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10 Ways to Feel More Joy Today!

Learn 10 easy ways to experience more joy, right here and now. Science-backed and instrumental on my own healing journey, these seemingly small tools can help you become more aware of the joys already inside, better attune to joys around you, and actively call more joy into your life.

Women on a porch laughing together

Could you use a little more sparkle...a few more smiles in your life? I've been there. During the pandemic, I found my joy reserves empty as I navigated my way through crippling grief, burnout, anxiety, and on and on.

Although very challenging to go through, my low point eventually led me somewhere beautiful: on a healing journey to rediscover and reignite my inner calm and joy alike. I'm still working on it, but wow, how far I've come. And along the way, I was called to share what I've learned so that others can feel better, too.

One of the many things I've learned is that we don't have to sit around and wait to experience more joy in our lives. There are SO MANY really effective ways to remember the joy that already exists within us (sometimes buried under a few or many layers of life and stress), to better recognize joys around us in our daily lives, to recalibrate toward what brings us joy and actively welcome more of it in.

And if you're wondering why I'm discussing joy vs. happiness, it's because I wholeheartedly agree with joy researcher and author Ingrid Fetell Lee, who shares that while happiness is fleeting, tied to external factors and often hard to measure, joy is "immediate and accessible." Joy is HERE, in this present moment. In other words, joy is a mindfulness practice.

So I've collected 10 of my favorite tools for cultivating more joy, right here, right now. Joy sparks, if you will! They may seem small and simple, yet they're all incredibly effective: science-backed, and profoundly helpful in my own journey and so many others'.

10 Ways to Feel More Joy Today!

  1. Start to Get Reeeaaaaally Curious About Your Joy Start to become mindful of joy in your days: When do you feel it? What sparks it? Also critical: What blocks it? (And how you might work through that?)

  2. Write Down 3 Joys a Day! Each night, write down any 3 joys that are unique to the day. Start to notice patterns. The more you actively look for joys in your life, the more you’ll find and can recalibrate toward them! You're actually starting to rewire and retrain your brain.

  3. Notice What Colors Bring You Joy Bring more of them into your life!

  4. Try Meditating on Joy There’s loads more joy (and potential joy) inside than you realize. Sit quietly and call up a truly joyful memory. Let yourself feel it through all your senses all over again. And/or gently ask yourself, “Who am I when I’m my most joyful self?” Feel what that version of you feels...and notice what lights them up. (I offer a free guided version of this practice on the Insight Timer app, and it's also available in my On-Demand Library, free with Membership or can be purchased a la carte.)

  5. Practice Joy-Spotting Outside Slow down and use all your senses while you’re walking around outside, whether you're walking to work, leaving an appointment or taking a quick break. Look for at least 1 new joy on each outing.

  6. Remember Who & What Make You Laugh! It's true: Laughter really IS some of the best medicine! Are you laughing enough? What and who help you connect to this joy?

  7. Mine Your Joys Past, Present & Future Get your journal out and jot down things, activities, places that used to, do now and could bring you joy that you've been interested in.

  8. With Your Lists In Mind…ACTUALLY PUT JOY ON THE CALENDAR! Make joy a priority! Put any amount, from 10 minutes to a whole weekend, on the calendar right now. It’ll bring joy as you're enjoying the activity, as will having something to look forward to! Can you plan something each week this month, and/or put one joy break on the schedule for the next 3 months?

  9. Make a Joy Playlist Include alllll those songs that bring you insta-smile! Bonus joy: Make it social and trade song ideas and "joylists" with friends. Joy is SUPER contagious! And loved ones' joy augments our own joy!

  10. Dance to Your Playlist! Science: Dancing is one of the most effective mood boosters we know of. So put on your happy songs (even just ONE SONG will do wonders) and just MOVE! Any way you want to. Like you're 4 again and can't sit still. No rules. No judgment. All JOY!

Try any or all of the above and let me know what you think! Which is your favorite? Most impactful?


If you’d prefer to explore joy in a more guided format, I frequently offer joy-focused programs and classes, including multi-week and mini retreat versions of my signature Joy Refresh class! The next Joy Refresh Mini Retreat is Sat., May 18, 1-5 p.m. at Skin & Wellness, Falls Church, Va.! Check out my full workshop schedule here.

I also have a “4 Weeks to More Joy” audio course that explores many of the above tools, including meditation, daily joy-spotting, joy journaling and more. It's available for purchase in my On-Demand Library, included in Monthly Membership on my site, and free for Insight Timer Premium members.


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