Help me become more happier and optimistic
March 17, 2013 3:03 AM   Subscribe

I've become an unhappy Grumpy person. I would love some suggestions on positive music and notebooks, calendars which have inspiration positive quotes ? I just need some motivation in times of stress. Some blogs on positive thinking would also be useful. Thanks to all!
posted by happiness01 to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 76 users marked this as a favorite

I would suggest trying to laugh more. Re-watch old movies or TV shows, or maybe listen to stand-up comedy routines, anything that make you laugh. It reduces stress like nothing else.
posted by Jamesonian at 3:42 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Try hapyr.
posted by PaulaSchultz at 4:19 AM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Gretchen Rubin's website The Happiness Project and her book might be what you're looking for, and the other suggestions so far look good too.
posted by marguerite at 5:37 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Agree with Jamesonian, Go dig out some comedy you really enjoy on YouTube and have a couple of hours mindlessly laughing. Smile at yourself in the mirror for a few minutes - it works in a way that you don't think it should. If it is anxiety or stress that is making you feel this way then see if you can draw a line in the sand and distance yourself from that stress for a period of time. Open yourself up to a new experience, it can be as small as a new food etc. just something that feels like a treat. My go to song is Mr Blue Sky by ELO. It needs to be turned up to eleven for maximum benefit.
posted by 0 answers at 5:59 AM on March 17, 2013

BeHappy sends me a positive quote every morning in my email, with a link to the website where I can buy a print, poster, t shirt or whatever if I like. I just actually like the quotes every morning, especially when I'm in a bad mood.
posted by hollygoheavy at 6:01 AM on March 17, 2013

Some good suggestions here. The person who I most associate with these topics is Martin Seligman, author of "Learned Optimism", "Authentic Happiness" and "Flourish". Oh Polloi above points you to Barker's website, which is good, but the technique described there is just one of several that Seligman suggests. His own website is
You can watch Seligman at
Also a decent interview at
posted by PickeringPete at 6:59 AM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Seconding Seligman. You can get Learned Optimism super cheap used.

Seligman's books have helped me and I reread them fairly often.
posted by mattu at 7:09 AM on March 17, 2013

Welcome to the Internet, home of the Shiba Inu puppy cams, aquarium webcams, lol cats, Cute Overload, and illustration blogs like Urban Sketchers. Search for "happy" or "joy" on Pinterest. Or look through joke collections like AskMe's infamous Dirty Jokes for Grandma thread.

I also highly recommend comics like Calvin & Hobbes and Copper.
posted by heatherann at 7:09 AM on March 17, 2013

I have struggled with depression for 25 years. When I find myself in a negative mood, I try to do a quick inventory of all the great things in my life: I have a wonderful partner! My dog is awesome! I ironed my shirt really well today! Coffee is free at work!

The more ridiculous things make me laugh. Smiling through the pain really does work. Peace.
posted by kamikazegopher at 7:19 AM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

I quote:
Green exercise is activity in the presence of nature. Evidence shows it leads to positive short and long-term health outcomes... Dose responses for both intensity and duration showed large benefits from short engagements in green exercise, and then diminishing but still positive returns. Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood; the presence of water generated greater effects... The mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements.
Here is ScienceDaily's plain-English summary of the findings.

Here is Stornoway's musical summary of the findings. (Ah, I just noticed you are asking for positive music too... how fortunate for you that Stornoway's new album is out this week!)
posted by pont at 7:38 AM on March 17, 2013

This might seem counter-intuitive, but when I find myself grumpy, it's usually because I'm not letting myself experience some negative emotions. I have a playlist of the saddest music ever made (and it's sad music, not sad lyrics...). I listen to it and just let myself really get swept up in the emotion of it and usually bawl my eyes out. After that intense emotion, I feel so much more able to experience happiness and laughter and beauty.

So, maybe you need to tap into your sentimental side, really let yourself feel your emotions instead of being an impenetrable grump. That's what I need to do, anyway.
posted by hannahelastic at 8:29 AM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

There are a lot of internet/computer related suggestions above, and I would actually suggest the opposite. I find that when I get in a grumpiness rut, my instinct to go and retreat more and more into solitary computer/media stuff (i.e. rewatch funny shows, look at cute kitty pictures, etc.) is completely wrong. Although it can feel difficult/impossible, try calling up friends to meet for coffee (choose carefully - we all have those negative energy friends - pick people who have positive energy and will bring you up). Get out into nature, get to the gym and exercise, throw a dinner party, etc. etc. Anything that gets you around people and out of your head. I know everyone is different, but for me this works for eliminating unhappiness much more than any 'direct' strategy of just trying really hard to think happy thoughts.
posted by rainbowbrite at 10:22 AM on March 17, 2013 [5 favorites]

+1 Gretchen Rubin's blog and books.
posted by valannc at 11:46 AM on March 17, 2013

To follow on to rainbowbrite's suggestions of getting out there, I like to accomplish something. Sew on a button, clean a space that's been annoying me, check some things of my to-do list, bake something for someone else and then visit them, start some seeds for the garden, etc. If you can do some of these things while putting on a happy movie or listening to happy music, so much the better.
posted by CathyG at 12:56 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also, figure out how to quickly recognize which behaviours are correlated to feeling grumpier, so you know when it's time to go to the park. (E.g., "crap, I'm in hour two of googling coat racks".)
posted by nelljie at 2:09 PM on March 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

Maybe not necessarily what you are looking for, but for me what helps is getting enough sleep, sticking to a schedule, making sure I accomplish something positive everyday, staying organized and cutting out mind junk -- dumb TV or blogs/forums that waste time and may introduce you to content that is depressing/offensive/stupid. Easier said than done. :)
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:47 PM on March 17, 2013

If you use @oh pollo!'s recommendation, which you should because it's easy and it works, check out iDoneThis. Use it to record the things that've made you happy that day. Each e-mail has something you previously recorded, so you get the added benefit of seeing what you were thankful for in the past.
posted by tenaciousd at 4:59 AM on March 19, 2013

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