Hoda and Savannah open up about staying positive and happy — even on the tough days

Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Craig Melvin, Carson Daly, Megyn Kelly and others share their advice for a happy life and how to deal with bad days.
by Gabrielle Frank / / Source: TODAY

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Not many people would love waking up before 4 a.m. every day, but for TODAY anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, it's a part of the job — and they always do it with a smile.

How did they get so darn happy? We asked them.

"I'm happy most days," Savannah said. "I try to count my blessings. I try to remember how lucky I am ... If I feel sad or if I have the blues, I think, 'OK, it's just one of those days,' but then I try to move past it. I don't think you should repress sad feelings in some pursuit to be happy all the time."

For Hoda Kotb, happiness starts with a daily practice.

"In the mornings, I try to do a little grateful journal. And I'll write three things I'm grateful for ... Once you have your cup of coffee and before you dive into your day, you feel like your good stuff's on the front row," Hoda said.

She ends her day the same way — though sometimes it's a challenge to find the time, she sticks with it.

"You have it make it part of your every day," Hoda noted.

How do you deal with bad days?

We all have crappy days, it's how you deal with them that determines your happiness. Here is some great advice from more members of the TODAY team.

"When I find myself unhappy, and those times aren't often ... It's because my balance is off. I'm spending too much time doing this, and not enough time doing this," TODAY's Craig Melvin explained. "If I can adjust the balance, I try to carve out some time to spend with my kids, or spend with my wife, but if I can't ... I think about the next trip we've got coming up, or something fun that's coming up."

"Happiness comes with having a great, tough sometimes, difficult day at the office. And then when I get home, to be able to turn it off," said Sunday TODAY anchor Willie Geist. "It's absolutely necessary to happiness ... It's being with my kids. And we'll watch 'Fixer Upper' on HGTV, or we'll watch the Yankee game ... You've gotta decompress."

Al Roker recommended looking for the little things that can make your day better: "A song you love, your dog sitting on your lap."

When Hoda is having a bad day, she tries to make someone else's day a little bit brighter, and that makes her feel better, too.

"Even on your lowest of low days, there are ways to find the strength and give back," Hoda said. "When I'm feeling crummy, the thing that always, always gets me out of my funk is when — and you don't even realize you're doing it — but when you help somebody else."

Hoda had two other suggestions as well: wine and a good playlist.

Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford
Hoda and Kathie Lee love their wine!Nathan Congleton

What is your best piece of advice?

Dylan Dreyer stressed it's important not to compare yourself to other people, even though social media makes it so easy.

"If you're looking at so-and-so on Instagram, and they go for a run every day. Well, that makes them happy. If you don't have time or if you're not really into running, don't force yourself to do it or feel guilty if you're not doing it," Dylan said. "I'm happiest when I'm doing my own thing."

Sheinelle Jones had an important reminder: Make time for yourself when you can.

"I'm a better mommy and I'm a better wife when I also take care of myself," Sheinelle said. "It's necessary ... I have to take care of myself. And I've found that makes me healthy, and that makes me happy."

Megyn Kelly noted the value of supportive friends and family: "Your friends and your loved ones help you grow," she said. "They help you grow out of the dirt."

Savannah's final words of advice were short and sweet.

"Keep your eyes on the things that really matter, the profound things: your spirit, your faith, your family," Savannah said. "That's it. That's happiness."

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