Happiness experts say that simulating a smile, even if it’s not sincere, triggers your brain to lift your mood. Try it:

Music Beats
the Blues

What kind of music makes you happy? Any kind, say Penn State researchers. Study subjects felt better after listening to whatever music they liked best—from Jason Mraz to Bruno Mars to Yo Yo Ma to Mozart.



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Instant happy.

Spend just a teensy bit on something that makes you smile. Studies show that little treats are proven pick-me-ups. Call me old-fashioned, but I love a new pen. Something flashy. Or maybe one with a cartridge and a shiny silver nib.



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Cheap Cheer

Flowers really do cheer you up. Especially in the throes of winter. Go buy some tulips. For yourself. And if you’re really flush buy them for someone else too. Now. Cheaper than pharmaceuticals.



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Got the tight budget blues?

Spend just a teensy bit on a trinket for a hit of happy. Studies show that little treats are proven pick-me-ups. I just bought Falsies. Not THOSE. The mascara by Maybelline. Or, I occasionally succumb to a magazine or a wild pair of socks.



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From Dismay to Dessert

Join us for tips from Heartbreak Recovery Kitchen—and happiness-inducing desserts. Thursday, Nov. 4, 6 p.m., Illahee Hills, 8308 Colby Pkwy, Urbandale, Iowa. We share advice on going from sad (or mad) to glad simply by stepping into the kitchen. It’s all about mending and moving on with good food and good friends. Cookbook signing too.



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Better than Valium?

Listening to 30 minutes of classical music has the same stress-soothing benefits as taking 10 mg. of Valium, according to research.



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Cheesy Does It

Happiness experts say that simulating a smile, even if it’s not sincere, triggers your brain to lift your mood. Try it:

  • Repeat the word “cheese” over and over again.
  • Put a fat pretzel stick lengthwise between your upper and lower teeth.
  • Look in the mirror as you practice your cheesy grins.


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Best music to lift your mood?

Any kind, say Penn State researchers. From Lady Gaga to Lady Antebellum or from Michael Buble to Michael Jackson, study subjects felt better after listening to whatever music they liked best.



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Peeling Ginger

Did you know the easiest way to peel fresh ginger is to use a spoon from your kitchen drawer and just scrape off the skin?



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