, make some actual human connection. Instead of using instant messaging systems to chat with your friends, meet them for coffee or lunch and catch up on a face-to-face basis. Spend time with your parents while you still can, reconnect with old friends, make new ones, or simply say hi to your barista or waitress.

Even the simplest gesture like saying good morning or smiling to that person whom you always share the train or bus with can go a long towards making you – and another person happy. 

3. Get some more shuteye.

Have you ever noticed how cranky you are in the morning when you haven’t had much sleep the night before? No matter how many cups of coffee you drink, having less than eight hours of sleep will affect your mood, as well as your productivity at work.

In a study published by NurtureShock, it indicates that when a person is sleep-deprived, he or she fails to recall pleasant memories. The negative memories are recalled just fine, however, because sleep deprivation results to the processing of negative stimuli. If you’d like to have a more positive outlook in life and be happy in general, make sure that you have enough sleep.

Happiness is a state of mind.

4. Get your daily dose of vitamin D.

If you work inside the office from nine to five, you are most probably not getting a good dose of vitamin D. Being cooped up inside your home or office, even if it’s fully air conditioned, will not help improve your disposition at all.

Shawn Achor who wrote “The Happiness Advantage” recommends spending at least 20 minutes outside in good weather. Not only does this promote a good, positive mood, but it also helped broaden the mind and improve one’s memory at work.

If you live near the sea or if there’s a public park near where you live, make sure to squeeze being outdoors into your schedule and again, the minimum period is 20 minutes.

5. Get a new hobby.

Which activity have you always wanted to try but haven’t had the time to do so? Whether it’s something as mundane as knitting or as challenging as climbing a mountain, learning something new will increase your level of happiness.

If you’ve always wanted to try clay pottery, for instance, you should sign up for classes and you will be surprised at how happy you are after trying it out.

This is because you are doing something that you’ve always wanted to try. After finishing the classes, you will feel that sense of accomplishment and your self-confidence will be enhanced, thus giving your happiness hormones a boost as well.

Get a new hobby.

Are you tired of hating your job? Well, here are 10 Hobbies to Turn into a Full Time Job!

6. Rewire your brain to be happy.

Whatever you think and feel today is not permanent. So if you are feeling a bit down lately, you can actually rewire your brain so that you can feel lighter and happier. This can be achieved through activities like meditation.

Still according to author Shawn Achor, those crucial minutes after meditation allows you to feel utterly calm and content. There’s also increased empathy and awareness. If you turn meditation into a permanent fixture in your life, you can virtually rewire your brain into being happy – at least most of the time.

7. Be thankful.

What better way is there to increase happiness than by practicing gratitude? Thank you are two words that we can never hear enough of. If you happen to do someone an act of kindness, either intentionally or unintentionally, you will experience that jolt of happiness and gratitude.

On the other hand, if you are on the receiving end of that same act of kindness, your happiness will increase twofold by practicing gratitude.

If you think that you haven’t been grateful enough with all the things that you have in life, try this exercise. Every week, write down three things that you are grateful for. If you can think of more than three, that’s even better. At the end of a three-week period, you will see how your happiness and life satisfaction will increase.

This exercise if from a study conducted by The Journal of Happiness, which indicates that writing letters of gratitude did increase the participants’ happiness level while also decreasing their depressive symptoms.

10 Completely Free Ways to Find Joy Day by Day

If you are feeling down but can’t afford a specialist, here are 10 Completely Free Ways to Find Joy Day by Day!

8. Take better care of yourself.

Are you slaving away your hours at work just so that you can get a promotion? There’s nothing wrong with this, but the pressure can get you down and affect your mood. To lighten things up, learn how to better care for yourself.

Eating right and exercising are ways to stay happy, fit and healthy. Once in a while, you should also indulge in self-pampering treatments like a massage or a quick weekend trip with friends.

A night out every now and then will also do you wonders. You don’t have to spend too much for these activities – even the simplest task of luxuriating in a bubble bath at home will make you feel happy and refreshed afterwards.

9. Use music as therapy.

Music is the perfect therapy for when you’re feeling a bit gloomy. If you’re having a particularly bad day, turn up the music on your phone and hum to your favorite tunes. You can also dance it out or sing your heart out. Or, you can simply listen to songs which will ultimately make you feel good.

Listening to music in general, especially if your conscious goal is to be happy, will give you the desired result.

Use music as therapy.

How much do you love your music? If the answer is “very much”, check out these 10 Music Gadgets You Will Die to Have Today!

10. Save and spend money wisely.

Finally, learn how to save – and spend money wisely. Let’s start with the saving bit. When you know that you have funds saved up for the rainy days, you will feel happy knowing that you are financially secure. On the other hand, learning how to spend money wisely will also give you that sense of security and happiness.

If you’ve been eyeing that fancy touchscreen computer, give it as a gift for yourself this Christmas. Or, you can treat yourself and your best friend to an overnight stay at a fancy hotel. As long as you already have funds saved up, you should use a portion of your earnings to give yourself a treat because you worked hard for it.

Related: 100 Small but Significant Ways to Save Money in a Week

As you can see there are plenty of inexpensive and even free ways to make your life happier. Happiness is a state of mind and when you exert the extra effort to appreciate everything you have, if you know how to treat yourself right, and by practicing gratitude, you will find happiness even in the simplest of things.

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10 Great and Cheap Ideas to Make Your Life Happier

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.


  • the article was pretty great , all the points were acurate well except for the exercise lol dont think that would make me happy.

    • Actually, working out helps your body release endorphins, which are responsible for your mind’s wellbeing. That’s why most people feel so accomplished after a good workout. You may want to give it a try!

  • I use to have a very strict workout routine. I made a homemade calendar and I would have days where I did walks, lifted some small weights. Did Zumba and cardio workouts. I felt better the whole time I did it. Sadly I gained some of the weight back but hope to start this up again soon.

  • Three of these tips stood out to me – exercise, human interaction and music. I do strongly believe that these three things can make you really happy in the long term if you make the most of them every day, and it is amazing just how much of a difference they can make in your life. If you ever feel as though you’re not as happy as you could be, go out for a run with a friend whilst listening to music, and I can guarantee that you will be a lot happier when you get home.

  • Great article! For me, the easiest is to “take better care of yourself” because it’s quite physical. Usually we don’t have control of our minds when we want to change. This gives your physical goals to actually do instead of doing a mantra of some sort.

    Overall great one, which one works best for you?

    • Hi David,

      Glad you liked our article.
      For me, music is the best medicine.

      Keep reading us for updates.

      Thank you.

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