21 Things Anyone Can be Happy About (No-Brainer Gratitude)

Cover 21 Thing to Be Happy and Grateful

Gratitude is just choosing to be happy about things. Below is a small list of 21 things that anyone can be happy about.

Gratitude is good for you. It’s more healthy for your heart than Cheerios. It naturally provides you with the same hormone as Prozac. 1 Grateful people are happy people. Grateful people are healthy people. If you can’t think of anything to be grateful for, see if you agree with any on this list, and please add your things to be happy about and grateful for in the comments!

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1. Bees

You would be surprised at how much these little workers do for our world. Without bees, a third of the food that grows out of the earth would be gone in the world. There would be a significant decrease in flower growth because of lack of pollination, and we would actually have to manually pollinate the crops. Bees save us literally billions of working hours. Oh yeah and honey is pretty good too. 2

2. When a Baby Smiles at You

Babies Smiling - Returned Missionary

They didn’t have to. But they did. They looked right at you and whether or not you gave them a cheezy smile or not, they looked you in the eyes and held no judgments or prejudices and just smiled like you were the best thing that ever happened to them. Why did that baby get so happy? Because you were there. They are further proof that you make this world a better place.

3. The Earth’s Position

We all learned this in 2nd grade, but still, if we were any farther away from the sun, we would freeze and get plastered by asteroids like Jupiter does. And if we were any closer, we would burn up. But because we are in this perfect little sweet spot, we stay alive, we have water, we have enough heat (just don’t go to the North Pole or Antarctica, or Rexburg, ID) and our atmosphere keeps us breathing. Not to mention the tilt of the earth, that gives most places variety and changing seasons.

4. Elderly Wisdom

Gandalf Quote Great Power - Hobbit - The Returned Missionary


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5. The Printing Press and the Written Word


Printing Press
Photo credit – The Classical Values Blog

We should be grateful for this invention because it has probably done more to wipe ignorance in the world other than the internet. I love books. So much. I don’t know what my life would be like without books and the knowledge that has been shed forth for centuries since the invention of this puppy. Thank you Gutenberg, and thank you to all the innovators, influencers, leaders, educators, authors, scientists, mentors, and all people who have written and shared the knowledge they have gained for future generations to learn from. Knowledge recorded, is knowledge available for the progress of those who will come after us. This is definitely something to be happy about.

6. Electricity

Low Battery

Go plug in your phone because the battery is probably low. Probably the fastest way to wipe out the modern world is if electricity were gone. Seriously, if we were without electricity for even one week, there would be chaos. Think about it… No fridgeration of food, no internet, no security systems, no factories running, no functional grocery stores, no medical equipment, no internet, no cars, planes or any machines run by battery, no computers, no satellite imagery or weather prediction, no TV, no news, no homeland security or military or civilization as we know it. If mainstream standardized public electricity were wiped out completely from the earth, this world would be a very different place, really fast. I’m grateful for the sockets in my wall.

7. Chips and Salsa

Steve Jobs and Robert Noyce

Steve Jobs and Robert Noyce – Photo credit WSJ.

Yep. Chips and salsa are pretty awesome. But I’m not talking about Mexican side dishes. I’m talking about microchips and software. The term “chips and salsa” has been used as a slang for microchips and software, which both have come to us in the last 50 years. These technologies brought to us by giants such as Robert Noyce, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and others, have changed the world forever. Maybe we can have a healthy moral debate about this, but I believe the world is better because of the rapid acceleration of innovation in technology.


8. Mothers

Mothers - Returned Missionary


Everyone has one. No debate here. And without her, you wouldn’t be here. Mothers are amazing. They are the lifeblood of the goodness of this earth. They have more influence than any other force on this earth. Mothers are definitely something to be happy about.

9. Stunning Pictures

Beautiful sunset - Returned Missionary


LIghtning Strikes lake - returned missionary

We can enjoy pictures like this anytime we want to! There are thousands of pictures like this that we can enjoy and be happy about. Why did these pictures get taken and why did that perfect scene happen? For you to enjoy it and be happy.

10. Laughter and Smiling

Kermit Xray

Laughter is just plain good for you. If you haven’t smiled or laughed in a while, just smile for 60 seconds right now. Just stop and do it. There is no way you won’t feel happier by the end. It’s impossible.

11. Divine Providence

Divine Providence - The Returned Missionary

You are not alone. God is there. If you look for Him, you will find him. Just like Thomas Jefferson and the other signers of the Declaration of Independence, I believe in Divine Providence. And just like them, I believe that a firm reliance on Divine Providence can bring a multitude of blessings and an abundance of happiness.

12. Good People

If you haven’t seen this, you really should watch it. People are good. Billions of dollars worth of work are donated each year to help other people. Good Samaritans exist everywhere. More than we would think. People are good. That is something you can be happy about.

13. Beautiful Art

Nike of Samothrace - The Louvre - Returned Missionary Happy

I am a huge fan of art. One of my favorite moments in life was when I was in Paris. At the Louvre. And I walked in and saw, The Nike – The Goddess of Victory. It blew me away. I didn’t think it would, but there is something about art that can take you to different places. This one infused in me a million-mile-an-hour thought that went from this sculpture, to Greek mythology, to angels, to my potential to become a powerful and victorious god, to running races and winning races as a sprinter, to the invention of Nike shoes by Bill Bowerman and the legendary runner he coached (Steve Prefontaine), back to that room Paris where this amazing ancient masterpiece stands. Art can take you places. Masterful art is something to be happy about.

14. Learning

Einstein Quote - Snuffed Out Candle - returned missionary

Nothing has made me more happy than to know that I can learn forever. Truth seekers are happy. The truth will make us free. I have a theory that those who know how to learn and those who love learning will never not have something to be happy about. The more you learn, the wider our minds expand. The greater our understanding of this life and our existence the more at awe we become. Albert Einstein said it well:

“The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.”

15. Redshift

Redshift - Horsehead Nebula - Returned Missionary

Redshift is something that I am happy about. Do you like stars? I do. Do you like to sleep at night? I do. Do you love variety? I do. Well, if redshift didn’t happen, then we wouldn’t see stars at all. The night sky would just be one big jumble of white because all the light from all the infinite stars in all the universe would be seen at once. There are enough stars to fill the sky with light and there would be no darkness or space. We would just have a white night sky. Because of redshift, the light from all the stars gets to us at different times and we see all different shapes and constellations and variety and it is dark enough for us to sleep at night. Would Columbus have found the new world without the redshift? Would astronomy even exist?  Would we have cause to wonder? Redshift is definitely something to be happy about .

16. Physical Pain

Wakeboard wipeout - Returned Missionary

There are people who don’t feel physical pain. You would think that would be so nice to not ever get headaches or feel any sort of pain when we fall or skin our knee or have a big wipe out while wake boarding. It would be nice until you die because you didn’t know something was wrong. The people who don’t feel pain are always getting injured. They break there arms and legs and get cut and scratched and infected and they don’t even know. Though their life is painless, they also never learn and they are much more prone to deadly injury. I know it sounds weird, but physical pain is definitely something to be happy about.

17. Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

Riding an Elephant

This is my sister Mariah, riding an elephant.

Though it would be fun to have a good elephant ride once in a while (like my sister in this picture), I am SO glad I can hop in my car, have it start, and drive to California, or Idaho, or Colorado in just a few days! I have driven across the country multiple times and thought of people who took months to cross the plains in conditions that were too hot or too cold. I have also flown to Chile, Jerusalem, Paris, Egypt, Jordan, Rome and other places far far away, and I am so glad I didn’t have to take a slow boat that takes months to cross the ocean. I just hop in my throne in the sky and start reading a book while I enjoy a hot meal and adjust the climate to my own liking. What happened to handcarts and horses? Plains, trains and automobiles happened. And that makes me happy.

18. Your Agency

Happiness and Freedom - Free Agency - You are Free - returned missionary

You are free! You can choose. At all times. No matter what anyone takes away from you, no one can take away your ability to choose, not even God. You will always have that. If you are ever in a rut, just remember, that you are always free. Even in a country where the government doesn’t support thinking for yourself, you can still think for yourself. You can choose. If you are someone you don’t want to be today, change it up. Be someone different tomorrow. If you feel down or unhappy, change your thinking and choose happiness. If you are in a job you hate, find a better job! If the people you spend your time with drag you down, choose not to spend time with them. Read #6 in this post and remember that you can choose to be happy. You have agency. Nothing will change this and no one can limit your ability to choose but one person. YOU. Choose the ideal life for you. Make it happen.

19. That Rodents of Unusual Size Don’t Exist

ROUS's I don't think they exist

I’m so glad these don’t exist.

20. Good Friends

Good friends

Not just on facebook. You probably have good friends. If not, I’ll be your friend! Also read this talk. Friends make me happy. I have good friends and if everyone had friends like mine, it would be hard to be unhappy.  Good friends are something to be happy about.

21. That Death is not the End

WWII Veteran - Returned Missionary
My grandpa served as a turret gunner in WWII.

Me and Grandpa

There are some people that I love and miss. And as time goes on, there will be more. But it makes me happy that death is not the end. I mis my grandpa. He was a good man. There are billions of good people that people like me want to see again. And they can. Death is not the end. I know that. We can all be happy about that.


Please list other things in the comments we can be happy about!


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  1. Just google search “Robert Emmons Serotonin Gratitude” and you’ll find lots of great info.
  2. Google “TED talk bees disappearing”


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