100 Simple Beautiful Things That Make Me Happy

The older I become, the more I feel it’s important to enjoy the simple things in life, to experience each moment as fully as sensually as we can. So, I got to thinking about some of the things that bring a smile to my face and warm waves of gratitude inside.

Before I get too soppy, see how many you relate to. They’re in no particular order:

1. The feel of warm soapy water on my hands when washing dishes.

2. Writing haikus.

3. Scrunching through frosty grass early on winter mornings.

4. Baking chocolate brownies.

5. Eating freshly baked chocolate brownies.

6. The contrast of bright green leaves against a blue summer sky.

7. Making up new words.

8. Being so lost in a book when you stop reading you have no idea what day it is.

9. Make fresh pesto with a pestle and mortar.

10. Walking through warm grass barefoot.

Barefoot in grass
image: 802

11. Waking up in the morning knowing there’s nowhere I have to be for hours.

12. English country gardens.

13. The scent and feel of the camomile moisturiser I use on my face after showering.

14. The Multi-Touch Trackpad on my MacBook Pro.

15. The utterly glorious noise of Red Sea by Asobi Seksu.

16. Vanilla scented candles.

17. Indiana Jones movies.

18. Seeing a whole class dancing a move you taught them from nothing.

19. Looking into someone’s eyes and feeling safe.

20. Hot toast and lashings of melting butter and honey.

21. The Odd Couple movie.

22. Jeans that just fit without needing a belt.

23. Celery dipped in salt.

24. A freshly cleaned bathroom.

25. Slopping around in joggers, a favourite old t-shirt and bare feet.

26. Female french accents.

27. Preparing and sharing delicious healthy meals.

28. Marilyn Monroe movies.

29. The scent of new books.

30. Taking photos of flowers that are the whole world in that moment of capture.

blossom tree
image: alemdag

31. The scent of freshly cut lemons.

32. Walking without destination, just for the love of walking.

33. Mulholland Drive. A creative masterpiece of film-making.

34. Being in a beautiful city like Paris where absolutely no-one knows you.

35. Not having any consumer debt to my name.

36. Kate Bush.

37. Wearing the t-shirt you lent to your partner to sleep in the night before.

38. The coconut scent of my hair moulding wax.

39. Not shaving for a few days.

40. Getting lost in the dance.

41. Having lots of plants in my home.

42. Being a part of a wonderful supportive creative community.

43. A long cold glass of water on a long hot afternoon.

44. Still laughing at the same old jokes that I laughed at when I was a child.

45. Greek Yogurt on fresh grapefruit. With honey.

46. Knowing everything is going to be ok.

47. Taking black and white portraits.

48. Dreaming wildly, especially about singing.

49. Getting great feedback and responses to articles I’ve written that’ve genuinely helped people.

50. The scent of fresh ginger.

Fresh ginger
image: kidmissile

51. New journals. Especially the way they smell.

52. Being so far in the forest you can’t hear or see any signs of civilization.

53. Being in full creative flow.

54. Having a home that’s just the right size for my needs.

55. Salsa dancing.

56. The scent of fresh rosemary.

57. The incredible connective potential of the internet.

58. The blissful sound of My Bloody Valentine.

59. Movies about dancing.

60. Long hot showers, and the thoughts and ideas that come from them.

61. Discovering new artists on Last.fm radio.

62. Opening a new book for the first time, and how it wants to close itself again to preserve its secrets.

63. The natural wake up call of birds in the morning.

64. Meeting amazing, inspiring, creative people online.

65. Hot chocolate with marshmallows, and chocolate digestive biscuits.

66. The power of self education – learning by reading.

67. The bold eccentricity of David Bowie.

68. Hips.

69. The sound and feel of writing with pencil and paper.

70. Getting absolutely drenched in the rain and not caring.

Soaked in the rain
image: ashley rose

71. Late night sleepy conversation in the dark.

72. New potatoes roasted with sesame oil.

73. The wonderful warm sound of my Mission speakers.

74. Receiving emails that tell me I’ve had a positive impact on someone’s life.

75. Being able to look out my front window and see trees and grass.

76. Home made chocolate tiffin.

77. Sticky chocolate sauce. On pretty much anything.

78. Sunlight warming my bare feet.

79. The comfort of my Nike Airs that allows me to dance for hours on end.

80. Candles and the ambiance they create.

81. Silver birch tress hung heavy with snow.

82. Having a healthy body.

83. Singing.

84. Watering the plants in my home.

85. Stunning music that takes you to another place like Labradford.

86. Digging up potatoes.

87. Not watching TV or reading newspapers.

88. Making up silly accents and characters, and having someone laugh at them.

89. The colour green. Pretty much every variation.

90. Early morning mist on untouched fields.

morning mist
image: ::d::

91. Laying in the grass and enjoying the natural symphony of insects and birds.

92. Seeing people’s confidence blossom, and their faces and bodies come alive when learning salsa.

93. Hot water with a slice of lemon, chopped fresh ginger and runny honey.

94. John Hughes films. Especially Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains and Automobiles and The Breakfast Club.

95. Playing with children and reviving the little kid in me.

96. Elizabeth Fraser’s voice.

97. Looking younger than my years. (A bit vain, I know…)

98. The endless inventiveness of director Michel Gondry.

99. Owning fewer clothes than I’ve owned in years.

100. Being alive, here, in this moment.

What are some of the simple, beautiful things that make YOU happy? Please share them with us in the comments below.


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24 thoughts on “100 Simple Beautiful Things That Make Me Happy”

  1. What a delight to read! It’s Saturday morning and life is in a bit of flux for me right now. I saw your post in my Twitter stream and thought, “That’s what I need to read right now.” Just something to settle me and make me smile. It did. I really loved it.

    A few of my own:

    The weird didgeridoo-like sound of rocks skipping across a frozen pond

    Sharing a blanket or towel with a child

    Hot soup on a fall evening when the air is scented with autumn leaves


    Having just the person your heart needed to see show up unexpectedly

    This could get addictive! I think this will become a new practice for me whenever I need a lift. Thanks, Dan!


    1. Thanks for your comment Sue, feel free to come back and add any more whenever you want!

      I know exactly what you mean by the didgeridoo sound, can hear it in my head now. And soup any time in autumn or winter is lovely, especially homemade. With chunky white bread and butter.

      Campfires – I love the crackle and flicker of any fire, the way it’s mysterious at the same time it’s comforting. Great additions!


  2. thru the brilliance + connectivity of the internet, i stumble here and say thank you.

    Twisted and turned into thinking i’m not where i should be, doing what i should be doing, and a blah blah…i took a breath and smiled.

    Yes, no matter what is going on, there are joys and simple pleasures to be reveled in.

    I did post on this {inspiration} a while back, heading there now to remind myself.


    Thank you ever so for your sharing today. I think i’ve just added some new things to my list. : )

    peace + blessings,



    1. Heaven, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

      I just read your post you linked to, it’s absolutely gorgeous, the words and the pictures. Wow.

      Yes inspiration and things to be grateful for are always close by. There’s so much truth to the saying that there’s nothing like simple pleasures. : )


  3. Hi Dan,
    As I read your list, I kepts saying to myself “me too, me too”! Eg, eating chocolate brownies, walking barefoot through grass, toast with butter and honey, Kate Bush, freshly cut lemons, Ferris Bueller…the list goes on. I sense we’d get on very well! Thanks so much for sharing this list, it’s when we stop to take note of the many wonderful and yet simple things in our lives that we realise just how very rich we are!


    1. Goodness Claire, sounds like we’d get on like a house on fire. Yes, there’s SO much to appreciate all around us.

      Glad you enjoyed the list, and pleased it sparked off so many things you enjoy too. 🙂


  4. this list is very inspiring, thank you you’ve inspired me to do my own one. and im pretty young right now 13 actualy but i hope i look back at my list and carry it on as i grow older: The first one on my list would be:

    1)The feeling of waking up to a beautiful day with the sun shinnng in the empty but amazing deep blue sky.



  5. Okay I’m a little late for this blog but i’ve only just found you. Love the list. Heard myself saying ‘me too, me too’


    1. Ah you’re here now Bev. 🙂 Actually this is a post that week after week seems to find new readers. Glad you enjoyed and related.


  6. The voices of my two children, now young adults when in their busyness of creating lives of their own still take time out to talk to mom.

    The changing of the seasons, because with each change I change and I see something I didn’t see before.

    Being who I am in this moment and knowing I am always in the process of becoming.

    Listening to the stillness, and paying attention.


    1. Thanks for adding yours Ladybug. How someone’s voice can in a split second fill us with years of memories and good experiences…


  7. I agree with so many on your list, Dan! A few of my own favorites are:

    The feel of freshly laundered sheets on the bed

    The sound of a cat purring

    The look and sound of a gentle rain

    Making someone laugh

    That first cup of coffee in the morning


  8. a few of my favcourites:
    drinking cold water and feeling it run down your oesophagus
    the feeling of weightlessness when jumping off a high place or from a tree
    the sun reflecting in the eyes of someone you love
    having a power blackout and feeling all old-fashioned by using candles
    watching lightning strike a tree
    seeing a dingo providing food for its cubs
    coffee. enough said.


  9. Wow! i would add:
    the awkward moment with your friend , both rocking out in a song.
    the softness of your pet and it breathing (aww!)
    everything (that is your favorite color ) in the room , with pretty things (like, brownies,i phone ,etc).


  10. Thank you for this. It is truly incredible.

    I cant even really explain. It’s just… Nice. Really really nice.

    It’s calming. And exciting, since I can relate to those feelings.

    Thank you.


  11. I will add..
    1)the moment when you first wake up in the morning and the sun is basking down on you, warming your bones.
    2) When you’re done getting ready to go out and you look in the mirror and feel beautiful.
    3) When you’re out late at with your friends. Athletes of the night.
    4) Laughing so hard you can’t breathe with the people you love most
    5) The complete feeling you get in your heart after laughing till you cry
    6) The smell of horses at an old barn
    7) Those times when you blast your bad stereo in the car with your windows down and singing at the top of your lungs.
    8)The light breeze on a warm summers day.
    9) Long road trips with your friends
    10) Helping anyone and everyone


  12. Hi there! I’ve been keeping a little notebook with me at all times over the last year with a list similar to this! I write everything in it that brings a smile to my face in life! I love it also because as I write in it everyday and I look back it also reminds me of really great memories.

    photo booths
    polaroid cameras
    getting “be careful moose lingering around my house” text messages
    everyone laughing and having fun at a zumba class
    loving a book so much it brings a little sadness to your heart when you finish it
    the feeling you get after making your own loaf of bread
    waking up early in the morning when it’s raining and just laying in bed and listening to it
    really loud thunder
    planning your trip to Europe


  13. I just want to thank you.
    This wisdom I’ve learned from you reminded me there are still people on this earth who know what life should be like and what really matters.
    Thank you so much , mr. James.



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