Happy people do these 7 things to boost their mood

Happy people don’t have to work for it, surely?

They just wake up naturally happy and go about their day, seeing everything in rose-tinted glasses and getting absolutely overjoyed.


Newsflash: the happiest people need to work for their happiness, too.

You know how we all started baking banana bread or going on little mental health walks during the pandemic to keep ourselves sane?

Happy people have a sequence of habits just like those that they use, both consciously and subconsciously, to keep their mood elevated and their outlook bright.

If you don’t consider yourself the happy-go-lucky type, the good news is that there’s a lot to learn from naturally happy people.

Ready to find out how happy people stay so happy?

1) They get playful

When was the last time you played hide and seek?

Probably a long time ago (unless you have kids and now occasionally have to pretend you can’t see them sitting very obviously behind a sofa).

The thing is, the adult world is very serious. A lot of the responsibilities which we have to deal with like taxes and commuting and forcing ourselves to eat vegetables aren’t so fun.

We lose a lot of the childlike contentment that you get from letting loose and being silly, when in fact, adult playfulness is one of the top contributors to a consistent good mood. 

Playing doesn’t have to mean asking your friends to play hide and seek, either. 

(Although give it a go. Who knows, they might be down).

It can look like adventuring and traveling abroad (like how you used to ‘adventure’ down into your parents’ garden to go find beetles).

Or stoking your creative side and going to art classes or getting a doodle book (hopefully you can now color within the lines).

Or letting the inner-collector within you who used to collect Pokemon cards or snails let loose by starting a coin collection. Or taxidermy. Whatever tickles your fancy.

The point is that really happy people tend to still be in touch with their inner child

They invite playfulness into their everyday life and don’t take everything so seriously, which turns out to be an impressive mood booster.

2) They exercise

You knew this one was coming, didn’t you…

Even small amounts of exercise can have monumental impacts upon our mood. 

It’s also linked to decreased levels or risks of depression and anxiety.

Happy people tend to enjoy moving. 

This doesn’t have to mean completing a triathlon every weekend, but just being up and about as opposed to static and sloth-like.

Exercise might also not look like running or going to the gym. 

Using that playful side, happy people often participate in active hobbies like dance classes or enjoy a good hike in nature.

3) They eat well

Increasingly, research suggests a link between our gut microbiome and our mood.

The brain and the digestive system interact through what is called the gut-brain axis

You hear ‘bacteria’ and you might start freaking out, but the truth is that your gut is filled with bacteria both good and bad.

However, imbalances in certain bacterial levels have been linked to depression or other mood disorders. 

Happy people likely don’t let their diets dictate their lives. 

Doing so would mean less happiness as restrictive diets tend to take up a lot of thinking space and lead to stress and shunning social settings.

However, many happy people find that their mood is consistently elevated by eating a varied and colorful diet, which provides them with energy, immunity, and satisfaction.

The occasional sweet-treat is still very welcomed.

4) They set realistic goals

if someone uses these phrases theyre probably a strategic thinker 1 Happy people do these 7 things to boost their mood

You know that sense of pride and accomplishment when you complete a goal you’ve had in mind for a while?

It doesn’t have to be massive. Something minor like finishing the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for months, or finally clearing out your wardrobe can leave you feeling puffed up and proud.

Happy people tend to naturally excel at goal setting

They set big goals for the future and small goals for their everyday life, and work towards accomplishing these.

The goals that they set are also realistic. 

Let’s face it – no one likes the disappointment of failure, and setting targets so high that you’re unlikely to achieve is just setting yourself up for failure.

But accomplishing personal goals and being able to track your progress provides a great sense of fulfillment and emotional well-being.

So when it comes down to a quiet Sunday, naturally happy people probably have a few chores that they’ll use the time to tackle. 

On weekdays, they have their days scheduled and organized so that they can work efficiently towards their larger goals without feeling overburdened or stressed. 

5) They help those around them

It’s a strange chicken-and-egg situation because happy people get happier through helping those around them.

Are they doing it to feel happier? Or to benefit other people?

Happy people tend not to initiate helping others and being selfless with themselves in mind. 

They don’t help someone carry their groceries to their car and think ‘wow, I’m going to feel so good about myself after this!’

But, it’s pretty common knowledge that the secret to happiness is helping others. 

Altruism has long been linked to health, well-being, and a positive outlook on life.

For ‘happy’ people, helping comes naturally. They thrive off of lightening the load on someone else’s shoulders and enjoy the boost it brings to their own mood.

6) They immerse themselves in nature

There’s a man who sprints through the park where I live every morning barefoot.

I appreciate that many shoes confine feet in weird angles and lead to all sorts of issues, but I’m always still a bit shocked to see him tearing through mud and thorns in the middle of a big city.

Yet, ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’ have become pretty popular terms for reconnecting with mother nature.  

It’s still under research, but some studies suggest that electrical charges from the earth can boost our mood and health. 

I know you might not be ready to lie naked in your local park, but the good news is that being outdoors in general is a wonderful tool for boosting mood and promoting happiness.

If you have a think about the people in your life who just seem innately happy all the time, they might not be tree-huggers but there’s a good chance that they love a good nature walk or general outside time.

7) They go where they are wanted (and where they want to go)

habits of people who attract good luck into their lives 2 Happy people do these 7 things to boost their mood

It’s difficult to be happy if you’re not enjoying what you do on a daily basis.

It’s also difficult to be happy when you’re trying to keep a positive outlook on life but are surrounded with negative people tearing you down.

Happy people tend to be aware of these two elements, whether consciously or not.

They pursue their passions as they know that immersing themselves in activities that bring them joy is essential to making the most out of life.

Obviously, they still share normal responsibilities like paying rent. 

Hence, their pursuit of happiness might not be living in a cabin in the woods spending their days fishing, or just going to Pilates classes and drinking green juices.

Happy people tend to find ways to blend their interests and passions with their careers.

The happiest of people might still work in an office for 12 hours a day if that’s their passion.

But know that you’re unlikely to find your own happiness in someone else’s dreams.

Happy people know that, so they follow their own

They also let go of relationships that compromise their happiness and find ways to balance their passions with the responsibilities of adulthood.

Do what makes you happy…

Honestly, life is short.

You might look at certain people and feel a tinge of envy at how naturally happy and radiant they seem.

The truth is, they likely still get stressed out or beat up over certain things.

They just have a built-in toolbox with strategies and techniques that they use to keep their mood boosted and their outlook bright.

You don’t have to be any different. Happiness is after all about your mindset.

So don’t waste time being too serious. 

Just because you no longer live with your parents doesn’t mean you can’t still get playful and lighten the mood.

Look after yourself, be kind to those around you, and connect with nature

You’ll be surprised how quickly it is before people start considering you one of the ‘happy’ ones.




Picture of Liv Walde

Liv Walde

London-based writer with big thoughts, big dreams, and a passion for helping others.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.