My Happy Box!

A few months ago, I wrote about my “happy box.” I got a lot of comments about it and so I wanted to go into some more detail here. Basically, I put things in my happy box that make me happy.  When I get depressed or down, I pull it out and leaf through it for inspiration and a lift.  In doing this, I’m also inspired by The Happiness Project and wanted to share something that contributes to my happiness. I hope that I inspire you to find some of your own happiness. Feel free to borrow my idea – but remember that what makes me happy is going to be different than what makes you happy.

First, you’ll need a box. I used an old photo box until it was too small. This is what I’ve been using for the past few months:

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I have a variety of “stuff” in my happy box. Since I’m a knitter, I have a swatch and photo of my first sweater…

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I also thought it was important to put my favorite book in my happy box….

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It’s by Eva Ibbotson. True, it’s sappy. But it makes me happy, and that’s the point of my happy box. I also have some more sentimental stuff in there – like letters and notes from my parents and family (that say more than just “we miss you.” – things like “we’re proud of you…”)….

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I also have notes and cards from my residents from when I was an RA. I have a few from my current RAs that I supervise – and after they get taken off my refridgerator, I’ll put them in this box too….

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I also have a note of encouragement from my grandpa (who is no longer with us)… I’d forgotten I had this and when I found it last spring, I cried as I read it….
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Of course, I also have plenty of photos – of family, my awesome summer working at the yarn store (click the photo to see tags of who is who and stories behind them….)

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And finally… I like to have things that make me laugh. Like this article for example…

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It’s an article about a bunch of old women who tried to register for the army and staged a protest when the army wouldn’t accept them. It’s full of humor, wisdom and the best things in life. It makes me smile.

That’s a collection of some of the stuff in my happy box. What would you have in your happy box?

26 Responses to “My Happy Box!”


  1. 1 weezalana September 24, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    What a great idea! I’ll definitely have to borrow that. I’m sure it’ll work much better than my current doldrum lifter (sticking my face in a giant bowl of popcorn).

  2. 2 macati September 25, 2007 at 4:40 am

    since I’m new to your blog it’s the first time I’m reading about your happy box… here it goes: some pictures, of course, movie tickets of some loved films or loved company in the cinema, some little stones I picked while I made some special walks, some candies (to put a sweet taste while seeing all those things)…🙂

  3. 3 Debbie September 25, 2007 at 7:22 am

    that is a brilliant idea!

  4. 4 Kim U September 25, 2007 at 10:43 am

    That’s a great idea! I have all these happy bits scattered around (that I’m sure I’ll lose if I don’t organize them, and I forget they’re around sometimes). Let’s see… I’d put in some wine corks from various special events, pictures of family and friends, various movie versions of Pride & Prejudice, a couple of notes I’ve gotten from my Dad over the years, a drawing or two from my niece, etc.

  5. 5 Gretchen Rubin September 25, 2007 at 10:57 am

    I have a happiness box, too! It’s a wonderful thing to have, especially when the blues strike. My happiness box always leads me into a chain of happy memories that boost my mood. Plus it’s a fun, creative exercise to figure out what belongs in there.

  6. 6 Carol September 25, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    That’s a neat idea. Not sure what would go in mine. A book for sure. The problem would be selecting just ONE! One of my swatches probably. And something that I like to touch. Things that are soft and fuzzy make me happy.

  7. 7 Liz Kalloch September 27, 2007 at 11:09 am

    great idea! hmmm i will have to think on what I would put is my happiness box, first I need to find a box I love… maybe my first lace swatch

  8. 8 Kelly September 29, 2007 at 6:25 pm

    Nicole,

    I love that I stumbled across your updated blog today. As a college professor, I knew that you life must be busy right now – I know that mine has been insane.

    A dear friend and mentor of mine passed away this past year and I often think of her when in the classroom hearing myself say the things she taught me and sitting in my office after a class that did not work. She taught me to keep a “Sunshine Folder” close at hand at home and on campus, anywhere I deal with teaching, grading essays, planning, etc. In this folder I place comments from students that show me that I am doing what I was called to do, pieces of student writing that shows that students are as awsome and smart as I think they are, and other things that make me feel good as a teacher. This is a very good thing. This sets things right again.

    I like the idea of your box; it is perfect for your dorm life at school. What I have done, since those days of college, is treat my home like a happy box. Everywhere I look in my home are those things, pictures, words, etc., that make me happy. There is a small wooden box by my bed that holds those near and dear personal things that are for my eyes only and a special place on my home office bulletin board where I keep the hundreds of love post-its my husband has left for me even before we were an “item”.

    Thank you for sharing! ~Kelly

  9. 9 angel July 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    i know another happy box u put stuff like marbles so when people say you lost your marbles you can show them your marbles.You put other stuff like that in it.I just thoought I should tell you

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  25. 25 Rebecca Kelsey Sampson January 13, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    I LOVE that you have in there the article about women protesting about not being able to defend the company, that really makes me smile. It’s such a unique thing to have in there. I’d probably add in a blog post from the Blogess, she is so hilarious. Some other ideas on happy boxes you might like: https://omghow.com/articles/create-a-happy-box

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