Sorry for being so bleak

I realize as winter inched closer and closer and my mental state declined, my posts on here became a bit bleak. Not unlike the weather outside! (Badum bum!) While I detest, on some level, that persistent message you read on many websites and in many news articles to “be positive”, as if it’s proper to force oneself to feel a certain way (it’s not), I do believe it’s good to regularly check in with yourself and remind yourself of what joy means to you. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget when you’re in the midst of emotional turmoil and it’s nice to have a list to refer back to. This list is not all inclusive and each person’s List O’ Joy will look different, just like everybody’s recipe for a good cookie. My list is below and I’d love to hear what others find joyful in the bleakest of seasons.


  1. Pugs
  2. Hikes through any terrain
  3. A good rainstorm
  4. A hot bath
  5. A mug of tea
  6. Writing a poem
  7. Rabbits
  8. Riding horses
  9. Smelling essential oils
  10. Weighted blankets
  11. Making a new recipe and hoping it will turn out, but not knowing what the ultimate outcome will be
  12. Treating oneself to a delicious latte at the coffeeshop
  13. Large, warm blankets. Of the fuzzy variety.
  14. Looking at pictures of faraway places
  15. Catching up with a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
  16. Cleaning up clutter (this may be more of a manifestation of OCD tendencies than actual joy. I’m still undecided.)
  17. Watching a subtitled movie
  18. Seeing my plants grow or blossom
  19. Grocery shopping. I love looking through the aisles and finding unusual items
  20. Cultivating the perfect playlist for a certain mood
  21. Making my own, whether that’s candles, soap, or bath salts.
  22. Long walks through the neighborhood
  23. A firm hug from somebody I’m comfortable with
  24. Quirky paintings
  25. Taking pictures of slugs and snails
  26. A good HIIT workout
  27. Doing yin yoga
  28. Deep conversations
  29. Long road trips across the country
  30. Arriving in a hotel after a long day of driving
  31. Reading and dreaming about burlesque
  32. Taking the longest, hottest shower
  33. Watching nature documentaries
  34. Looking at pictures of wounds/dressing wounds
  35. Listening to true crime podcasts
  36. Listening to storytelling podcasts
  37. Trying new restaurants
  38. Exploring the city I live in
  39. Daydreaming about moving somewhere else
  40. A nourishing bowl of oatmeal or cream of rice
  41. Dancing
  42. Epiphanies
  43. Popping pimples
  44. Animals, animals, animals
  45. The mountains of North Carolina
  46. Smells that you cannot adequately describe, just feel
  47. Genuine connection with another human being, that feeling of being on the same page
  48. Autumn
  49. Being on a continuous quest to find the best horror movies
  50. Happy tears

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