Through life's ups and downs, you may find yourself in need of a pick-me-up. Like a warm cup of coffee, a hug from a loved one or an evening full of self-care rituals, the right quote can add a much-needed pep to your step.
Managing stress, finding work-life balance and reciting positive affirmations can help clear life’s clouds to make way for the sunshine. Though you may feel hard-wired to be more pessimistic than optimistic, it’s possible to adjust your mindset with regular practice. It's worth the effort: A 2019 study linked an optimistic outlook on life to "exceptional longevity."
When you're feeling low, browse through these happy quotes to remind yourself to stay on the bright side. Jot down your favorites on sticky note or save them in your phone, so you can have them handy at all times. That way, if your friends or family members are dealing with a string of bad days, you can send them one of these feel-good quotes to put a smile on their face.
Already feeling bright and cheery? Then these messages from authors, revolutionaries and other history-makers are a great way to put your feelings into words.
- "Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." ― Dalai Lama
- "You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind." — Joyce Meyer
- "True happiness... is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose." ― Helen Keller
- "Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more." ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
- "The only thing that will make you happy is being happy with who you are, and not who people think you are." — Goldie Hawn
- "Don’t ruin a good today by thinking about a bad yesterday. Let it go." ― Hoda Kotb, "I Really Needed This Today: Words to Live By"
- "Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you’ll start to see a big difference in your life." — Yoko Ono
- "A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness." — Bernard de Fontenelle
- "It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness." — Charles Spurgeon
- "The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things." — Epictetus
- "Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort." — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- "If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you." — Lao Tzu
- "It's the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness." — Richard Branson
- "Happiness radiates like the fragrance from a flower and draws all good things towards you." — Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
- "Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands." — Roy T. Bennet, "The Light in the Heart"
- "Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud." — Maya Angelou
- "Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy." ― Roy T. Bennett
- "Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." ― Robert Breault
- "When unhappy, one doubts everything; when happy, one doubts nothing."― Joseph Roux
- "Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you." — Mary Lou Retton
- "For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."― Ralph Waldo Emerson
- "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."― Mahatma Gandhi
- "No medicine cures what happiness cannot."― Gabriel García Márquez
- "I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery — air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.'" ― Sylvia Plath, "The Bell Jar"
- "You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes." ― Lauren Oliver, "Delirium"
- "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier." ― Mother Teresa
- "I’d far rather be happy than right any day." — Douglas Adams, "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy"
- "I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I’m making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises." — Elizabeth Gilbert, "Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia"
- "One reason that cats are happier than people is that they have no newspapers." — Gwendolyn Brooks
- "I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness." ― Drew Barrymore
- "Happiness is not a goal...it’s a by-product of a life well lived." ― Eleanor Roosevelt
- "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." ― Dalai Lama
- "We should always make time for the things we like. If we don’t, we might forget how to be happy." ― T.J. Klune, "The House in the Cerulean Sea"
- "The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us." — Ashley Montagu
- "Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them." ― Steve Maraboli