3 Things You Should Do to Avoid Dreading Sunday Evenings

womanreadingDo you dread Sunday evenings? You’re not alone. Even if you absolutely love your job thinking about Monday and jumping back into the hectic weekly routine is stressful. It sucks actually.

Then there’s the dread of the Sunday evening dread. Yes, there is absolutely such a thing, I’ve become absolutely expert at it. Essentially it’s starting “Sunday evening dread” sooner – like Sunday morning. Since I knew it was coming, I started to feel it even earlier. Which often meant that the entire Sunday was shot.

That’s a terrible way to feel and a really good way to miss out on enjoying your weekends. So here are 3 things you should do to avoid dreading Sunday evenings and dare I say, even enjoy them?

1. End your Sunday with something you enjoy.

My Sunday late afternoons and evenings used to consist of cooking for the week, organizing for the week, and catching up on work before Monday. Ending my Sunday by writing work emails or spending three hours in the kitchen was the least-relaxing thing I could do. So I changed things around — moved catching up on emails and cooking to earlier in the day and announced to my family that Sunday evenings will be fun family dinner evenings. We either grab dinner with friends or do something fun at home, but either way, it’s a special little tradition we can look forward to.

Do this: Take out your calendar (digital or physical), and schedule something for Sunday evenings that you can really look forward to. Maybe you want to watch a favorite show, hang out with your friends or family, take a yoga class, go for a walk — whatever you truly enjoy. Many studies have shown that when we have something positive to anticipate, we feel better and more optimistic. Use this research to re-structure your Sunday evening to end it with something you can look forward to.

2. If you have to work on Sunday evenings, make it your favorite work.

None of us live in a perfect world and sometimes you’ll have to spend your Sunday evening catching up on work — I often do. Whatever job you have there are probably parts you like more and those you like less. On Sunday evenings, can you focus on some of your favorites?

I am writing this article on a Sunday evening. I love to write and it’s something I don’t get to do as often as I’d like to. So of all the different types of tasks that are part of this CEO gig, writing is actually quite fun and relaxing — perfect for a Sunday evening.

3. Treat yourself to something tiny every Sunday night.

The worst thing you can do is end Sunday in a stressed-out mindset, not get some good sleep, and start Monday with a serious case of the Mondays. Make a plan to treat yourself to something nice on Sunday night to catch your breath, feel good, and go to bed feeling that way.

Light a candle you like and just sit and breath for a while. Read in your favorite chair. Make a cup of your favorite tea (decaf preferably) and savor it for a few minutes. Listen to a few songs that make you smile. Do some yoga or meditate for a few minutes – whatever that means to you, including just being still, with your eyes closed, or going for a short meditative walk (my favorite way to meditate and to be honest, the only way I am able to do it.

Don’t steal your Sunday evening by dreading the end of the weekend — invest some energy into making it something you can look forward to, and dare I say, enjoy?



10 Really Simple Ways to Make 2015 Amazing Without Making a Single Resolution

I’ve always really loved New Year’s.

In Russia it’s a big family holiday that we used to celebrate with a huge, long, multi-course, late-into-the-night family meal, a New Year’s tree, presents, and even a visit from Ded Moroz. It wasn’t a religious holiday but the New Year’s tree was very similar to a Christmas tree and Ded Moroz was very similar to Santa Claus, although to get your presents you had to sing or dance or recite a poem. (My dad often made some extra money by working as Ded Moroz for a few families:). We still celebrate this way in America and I love it.

The other thing I love about New Year’s is a chance to think about the year ahead and some things I’d like to experience. Kiddo and I got into the habit of making an annual vision board about some of the things we want to do in the new year and it’s one of our favorite things to do.

What I have stopped doing a long time ago is making New Year’s resolutions. We all work really really hard, we run around our lives at increasingly fast pace, and our to-do lists seem to only be growing — at least that’s what I am finding. It’s awesome to aspire to certain goals but making resolutions seems like yet another way to add to that daunting to-do list and put more pressure on ourselves.

Science teaches us that it’s the small things and everyday habits that have the greatest impact on how we feel, not the big accomplishments on which most of our New Year’s resolutions tend to focus. With that in mind, here are 10 Really Simple Ways to Make 2015 Amazing Without Making a Single Resolution:


  1. Savor something small every day.  Enjoy your morning coffee without multitasking by checking your email or cleaning up the kitchen. Take a minute vacation during the day to eat a piece of chocolate and actually taste it. Savoring small everyday experiences makes us a lot happier than enjoying big life stuff, like promotions or vacations.
  2. Make tiny bits of progress. Forget big goals for a moment. Instead, if there is something you want to achieve, commit to making a tiny bit of progress every day. Research shows this is the best way to actually achieve your goals. I love this post by Leo Babauta of the awesome Zen Habits blog about how to create a flossing habit by flossing just one tooth.
  3. Be a little kinder to yourself. Most of us are our own toughest critics. “I suck because I can’t do that yoga pose the woman on the mat next to me is doing,” “I have no self-control so I eat too many sweets,” “If I were smarter I would get that job I want.” Would you talk like this to your friend? No. Try treating yourself with the same kindness and compassion you give to those you love.
  4. Give yourself permission to have a bad day. I’m an optimizer so when something is going wrong my instinct is to try and make it better. But sometimes stuff just goes wrong, you have a bad day, you’re feeling rotten, stuff isn’t going your way. Let it happen. Give yourself permission to have a bad day, not get a lot accomplished, not make it better right away, and well, if the best thing you do that day is have it end and go to bed, awesome.
  5. Make someone feel good once a day. If this sounds daunting and not something that fits into the “simple” list, it shouldn’t. Hug your kids or significant others just a bit tighter in the morning. Say thank you to the barista who made your coffee and smile. Text a friend and tell them they are awesome. Give your colleague a genuine compliment. Making someone feel good takes a tiny bit of effort and is one of the easiest ways to add joy to your life.
  6. Do less. That big home project you’ve been putting off that’s weighing on you? Consider just not doing it. A woman I met recently told me she had been planning to re-upholster a few chairs and had them in her basement for years. One day she realized she would never actually get to it so she called a junk removal company that came and picked them. “I felt so relieved and happy,” she told me. Want to have friends over but don’t feel like cooking? Don’t; get takeout or ask everyone to bring something. Doing less doesn’t make you lazy, it makes you a better caretaker of you.
  7. Move a little slower. I feel like we’re all hurrying through our lives instead of living them — maybe you do as well. Find time every day or at least once a week when you move slower. For me this is Saturday mornings: Instead of my usual early morning walk followed by crazy-paced getting ready routine, I wake up later, take a slower later walk, and then actually sit down for breakfast with my family without also checking email at the same time.
  8. Try new things in small doses. If you want to learn a new language or how to cook Italian food, cool. But trying a new recipe or taking a different way on your run or walk are awesome small ways to add new experiences to your life. Not only does it make life more fun, but research shows that it also helps time slow down.
  9. Don’t text and walk. I think texting has become such a core part of our lives that this deserves it’s own spot on the list. (AKA I have a problem with this and I’m going to try to do a lot less of it.) You know that texting and driving is dangerous, but did you know that texting and walking is more so? Nick Bilton made not texting and walking his New Year’s resolution and wrote about it in The New York Times; I was inspired to add it to this list.
  10. Keep a what “I’ve done list”. Instead of always focusing on what you have to do, appreciate what you have done. You can do this daily when you write your to-do list — it’s one of my favorite productivity hacks — or keep a separate list. Kiddo and I recently started a little learning jar, where we put in notes about things we’ve each learned this year. Whatever format you choose, give yourself some credit and pause to appreciate what you’ve done, learned, experienced as you go through the year.

Happy New Year and here’s to an awesome 2015!

Camera. Action. Happier!

We’re a small team here and you’ll usually catch us in our Happier HQ office, cranking away. But today we took a break for Formal Monday and an awesome team holiday lunch. Here’s Happier Holidays to you from us — and a huge thank you for being part of our lives.

IMG_9607(Missing but here in spirit are Erin, our Creative Director, and Mir, our Copywriter – we ate some extra truffle fries for you guys!)


Here’s a confession: I used to think gratitude was really cheesy

This might sound really strange coming from someone who founded a company to help people make gratitude part of their daily life, but I used to think it was a really cheesy concept. It ended up changing my life in ways I’d never expected and in this season of giving thanks, I shared my story over at Time.com.

If you have a few minutes, I hope you head over and read it. And whether you’re a gratitude skeptic — like I used to be — or someone who is more intentional about it, I hope it inspires you to express it in new ways.

noteBecause the most awesome thing about gratitude is just how contagious it is. Every morning since she started kindergarten I’ve been putting a little note in my daughter’s lunchbox. I decorate it with a sticker and tell her something I am proud of her for or just say thank you for something she has done. The past few weeks I’ve been finding a similar note from her taped to my laptop, like this one this morning. I don’t know what makes me happier — writing her the notes or getting hers — but it’s a great reminder that gratitude is easy to pass on.

What chance will you take today?

This morning I was lucky enough to give a talk as part of Creative Mornings, right here in Boston. Creative Mornings is a lecture series for the creative community and I had a chance to talk to a few hundred of them bright at the coolest venue I’ve ever spoken in — a climbing gym.

IMG_9334The topic of my talk was chance: the chances I’ve taken that got me where I am, the chances I missed, the chances I gave to others as part of my journey.

One of the things I talked about was this idea that with every chance you take you increase the surface area for luck to hit. I think of luck as timing — timing of meeting the right person, the right trend, the right dynamic, being in the right place, at the right time. The more chances you take the more opportunities you create for luck to intersect with you.

The more people you connect with, the more likely you are to meet someone who can lead you to your next opportunity or help you make another connection that you need. The more new things you try the more likely you are to find something that makes your life more awesome. There are no guarantees but I guarantee that nothing awesome will happen if you don’t take a chance.

So my Friday challenge to you is to take one chance today.

Do something you’ve been putting off. Do something you’re nervous to do. Do something you’ve not done before. It doesn’t have to be huge or epic, but you do have to do it. (I’d love to know what chance you are taking – please share in the comments!)

Oh, and if you need a little something extra, here’s some musical inspiration.

Grateful kids = happier kids


According to new research, kids and teens experience the same benefits of expressing gratitude as adults do.

Kids who feel and act grateful tend to be less materialistic, get better grades, set higher goals, complain of fewer headaches and stomach aches and feel more satisfied with their friends, families and schools than those who don’t.

In one study mentioned in the article, 6th- and 7th-graders were divided into three groups. One group recorded five things each week they appreciated, the second group recorded five things that annoyed them, and the third wrote down five events that occurred. Kids in the gratitude group reported higher satisfaction with school and more optimism.


Happier Challenge: Blast Holiday Stress With Gratitude!

I’ll start with a confession:

When I think about the upcoming holiday season, the first thing I feel is my entire body tightening up and all the stress hormones starting to act up. Traffic! Decisions about where to go and what family to try not to offend! Family reactions to us making the wrong choice! Traffic! Eating too much food and then regretting it! Traffic! Gifts, gifts, must find the right gifts, no time for shopping, this shouldn’t be so important, stuff doesn’t make you happy but still need gifts! Traffic!

You get the point. My bet is that most of us feel some – a lot? – degree of stress about the holidays. There is also this nagging pressure to be REALLY HAPPY ALL THE TIME BECAUSE, HOLIDAYS! And if you don’t, then you feel guilty for not feeling happy, which makes you less happy, and more guilty. Believe me, speaking from serious experience here.

There’s no way to completely eliminate holiday stress but there are things you can do to not let it fully eat you up. To help you, we’ve come up with our Blast Your Holiday Stress With Gratitude Challenge:

For the next 10 days until Thanksgiving, find something to be grateful for every single day. Share your moments of gratitude in the Happier app and add them to our “gratitude challenge” collection. At the end of the challenge we will put them all together and show the world what gratitude looks like. In your words, in your photos, in your small moments of gratitude.

It’s easy to find thingnatalymoments to be grateful for when you feel good and everything is going well. It’s a lot harder to do when you’re down or stressed or your life is throwing you for a loop. But that’s also when you need to do it the most because gratitude is incredibly powerful. It doesn’t solve all of your problems and it’s not a miracle cure. But making gratitude a regular part of your life helps you build resilience and you need resilience when times are tough. Evolution has trained our brains to look for the negative to protect ourselves; practicing gratitude helps you train your brain to look for the positive. The more experience and people and moments you appreciate, the more you start to look for things to appreciate — and that’s a pretty awesome virtuous cycle. Always, but particularly during the stressful holiday time.

So are you in? We’d love for you to join us for the Blast Holiday Stress With Gratitude Challenge!