Summer is almost here, and for those of us living in places with long winters (looking at you, Boston), it’s a huge thing to celebrate. While there are some scientific reasons our moods lift in warmer weather, summer isn’t a magic fix. The good news here, though, is that longer, sunnier days lend themselves to activities that do increase our joy (it’s easier to spend time outdoors when it isn’t a frozen tundra, right?). Let’s take a look at some simple ways to be happier, according to science, and how to make them part of your summer.
13 Research-Backed Ways to be Happier All Summer Long
Below you’ll find 13 simple tips to be happy this summer, but that’s not all. The articles we link to also provide actionable and easy ways to make these strategies happen. So you not only know what to do but how to do it.
While spending time outdoors is a happiness strategy any time of the year, summer is when you can really reap the benefits. With so many ways to stay active and get out there, there’s really no excuse not to get your nature on. This article breaks down the science behind why being outside can make you happier and then offers some simple ways to build it into your every day.
We’ve waxed poetic about gratitude as a way to be happier for a long time now, and for good reason — it works. But the idea of feeling grateful can sometimes be a little overwhelming. How do you tap into the feeling of gratitude and really savor it? Luckily, this article tells you just that. When you’re done reading, you’ll know what gratitude feels like and how to cultivate those feelings whenever you want.
And what better season than summer to be grateful? Warm nights. Sun-soaked days. The sound of the waves. We’re feeling grateful already.
We’re not done with gratitude just yet. It’s one thing to feel gratitude in your body and mind and another thing entirely to express it. And expressing it is where the magic really happens. With easy ways to show gratitude to the things, people, and places you appreciate, this read will inspire you to take your gratitude practice one step further. And along with it? Your happiness.
Hands up if you want to slow down this summer. Us too. And while our schedules don’t always play nicely, we do think summer is the perfect time to reflect. Find yourself staring at a blank page? We’ve got you covered. With 13 journal prompts, many of which focus on gratitude, you’ll never be stuck without a topic again. And those gratitude prompts? Yeah, they’re also part of the happiness a gratitude practice can give. Happy writing.
With the natural mood lift that comes with warm weather, you might as well work on your mindset too. Truthfully, shifting into a more positive mindset takes a little bit of practice. This research-backed guide is your secret weapon for creating a sunnier outlook with your sunnier days. The best part? You can carry that positivity into any season.
We all feel a little lost sometimes, especially when the days are warm and the office is literally the last place we’d like to be. In moments like that, it helps to connect back to why you do what you do. Finding meaning in your work and in your life is a science-backed happiness booster all year long, but we think summer is the perfect time to tap into it. And this article will help you do it.
Want to be happier this summer and all year long? The first step is to figure out what actually makes you happy and when you’re more likely to be in that good mood. That’s where these happiness-tracking apps come in. With these tools, you can monitor your moods, get insight into what brings you the most joy, and start making room for more of it in your life. You might find yourself happier in summer already, which makes it a great season to start tracking. Once the days get longer, you’re armed with the info you need to keep your spirits high even when the temps get low.
Research shows that good social connections are the most important predictor of happiness. And summer brings about so many opportunities to strengthen them. Explore some easy and actionable ways to build your best relationships with partners, friends, and colleagues this summer to elevate your happiness.
Summer is the time to splurge on a relaxing holiday, and it turns out that spending money on things like vacations is a science-backed way to be happier. Don’t have time for a two-week long stint at a resort? No problem. Merely spending on activities, like seeing your favorite band, renting a boat for the afternoon, or buying a new bike, can add to your overall happiness.
This article has all the info you need on the connection between money and happiness and gives you some tips on spending to support your joy.
The warm weather might help you let go of the things and people that no longer serve you. Lean into that, and boost your joy, by forgiving this summer. Our guide on forgiveness tells you how letting go helps you and shares some ways to start forgiving.
There’s so much science to support the idea that giving to others makes us happier, so this summer, share some kindness with the world. Not sure where to start? We give you 11 ideas so all you have to do is choose one and get going. Bonus points if your kind acts include time in nature.
We already talked about the connection between social relationships and happiness, so you know it’s a thing. Aside from working to strengthen your relationships, a simple way to be happier this summer is to just be with the people you love. We break down the science of friendship in this article and give you some easy ideas for making time for your people.
Yeah, we know. It’s not the most exciting way to be happier, but it is an extremely effective one. And you have to admit that summer makes it way easier to get active. If you’re just getting started, check out our guide on making exercise a habit in your life. Then grab your sneakers and sunscreen and get out there. Your mood will thank you for it.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve casually mentioned the connection between warm weather and mood throughout this piece. Now it’s time to put our money where our mouth is. Or at least let someone else do it for us. This Huffington Post article breaks down the research behind mood and weather to give you a little more incentive to make summer your happiest season yet.
Your turn: Have you tried any of the above ways to be happier? Share your warm-weather happiness tips in the comments below.
Want more happiness? Try a short, guided meditation to bring a little calm into your day.