The Ultimate 30-Day Happiness Challenge that Really Works! + Free Printable

The 30-day happiness challenge is here and we’re sharing everything you need to become a happier person by the end of it. You’ll get a free printable with actionable steps to complete every day that are scientifically proven to make you a happier person.

One thing I’ve begun to value more as I get older is the ability to choose happiness. Now, we’ve all been through situations that make happiness feel almost impossible. For example, last year when my best friend of twenty years suddenly passed, it took me a while to feel truly happy again. Then again, a few months after when I lost my grandmother.

Which is actually when I started researching how to be a happier person. I was going through something deeply challenging at the time, and I wanted to feel better. And this isn’t a challenge to replace medical treatments or therapy, because I’ve done both and can attest to the power of modern medicine. However, these are simple techniques that are scientifically proven to make you feel happier.

While, naturally it’s impossible to feel happy all day, every day. But I honestly believe in the power to choose happiness, because it’s a choice we can all make. It’s normal to go through ups and downs each day, anyone of us with kids, relationships, or careers can all relate.

But after testing out every one of the 30 days personally, I can truthfully tell you I feel lighter, less stressed, and most of all happy.

It’s also important to note that while this is only a 30-day happiness challenge, I strongly encourage you to keep going. Challenge yourself to go beyond the 30 days and see how you feel as these challenges become routine.

What is the 30-Day Happiness Challenge?

The 30-day happiness is thirty simple tasks that promote happiness. Some have been scientifically proven and have had studies done to prove their effectiveness, and others we’ve personally tested.

But the best part about this challenge is you can get the entire family involved and encourage happiness in their lives as well.

The goal of this challenge is to teach you skills that will help you deal with life challenges and stressors. We hope you’ll be able to create a toolkit of skills that will arm you with everything you need to become a happier person.

Quick Tip

We all know life can get busy, so feel free to move the tasks around to suit your lifestyle better. For instance, if it’s raining on the day you are supposed to go for a nature walk, swap it for writing thank you notes instead.

Materials

  1. Download the 30-day calendar (you can access our January edition of Instagram)
  2. Walking shoes
  3. Workout clothes

Download the 30-day Happiness Challenge Printable

If you are ready to become a happier person, download the happiness challenge printable below, and let’s get started!

30-day Happiness Challenge Activities

As we said, feel free to swap out days to better suit your lifestyle. The main objective is to provide you with the tools you need to choose happiness. While it’s a process and one you’ll have to work at day after day. But these are the skills you need to become happier in your day to day.

Set your Intentions

Let’s kick off the 30-day happiness challenge with some intention setting. Grab a pen and paper and write down the following:

I want to become a happier person because (write your answer)

I will challenge myself to become happier by (committing to this 30-day challenge and one more way that is personal to you)

I know it won’t be easy but (who are you becoming happier for, this can be yourself or someone else).

The point of this exercise is to not only create intentions for this challenge but to understand your “why”. Why it is that you want to be happier, and reasonings may vary.

Make a Vision Board

Creating a vision board isn’t just for the start of a new year. A lot like setting intentions you are creating goals, getting motivated, and being creative. Which all contribute to being happy.

This is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn how to make a vision board.

Clean your inbox

If you are anything like me then you’re brain might not do well when there is a lot of clutter or distractions. One of the reasons for cleaning your inbox, and unsubscribing to emails that no longer serve you is to increase productivity. When you increase productivity and decrease unproductivity. This activity will help set the tone for the rest of the month. With a clean inbox, you’ll also be able to get our email reminding you to complete your tasks, and provide you with resources to help you finish the challenge.

Reconnect with someone

After several years of lockdowns, people have become increasingly lonely according to a Harvard study. Which is why social interaction is so important. So when we pick up the phone, send a text, email, or visit in person, it’s creating an authentic connection that is vital for a healthy nervous system and increasing the quality of life.

While connecting with an old friend is a good idea, only if that person is someone you want in your life. Obviously, we have boundaries and those should always be considered. But try reaching out to a family member you haven’t talked to in a while if not a friend. Letting someone know you are thinking about them will do wonders for your mental health and for theirs.

30-day happiness challenge

Stretch for 5 full minutes

We sometimes underestimate the benefits of stretching. Along with improving your posture, and stamina. Stretching also decreases injuries, and stress and can even relieve pain. We know the movement has mood-boosting benefits, and so does stretching. It’s a form of self-care, and that is the basis of becoming a happier person.

Declutter 10 items

Your environment has a big impact on your mood and mental health, which is why we share a lot of tips for helping you declutter your home. According to a study, decluttering your home can also help reduce stress, anxiety and increase productivity and even help energize you.

Here are a few of our favorite tips for decluttering your home:

11 Expert-Approved Ideas for Storing Toys in your Living Room

How to Get a Head Start on Decluttering your Closet

Do something you enjoy today

This is a freebie day. We wanted to give you the opportunity to do something you really enjoy. To help you figure out what that is if you are struggling with this.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

Is there something I remember loving when I was a kid?

What’s something that makes me happy?

When was the last time I was really happy? what was I doing?

Go to bed early

A lot of us (myself included) have trouble going to bed on time, let alone early. But I recently read an article by Sleepfoundation.org and they explained there are a few major benefits to having a bedtime routine. Like children who have solid bedtime routines, we can expect to feel less anxious and stressed. While increasing mental health, attention, and overall well-being.

Here are a few quick tips for going to bed early:

  • Turn off all devices 30 minutes before bed
  • Read a book
  • Avoid coffee four hours before bed
  • Invest in a sunrise clock to help with circadian rhythms.

Philips Wake-up Light

We love the Philips wake-up light, it wakes you up gently with increasing sounds and light.

Start Journaling

Journalling can have so many positive health benefits. So we want to challenge you to write within the first 5 minutes of waking.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Write your fears or reasons you’re currently feeling unhappy.
  • How are you feeling today?
  • What are you grateful for today
  • Who do you appreciate in your life

Go for a walk outside

A recent study shows (what we already assumed) that being in nature has therapeutic effects and mood-boosting effects.

Your challenge today is to spend at least 30 minutes outside. Maybe that means going for a walk around your neighborhood, or actually planning a hike. Whatever it is, the idea is to listen to the sounds around you, take deep breaths, and enjoy the moment.

Drink enough water

According to the U.S National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men are supposed to drink 15.5 cups of water. While women are recommended to drink 11.5 cups of water. We know that can be daunting, I’ve tried it and it’s taken me a few days to even come close.

Which is why we challenge you to drink “enough” water, which can vary from person to person. But the point is to increase the amount of water you are drinking now.

Clear phone screens and tidy apps

This challenge is another form of decluttering. Since most of our lives are connected to our phones and screens, we often forget to clear our phone screens and tidy up apps. That includes deleting the 50+ duplicate photos of yourself or the random photos of flowers on your last vacation (mom, I’m talking to you). When you have a clean, and clear start to your

Random act of kindness

Random acts of kindness can truly help make the world a better place. While you are making other people feel good, the return is so much greater.

Today, do a random act of kindness. It can be big or small, but here are a few quick and easy ideas.

  • Pay for the next person’s coffee
  • Pay for the groceries of someone you think could use it.
  • Donate use toys or clothes
  • Spend time with an elder
  • Compliment someone on their work

Send a thank you card

I loved this idea! It’s a lot like reconnecting with someone, but taking the time to write and send a thank you card is an act of kindness.

Give yourself a compliment

Today’s challenge is to give yourself a comment. Write it down on a sticky note, or on your phone and actually say it out loud. It might feel funny or strange to do, but giving a compliment to others also has the same effect as giving one to yourself.

Watch a funny movie

For the 30-day happiness challenge, we wanted to include watching a funny movie. There have been moments in my life when I was struggling with depression, and while this isn’t a cure I do remember laughing out loud watching movies. For a split second, I truly felt happier.

While there is no substitute for therapy and medication, I did want to encourage you to spend a bit of time watching a movie that you find funny. Laughing is good medicine and we’re here for it.

The second part of this is to enjoy your favorite funny movie without any distractions. The dishes can wait!

30 day happiness challenge printable

Delete social media

There are plenty of studies that have proven that increased social media usage has direct correlations with depression and anxiety.

We’ve tested this ourselves by deleting social media in increments. Now, I will say this might be harder for some, for others like my parents would find it easy. Since social media is my job it’s certainly a little trickier, but I have definitely noticed some benefits from deleting social media.

10-minute dance challenge

The term, “Dance like nobody’s watching” is our motto for this challenge. Dancing and allowing your body to feel free have proven to be incredibly good for your mental health. When you allow yourself to feel the music and move your body your brain releases dopamine, a happiness chemical in your brain.

Declutter one area of your home

We loved the idea of decluttering 10 things, like a closet, a drawer, or your workspace. Which is why we wanted to add decluttering an entire area of your home. What is the room you either spend the most time in? or what area of your home needs to be decluttered? We all have one in our home, and yesterday I spend the day decluttering our basement.

Try yoga/pilates

Yoga, Pilates, and low-impact workouts have been a great way for me to de-stress, and working at it every day has made me much happier. I feel good moving my body, and I’d love to encourage others to try one of these practices.

So today spend 10-15 minutes trying a new fitness app. Most have 7 days for free, but there are plenty of free resources on YouTube.

Here are a few of my favorite apps.

Melissa Wood Health (apple)

Barre Taja App (apple)

Spend time with an animal

Being around animals does wonder for our mental health, and we know animals decrease anxiety, PTSD, and feelings of loneliness. Which all equate to a much happier life.

Buy flowers

Sometimes life gets so busy, and as women or men, we often think about ourselves last.

Color a picture

Being creative is a great mood booster and perfect when we’re feeling stressed or anxious.

Download a meditation app

Meditation apps have become a personal favorite and I’ve noticed a world of benefits from using one regularly.

No complaining for 24 hours

This is my favorite challenge of all! No complaining for a full 24 hours. Studies show that complaining or being complained to can actually damage the brain! Which is why rewiring our brain to see the positive in any situation can be so beneficial.

Hug someone

Studies have shown there are many health benefits to hugging someone. But one that stuck out for me, other than the feeling of comfort, happiness, and well-being, was that it decreased illness.

Today we’d like you to hug someone. While that might be easy for some, like hugging your children or partner. It’s a little harder for others, and if that’s the case be bold. Hug a stranger who you think could use some cheering.

Buy a gift for someone

Similar to acts of kindness, giving a gift to someone else is a great way to not only promote social connection but the act produces endorphins. In turn, you are much happier and so is the person on the receiving end.

This doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend money, so why not get creative and make something? That way your creativity in making the gift is fostering the good feelings associated with happiness.

Try our favorite Holiday Bark recipe and give it as a gift (you can tailor it to any holiday or season)

Read one of our happiness books

We’ve put together a list of books that I personally read when I was researching each of these tasks.

Choose one or more books to read from the list below.

Take a nap

I personally know how hard it is to take a nap when you have kids, but regardless of your situation try to find time for even a 20-minute nap this weekend or when you have no obligations.

Make a homemade dinner

We get so used to eating out, and the convenience of it all. But it’s not easy to find good, high-quality meals that are made with whole food. Our bodies need food like

I really hope you learned some new skills and tools to use regularly in your life. Our hope is that you are a happier person after this 30-day happiness challenge. We’ll be sharing more updates about the challenge over on Instagram if you want to follow along.

What is Cottage Living?

Inspired by life in Cottage Country, where slowing down and living well is a lifestyle. You'll find everything you need to create a beautiful, intentional and well-rounded life regardless of where you live.

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