What is happy?

Happiness is a choice. You can actually choose to be happy or not.

Things can make you unhappy for a time, but in the end we have the choice to do something which makes us happy.

Whatever you may be going through and however hard and challenging it seems to pursue happiness, you can have happiness if you want it. You can find it.


We asked The Group Hug readers.

We asked people what made them happy and we had a whole host of replies. Happiness is a choice. Even through the darkest moments we can choose to be happy or not, we can decide to walk another path and find happiness. Maybe we have to prioritise ourselves to be happy and be a little selfish? If we are always worried about what other people think and how our actions affect their happiness, how can we be truly happy?

I knew that I shouldn’t have married my husband just two years after the wedding. Maybe, deep down, I even knew before but I didn’t want to upset him. I chose to stay with him for many years because I didn’t want to embarrass my family or get into any kind of trouble with anyone for getting a divorce just two years into the marriage. I was weak and I chose other people’s happiness over my own.

Now, I prioritise my own feelings much more. I then went onto have three children with this man, who I knew, deep down, wasn’t quite right. He had no friends and lived on the back of my social skills. He didn’t work and was wholly supported financially by his family. I’m afraid I had no respect for him living like this and making me live like that too. I knew I had to get out but it took me a bloody long time to do it! I don’t regret it as now I think I had to have this journey to find myself and my true happiness”.

Did people change their lives to become happy?

When I met him he had a career which he promptly gave up two years after we got married. He was nothing like me. My ambition and drive was pushed down”.

“I was very unhappy and I lived like this for 16 years. Not only was I just a shell, but I was no longer the real me. One day I decided to be brave and I left the marriage. Believe me, it was hell for a while as my ex did everything possible to try and make me unhappy for life. He made it his mission to ruin me, but I fought a long battle and won.

He kept taking me to court thinking that I was after his money, when in fact at the First FDR I said that I only wanted £40k and I would walk away. Maybe this will sound stupid to some, but I seriously didn’t want his money. I didn’t want people to ever say “Oh – she only has that car because she got a pay-out from her divorce”. Everything I have from the divorce onwards is my own doing and that makes me have a huge grin!”

He went onto spend £150k on legal fees only for the outcome to be what I had originally wanted 18 months before. I walked away smiling with the £40k. How stupid of him”

I am deliriously happy now. What makes me happy? The first thing is that I make myself happy. I am with the most amazing man who is hard-working and has a career. Seeing him working makes me happy and helps me to work. The good vibes rub off on each other. I have work coming out of my ears at the moment! Earning my own money makes me smile every day. I am no longer reliant on a third party to live my live. In my marriage I relied on my ex and he relied on his family. That was awful!

Are we responsible for our own happiness?

Now this is going to sound odd, but arguing makes me happy. My partner and I have a great relationship where we have healthy arguments and debates (I couldn’t argue in my marriage as he had to be right). My children get on really well with him and I love the fact that he helps me to teach them good manners (my ex couldn’t be bothered with discipline – he was too lazy to work and too lazy to rear children).

When they say please and thank you… well that makes me smile inside. I also feel warm and cosy when my partner stands up for me as I didn’t have that in my marriage either. My son was really rude to me a few weeks ago and my partner told him to go to his room. My ex would never have done that. He probably liked the fact that my son was being horrid to me and he definitely couldn’t be bothered to discipline him”

Seeing my Partner content and busy doing things around the house and garden makes me happy as I can see that this is a man with some get up and go! Just like me. I have so much energy being around someone who is my equal and who likes the same kind of life”

I absolutely love open-fires, country walks, rainy days and looking at the birds going about their business in our garden. I’m happy because I made my happiness happen and it was worth going through the hell to get to where I am today. I am also happy that I could walk away from this relationship if I wanted and be happy on my own. I don’t need my partner to make me feel happy. There are other avenues of happiness available to me.

Seeing positive things can make us happy

My dog well I don’t have one at this minute but will have another. Loyal and always pleased to see you. Watching their tails wag for the sheer joy of being outside is so very uplifting simple pleasure in life put.

FM – Reading

I’m hoping that sharing will be healing  

happy balloons make happy people

Music! My dog’s! I’d say the kids but they both just hit puberty and it’s hit and miss if I like them”

GST – Reading

A good playlist and a mug of hot tea … oh.. and flowers”


Seeing the sunrise, to enjoy the simple things, equally a simple peaceful life”.


Sitting by the water listening to the waves with the wind and sun on my skin”.


Be your own best friend  

What are others saying?

A great song, dancing, giggles with girlfriends (rarely get the chance though), fresh flowers and the beautiful countryside around me. GD – Kent   My young kitty, my garden, dancing, music, living by the sea and countryside”


I love my boys more than life itself, but fuck it I am 54, I want to live life, have fun. I love my horse to the moon and back and am grateful I am still riding!”

A trip to the cinema, music & fresh flowers”.


More from our readers…….

The Group Hug makes me happy. I love all the stories and many of them make me think that my life hasn’t be that bad! I love the fact that everyone seems to find their happy place in the end”

GH – New York

Being free of my exes control makes me happy. I am happy that I can now be a role model to my children and teach them what life’s all about without him sitting on my shoulder. I am happy to have a voice and an opinion again”.

AM – Surrey

Working makes me happy and I am a nurse and I really love my job. There are good and bad days but I know that I am doing my best to make people feel better or at least more comfortable”.

Becky – Edinburgh

Seeing that my children are ok even though I went through a horrendous divorce with their Father, who didn’t do the right thing. That makes me happy. I am happy that they now realise that what he did to us wasn’t right. I know that they will not behave like that with their own children and wife/husband”.

ML – Bucks

Summer evenings in the garden with candles and a nice glass of red make me happy. Just looking at the stars and thinking that my husband is out there somewhere and remembering what a fabulous life we had together before he was sadly taken from me”.

JM – Manchester

What can you do if you are not happy?

Take time out whenever you can to think about your happiness and how you can improve it.  

If you are feeling really low, there are many people who can help you, so visit The Hug Directory or consider therapy of some kind. Spending an hour a week consciously looking at your life and thinking about your future happiness can really improve your positive thinking.  

Do speak to your GP if you have long periods of time where you are feeling low.  

Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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Written by The Group Hug


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