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Dogs and 101 More Happy Things To Add a Smile To Your Day

Dogs and 101 More Most-Loved Happy Things

Need a little pick-me-up? Happy things are here for you! For the past few years, I’ve been on the lookout for things that make me happy. Now I’d like to share my happiness collection with you!

Quintessential happiness…

Why do some things bring us happiness? Scientists, authors, artists, and even companies like Coca-Cola (with their slogan “open happiness”) have studied the art and science of happiness and tried to discern what makes us happiest. (You’ll get the 4-1-1 as you scroll through the list of happy things below.)

However, I believe there is one source that truly has the pulse on all things happy…

…our dogs.

Our canine companions have mastered the art of happiness. They live in the moment. They don’t wonder about the future or ruminate over the past. With their curiosity and love, it seems they hold the key to happiness in their fluffy positive paws!

So, when it came to searching out happy things, I had to look no further than straight down to find tail-wagging, blinky-eyed, wholesome happiness looking up at me…

My Goldendoodle dog Chloe is the epitome of happiness. Which pretty much sums up all dogs.

That’s why the #1 spot on our list of 101 happy things goes to our loveable, smart, live-in-the-moment hounds of happiness.

With Chloe as my inspiration, here are 101 things that make me happy.

101 things that make me happy

#1 Pawsitively happy dogs

Labrador retriever puppy sitting by a chalk sign that says pawsitively happy, photo

You know the happy feeling you get when you walk in the door to a dog who is so happy to see you that their entire body can’t contain the wiggles? That’s the kind of happiness I wish for you.

Dogs are pure joy.

#2 on our list of happy things: Dog smiles

I couldn’t resist making dog smiles #2 on our list of happy things (And smiling dog memes are cute too.) Yes, dogs embody happiness, but a dog’s smile is happiness 14/10!

puppy lying upside down with a smile on his face, photo

Interestingly, according to an article from the NBC News, turning your own frown upside down (smiling when we don’t feel like it) boosts your mood.

If that’s the case, can you imagine what a dog’s upside down smile must do to our happiness levels?!? I’d say it must be over the woof! 😉

Happy Thing #3: Nature

Nature is a mood lifter! If you’re stuck inside right now, we found this happy (and unexpected) “hello” while on a hike and we’d like to share it with you…

#4 on our list of happy things…stirring up fond memories

Anyone else a fan of chocolate chip cookies? Making a batch stirs up both childhood memories of baking cookies with my family and motherhood memories of continuing the tradition by helping my own kids’ mix the cookie dough.

chocolate chip cookie dough on a cookie tray as a happy memory, photo.

Whether it’s baking, looking at family photos, or recalling memories of helping someone out, nostalgia sparks happiness. (For more details, check out The Greater Good Science Center’s article on kindness.)

Happy thing #5: Digging in the dirt

close-up photo of a pink hibiscus in full bloom, photo

Do you like digging in the dirt or planting flowers in the spring? Grab your trowel and grow happy! A recent article in Forbes explains why gardening or digging in the dirt brings happiness. In short:

  1. digging stirs up microbes in the soil
  2. inhaling microbes stimulates serotonin
  3. increased serotonin levels = happiness!

#6 on our list of happy things: sunrises and seagulls

beautiful orange and red sunrise on beach with silhouettes of seagulls in the foreground, photo.

There’s nothing like the experience of taking a morning walk on the beach and watching the sunrise. Simple experiences are a source of contentment.

BTW, Science Daily recently reported that spending money on experiences results in more immediate happiness than spending on possessions.

Happy Thing #7: Llama llove…

two llamas looking very happy, photo.

With eyes as big as saucers and perma-smile mouths, llamas definitely make our list of happy things.

Incidentally, research studies have confirmed that looking at photos of cute things increases our happiness levels. (For more information, read Psychology Today’s recent article: The Power of Cute Things to Make You Feel Better.)

I wonder what would happen if researchers studied humans looking at photos of llamas and Goldendoodles? Oh, my heavens—ooey, gooey, cuteness!

a photo of a golden doodle dog's face next to a llama's face, photo.

8. Happy thing #8: Warm sunshine and a cool breeze

Add a cool breeze to a sunny day and it’s sure to bring a good case of the happies. (It probably has something to do with what I call “D squared”— the superpowers of vitamin D plus our doggos!)

happy adult goldendoodle sniffing the summer breeze, photo.

Happy Thing #9: Coffee

I admit it. Even the very thought of having a morning cup of coffee (with my furry pals) makes me happy!

lab puppy and adult goldendoodle sitting patiently while mom drinks a cup of coffee, photo.

It turns out I’m not the only one who thinks coffee brings contentment. A recent article in Thrive Global uncovers the science behind having a cup of coffee and how it boosts happiness. (Spoiler alert: coffee stimulates the good stuff in our brain.)

#10 on my list of things that make me happy: a gentle rainfall

close-up of a pink rose with raindrops on petals, photo

The sound of a gentle rain calls me to slow down and take a moment to soak it in. The photo above captures the feelling.

Happy thing #11: My pack…family

I read somewhere that spending time with friends increases our happiness levels by eight percent. Add family, including our four-legged family members, to the mix and we’re lapping up happiness like these two lap up a special treat!

puppy and goldendoodle each licking a frozen treat held by mom, photo

Happy thing #12: The first signs of spring

Getting outside and soaking in the first signs of spring is happiness…

close-up of a magnolia bloom as a first sign of spring, photo
adult goldendoodle dog sniffing a patch of violets, photo

Happy thing #13: Cuddly puppies…

Have you noticed an abundance of puppies in your neighborhood? I haven’t found stats on this yet, but I’m fairly certain that there’s been a puppy boom. If you don’t have a puppy in your life, enjoy this cute puppy pic and see if it boosts your happiness levels.

a yellow lab puppy snuggled in arms as example of things that make me happy. photo.
What a sweet little peanut!

Happy thing #14: The sound of ocean waves

I’ve heard so many people remark about how much they love the sound of ocean waves lapping against the shore. What is it about the call of the ocean that brings happiness to our hearts?

two seagulls flying low over the ocean waves as an example of things that make me happy, photo.

Happy thing #15: Bright colors

yellow labrador puppy hoping out of bright blue baby pool onto green grass as example of colors as a happy thing, photo

Are the bright colors and dancing water in this photo a mood booster? Artists and interior designers have long been using color as a way to lift our spirits.

Happy thing #16: A beautiful view…

expansive view of fog lifting over a river surrounded by green trees as example of something that makes me happy, photo.

There’s something about an expansive view that makes me happy. If you’d like the 4-1-1 on the location in the pic above, please check out my article on pet-friendly things to do in Eureka Springs.

Happy thing #17: Caring for a pet

Caring for a dog is a joy. After many of Chloe’s bathtime antics, I definitely know what soap tastes like…and that makes me happy!

collage of adult goldendoodle dog in the bathtub and wearing a yellow bath towel as example of something that brings happiness, photo.

Happy thing #18: Learning something new

Have you felt happy when learning something new? Like learning to ride a bike as a child, trying something new can feel a little wobbly at first. But then there’s the exhilaration that comes when you gain balance and you’re flying downhill!

Happy thing #19: An unexpected, fleeting moment

hummingbird drinking from a blue flower around green plants as an example of happy things, photo

I rarely see hummingbirds. So when one zips by, it’s a happy surprise.

Happy thing #20: Punny stuff...

Don’t be sad or even “Mellon Collie!” We didn’t leave punny dog stuff off our list of things that make us happy!

While there are all kinds of smile-bringing humor, canine humor is the ulti-mutt. In fact, life would be ruff without it.

goldendoodle dog with stick and caption If I stick to it, I could be branch manager at the paw-ffice as an example of happy dog puns, photo.

If you’re ready to brighten your day with dog jokes, dog puns, and dog wordplay, check out our lists of 75 dog puns, 50 more dog puns, 20 dog birthday memes, and dog mom memes. They’re so cute you may say “p’awww.” And so punny you may “grrrroan” too. 😉

Happy thing #21: The first snowflake of winter

Are you a fan of winter? Every year I try to embrace cold weather—thanks to my dog’s love for the fluffy white stuff!

adult red goldendoodle dog with snowflakes sprinkled on nose, photo

The first snowflake of winter that lands on my dog’s nose is happiness.

But I’m even happier for #22…

Happy thing #22: The last snowflake of winter

adult red goldendoodle dog licking a snowflake of her nose as an example of things that make me happy, photo.

The last snowflake of winter is happiness too!

(BTW…if you’re in the mood for some feel-good quotes about snowy days, read our list of 10 feel-good quotes about winter.)

Happy thing #23: Comfy things…

Whether it’s a cozy pillow, a fluffy blanket, or my dog’s velvety ear, soft, cozy things make me happy and content.

#24 Happy quotes

Does reading feel-good quotes bring you happiness? This quote summed up a happy afternoon spent photographing a butterfly…

Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued is always just beyond our grasp, but which, if you sit down quietly, will light upon you. ~ N. Hawthorne

And this quote from Charles Dickens is a delight…

Happy thing #25: Spreading more happiness…

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75 more happy things

Here are even more happy things. Which ones make you happy?

26 Looking at the moon and stars

27. The cool side of the pillow

28. Visiting a new place

29. When you call customer service and a real person answers

30. Keeping a list of happy things

31. Going for walks

32. Blowing out birthday candles on your cake

33. Adding sliced lemons, limes, or cucumbers to a pitcher of water

34. Planning a trip or vacation

35. Blowing bubbles

36. Eating a colorful summer salad

37. Waking up to the sound of birds singing instead of an alarm clock ringing

38. Getting warm laundry out of the dryer

39. Marveling at just how red strawberries really are

red strawberries as example of something that makes me happy, photo.

40. Wearing fuzzy bunny slippers all day

41. Nose boops

42. Seeing the bright yellow color of forsythia

43. More coffee

44. Trying to say Rhodendrum three times fast

45. Sitting around a campfire

46. Getting a haircut that makes you feel great

47. Finding a cool shade tree on a hot day

48. Hugs

49. Scrolling through all the dog photos on your phone

50. The feeling you get after you workout

51. Breathing in the scent from evergreen trees

52. Seeing someone else smile

53. Coming home

54. Looking at old photos in a memory book

55. When the baby birds successfully leave the nest

56. The first potato chip out of the bag

57. Coming home to a waggy-tailed doggo’s hello

58. Curling your toes in the sand while a wave washes over them

59. The feeling of cozy PJs after a long shower

60. Laughing so much you snort and you don’t even know what’s so funny

61. Finding a happy message written in sidewalk chalk

adult Goldendoodle dog sitting by sidewalk chalk art that says, "hello sunshine," photo.

62. The smell of freshly cut grass

63. Love

64. Lingering after dinner with the family because the conversation just keeps flowing

65. Dancing

66. Kissing the top of a bald head

67. Not having to get dressed up to go to work

68. When your dog lies down on top of your feet

69. Sleeping in

70. Listening to “Better Together” by Jack Johnson

71. The sound of your kids laughing together

72. Going outside and the weather is the perfect temperature

73. Funny videos

74. The first bite of fresh, hot pizza

75. Butterfly kisses

76. Fizzy things and fuzzy things

77. Popping bubble wrap

78. Listening to the sound of waves crashing against the shore

79. Brainstorming all the possibilities

80. Blowing kisses over Facetime

81. Taking photos of happy things

82. When your dog watches other dogs on TV

83. Saying please and thank you

84. Getting a good report from your dog’s veterinarian

85. Getting lost in your work because it’s that fun

86. An icy cold drink of water on a hot, humid day

87. When your dog jumps up on the couch beside you with no regard for personal space

88. Perfectly popped popcorn (with Jr. Mints)

89. Picking out spring plants

90. When the entire family piles in the car…including the dogs

91. A cool morning during a hot summer

92. Lightning bugs

93. Being the first person to make coffee in the morning

94. Sunshine on my face

95. When your dog puts her head on your lap and looks up at you with “those eyes”

96. Peace and quiet

97. Bird songs

98. The longest day of the year

99. Teaching a dog a new trick and learning a new trick in the process

100. Creating something that makes other people smile

101. Crossing a to-do off the list

102. Enjoying endless games of fetch

goldendoodle running at full stride across green grass

What things make you happy?

Please pass the happy! We’d love to hear from you!

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