24 Fun Ways to Celebrate the International Day of Happiness

Happy International Day of Happiness!  Tomorrow – March 20 – is the official date.  Please help me spread the word by sharing this message with others in your network. 

The International Day of Happiness was established by the United Nations in 2012 to 1) recognize the pursuit of happiness as a basic human goal and 2) acknowledge its importance in public policy objectives.  You can read more about that here.

Will you join me in celebrating?

Below is a list of easy and fun ways to cultivate and explore happiness.  Choose at least one, or come up with your own idea and share it by leaving a comment.  The possibilities are endless.  The boost in happiness is contagious!


  1. Take a photo of something or someone who brings you joy.  Keep it with you and look at it often.
  2. Listen to your favorite music for 5 minutes.
  3. Dance to your favorite music for 5 minutes.
  4. Read your favorite inspirational quote.
  5. Share your inspirational quote with someone else.
  6. Sing a song, and ask others to join in.
  7. Tell your best joke, and allow yourself to crack up.
  8. Perform a random act of kindness for someone else.  Buy coffee for the person in line behind you.  Leave a bottle of water for the postal carrier.  Wash your friend’s car.
  9. Watch one of your favorite feel-good or inspirational movies.  A few inspirational movies that come to mind are The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith, La Vita E Bella (Life is Beautiful) starring Roberto Benigni, even Rocky, starring Sylvester Stallone.
  10. Listen to Sara Bareilles’ hit single Brave or Pharrell Williams’ hit single Happy.
  11. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for.
  12. Begin the morning with a note of thanks or praise to a family member, friend, or colleague rather than a review of your ‘to do’ list.
  13. At the dinner table, talk about what went well rather than review the day’s complaints.
  14. Get to know others through their strengths.  Listen for strengths and name them.  Discuss how strengths contributed to what went well.
  15. Go outside and take 5 deep breaths to reset your brain.
  16. Wish someone well in a heartfelt way.
  17. Walk briskly for 5 minutes.
  18. Complete one task you’ve been putting off.  Go do it now!
  19. Set an inspiring personal or professional goal for yourself.
  20. Spread the word by sharing this message with others in your network.


  1. Read a book on happiness.  A few of my favorites are:  10 Things Happy People Do Differently by PaulaDavis-LaackThe Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor;  Choose The Life You Want: 101 Ways to Create Your Own Road to Happiness by Tal Ben-Shahar;  and Flourish by Martin E.P. Seligman.
  2. Check out courses on “the science of happiness” at Wholebeing Institute featuring Tal Ben-Shahar, NY Times Best-Selling author and popular Harvard lecturer.
  3. Register for free webinars available on March 20, sponsored by graduates of MAPP (Masters of Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania).
  4. Check out other newsletters.  Two of my favorites include  Positive
    Psychology News Daily
     and Greater Good The
    Science of a Meaningful Life

Still looking for an idea that resonates with you?  Contact me, and we’ll put our heads together.

As you celebrate the International Day of Happiness on March 20, may your heart be full of joy and inspiration while you explore, cultivate, and spread happiness!

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3 thoughts on “24 Fun Ways to Celebrate the International Day of Happiness

  1. Marni Curtis

    Thanks for all of these wonderful suggestions Jane!
    Here’s a little youtube video that I watched last year and it made me quite happy…and still does:)

    1. Jane Post author

      Marni, thank you for posting this cute youtube – outdoors with Jason Mraz and the Muppets! Great happiness booster!


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