31 Days to Waking Up Happy for Life
Get started on a month of research-backed ways to increase the joy in your life.
Illustration: Jun Cen
27. Add a Happiness Helper into Your Dinner
Consuming edamame might aid in beating the blues, thanks to the B vitamin folate. (One cup delivers more than 100 percent of your Recommended Dietary Allowances.) In one study, women with the highest folate levels were 63 percent less likely to report significant symptoms of depression than those with the lowest.
28. Find Your Flow
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, reminds us of the reason to keep knitting scarves or writing short stories. His research has shown that immersing yourself in an activity (especially one you find pleasurable) can trigger a state called flow. "The more flow you bring into your life," Csikszentmihalyi says, "the happier you'll be."
29. Open One of These Before Bedtime
What do happy people do? Read! But really, really happy people read these books that open their minds—and lives.
30. Don't Go to Sleep After Watching Orphan Black
People shown disturbing images at bedtime had strong reactions both before and after sleeping, found a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Staying awake after an upsetting experience neutralizes some of the emotion, the scientists concluded, while going to sleep helps "preserve" the emotional response.
31. Dangle a Week-Carrot
Look, the world of happy moments doesn't have to end just because the workweek must be spent wearing real clothes. Happiness doyenne Gretchen Rubin, creator of the Happiness Project and author of bestsellers Happier at Home and The Happiness Project, says, "Give yourself a reason to anticipate the coming week: Plan lunch with a friend, or a movie outing, or a trip to an office-supply store—or am I the only one who loves to go to office-supply stores?—and when the Sunday blues hit, remind yourself of everything fun that will happen."