130 Things That Make Us Happy ... From Your Friends at LearnVest

130 Things That Make Us Happy ... From Your Friends at LearnVest

There are a lot of things that we could say about happiness.

We can debate the price of happiness. We could discuss whether money can buy happiness. Or we could cite the many ways that our readers have learned to be happier.

During the holidays, however, we're more interested in warm fuzzies than theoretical conversations or footnoted essays. So we asked members of the LearnVest team to name the things that make them the happiest.


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We're not talking about splashy Christmas gifts or once-in-a-lifetime trips.

No, it seems that it's the everyday things that make our hearts grow three sizes on any given day.

So read on--and tell us in the comments what brings you joy.

Alexa, Founder and CEO

  • Candles
  • Orchids (after I've negotiated the price down, of course)
  • Connecting with friends, either through phone calls or our thrice-weekly, six-mile walk on the West Side Highway in Manhattan
  • Making my mom happy
  • A clean apartment

Ainslie, Chief Marketing and Product Officer

  • a fireplace makes me happyThe feeling after a run. Not the feeling before the run, and certainly not during the run, but the feeling after is awesome.
  • Any play or concert featuring my kids--there has never been a time that I didn’t cry.
  • Fires in the fireplace. It’s the warmth, the crackle, the smell and the feeling that I have to sit there, relax and enjoy it because it's not going to last forever.
  • Finding a great deal. I have hated paying full price since the day I was born.
  • Roomba. It always vacuums the floor, and never talks back. It is an electronic miracle.
  • Flowers. Arranging flowers. Smelling flowers. It never gets old.

Libby, Staff Writer

  • Christmas socks
  • Completing a successful DIY project--no matter how small
  • Watching my spending go down in the trends view of the Money Center
  • Mint tea
  • Reading (or watching!) EM Forster's "Room With A View"
  • Checking something off my to-do list
  • Waking up before my alarm goes off
  • Strangers who let me pet their dogs

Corey, Account Manager

  • Drinking iced coffee in the winter
  • Arriving at the station when a train is just pulling up, so I don't have to wait
  • When an employee at my local coffee shop or bakery (or anywhere else) gives me an extra stamp on my loyalty card
  • Redeeming my free coffee
  • Rainbow sprinkles and holiday sprinkles
  • Playing Balderdash with my family and friends after our massive Thanksgiving meal (and when it's not Thanksgiving, looking forward to playing Balderdash with my family and friends)
  • Happy hour ... especially when there are free drinks!

Stephany, Director of Financial Planning and Certified Financial Planner

  • A hot shower
  • Driving down the Pacific Coast Highway with the windows down--and Tom Petty blasting
  • dog in poolLazy Saturdays in bed with my dog and my husband
  • Sitting in my parents' backyard on a sunny day, and playing pool fetch with the pups
  • A hard hike
  • Re-doing my bookshelves--I always feel like our space is brand new when things get moved around

Liz, Executive Editor

  • happy dacshaundSaturday morning cuddle time with my mischievous Dachshunds
  • An invigorating run in the park
  • A spur-of-the-moment brunch with a friend--mimosas are requisite
  • A good memoir, ideally set in a foreign land that I've yet to visit
  • A middle-of-the-week date night with my husband

Danielle, Audience Development Manager

  • My dog's wagging tail when I get home from work
  • Spotting a blue jay in my backyard
  • Looking at old family photos
  • Pictures of my best friend's baby
  • Finishing a good book
  • Organizing my apartment

China, Executive Assistant and Office Manager

  • My daughter, Jordyn
  • Television shows from the 90s, like "Saved By the Bell"
  • Getting my hair styled at the salon
  • When I check my account and the balance is higher than I expected
  • Sephora (a.k.a. my homeland)

Samantha, Certified Financial Planner

  • altMy nieces--all five of them
  • Spending time with family in Mexico
  • Exercise
  • Knowing I have really made a difference in a client's life
  • Volunteering

Michelle, Account Manager

  • Working out
  • Hosting potluck dinners at my apartment
  • Accessories
  • Beach days
  • Bravo TV
  • Dark chocolate
  • A glass of good wine
  • Traveling to other parts of the world
  • Celebrating special occasions with friends
  • Holiday decorating

Alden, Assistant Editor and Social Media Coordinator

  • When the sky is such an intense blue that it makes your heart ache
  • Christmas twinkle lights, preferably with candy canes hung on them
  • My daily ritual of hot green tea after I get out of a steamy shower
  • Hearing the rain on the roof when I'm snuggled up with a book
  • When someone puts on "We Fell In Love (in a Hopeless Place)" and everyone starts dancing--and, by dancing, I mean jumping around like maniacs
  • The calm I feel when I remember I have an emergency fund and everything will be fine 
  • Writing in my gratitude journal
  • Discovering a new song and listening to it on repeat at least 15 times

Tiffany, Creative Director

  • happy catMy husband, Jon
  • Bean and Pico--the two cutest cats and best nappers ever
  • Weekend pedicures
  • Long dinners with good friends
  • Watching something come together after working really hard to make it happen

Sophia, Certified Financial Planner

  • Hot chocolate
  • Using a guest pass at my parents' gym (it makes me feel like I'm at the spa)
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Playing Words With Friends with my mom
  • Cross-stitching
  • Singing in harmony
  • Seeing live theater or musicals
  • Holding babies--and then giving them back
  • Getting a strike while bowling
  • Snuggling with my 18-year-old kitty (I don't know how much more snuggle time I'll get!)

Allison, Editor at Large

  • My favorite college sweatshirt
  • Reading a magazine on my fire escape
  • When a particularly nice shop clerk/waiter/anyone gives me something for free
  • Giving other people something for free
  • Hot toddies

Becky, Product Associate

  • altClean sheets
  • Molten chocolate lava cake
  • Phone calls with my sisters
  • Walks in the sunshine
  • Re-watching my favorite movies

Gabrielle, Assistant Managing Editor and Video Editor

  • red wineMy parents' dogs, Josie and Sadie
  • Watching House Hunters with my boyfriend
  • Reading "Game of Thrones"
  • A glass of red wine
  • Tracking my spending with the free LearnVest app
  • Finding shoes on sale
  • Black tights without holes in them
  • My super warm winter coat

Ellen, Certified Financial Planner

  • Watching college football with my husband
  • "Mad Men" and "Downton Abbey" marathons
  • The smell of a freshly-bathed Schnauzer
  • Flannel PJs
  • Getting a fire going in the fireplace when it's really cold
  • Sketching floor plans for the house I want to build someday
  • That first cup of coffee in the morning
  • A brand new package of my favorite gel-ink pens
  • Daydreaming out loud with my girlfriends about our next beach trip

Laura, Senior Editor

  • Cooking with my family and friends
  • Dancing
  • Fresh herbs
  • Internet memes
  • Skyping with faraway friends
  • Writing in my journal
  • Time in nature
  • A good night's sleep

Polly, Director of User Experience

  • puppies make me happySunshine
  • The smell of fresh laundry
  • Learning something new every day
  • Balloons
  • Dancing
  • Playing tennis
  • Colorful socks
  • Making a delicious meal with just the ingredients in my fridge and pantry (yes, I love "Chopped!")
  • Puppies (lots of them)


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