How to be Happy Again: 7 key points that can lead to rediscovering joy in your life

how to be happy again

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Are you feeling lost in the shuffle of life’s challenges? You’re not alone. At some point, everyone struggles with feelings of unhappiness. What if I told you that rediscovering joy is within your reach? 

This blog post is a guide designed to help you understand the roots of your unhappiness and take actionable steps toward happiness. We will explore the 6 key points to explore when you desire more joy, positivity, and happiness in your life.

1. What is happiness?

Happiness is as unique as you are. For some, it’s found in moments of achievement, while for others, it’s in the quiet of nature or the company of loved ones. Understanding that happiness comes in many forms is crucial to finding what brings you joy.

What does happiness look like: 

  • Feeling content and satisfied with life
  • Experiencing positive emotions like joy, gratitude, and love
  • A sense of purpose or meaning in life
  • Solid relationships and social connections

Understand that “to be happy” does not mean you will be in a constant state of bliss and positivity. It is normal to experience life’s ups and downs, or to be in a sour mood from time to time. This article will focus on long-term or perpetual unhappiness that affects your daily life.

2. Why am I unhappy?

Unhappiness can feel like a heavy cloud that refuses to lift. It’s a complex mix of feelings, often accompanied by constant sadness, a lack of energy, or a loss of interest in things that once brought joy. 

Causes of unhappiness can range from life events to more profound mental health conditions. Recognizing these signs is the first step on the path to happiness.

Common symptoms of unhappiness: 

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities that once brought joy
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Lack of energy and motivation
  • Irritability or anger outbursts

The hardest part of being unhappy is figuring out why you feel this way in the first place. Here are seven questions to ask yourself to help identify some contributing factors to your feelings: 

  1. Am I taking care of myself physically and mentally?
  2. Do I have healthy boundaries in my relationships?
  3. Am I pursuing things that align with my values and bring me joy?
  4. Am I comparing myself to others on social media or in real life?
  5. Do I have a support system and make time for meaningful connections?
  6. Am I setting realistic expectations for myself and others?
  7. Do I have a positive mindset and practice self-compassion?

Each question touches on a different area of your life to reveal what may bother you. If a question resonates with you, explore it more. Ask yourself, “Why?” or “How does this contribute to my feelings?”. The more you ask yourself questions about your feelings, the more they will reveal the root issues that make you unhappy.

Where did my joy go?

As you ventured into the freedom of adulthood, so came all the responsibility. Too often, you have most likely chosen responsibilities and “must-get-done” tasks over things that used to bring you joy. 

First things first, you need to bring back doing things you enjoy. You deserve to have a hobby, read a book, or join a club in which you are excited to participate. If all you do is work a job you don’t like and then clean your living space, with no room for laughing or enjoying your time, this can significantly contribute to feelings of unhappiness. 

Ask yourself, “What do I like to do?” If you don’t know, that’s okay. Make a list of what you used to enjoy, and give those activities a try. You may need to try a few things to find something that makes you come alive again. 

3. How to find self-worth?

Self-worth is knowing your value beyond your achievements, looks, or what others think of you. If you’re struggling with this, try these three tactics for helping to increase your self-worth:

  1. Challenge negative thoughts: Replace them with positive affirmations. For example, if you think “I’m not good enough,” replace it with “I am enough just as I am.
  2. Celebrate small wins: Every success counts, no matter how small. Celebrate yourself for even the little things you achieve.
  3. Surround yourself with positive influences: Choose relationships that build you up. Spend time with people who encourage, support, and appreciate you for who you are.

By utilizing these, you create an environment around yourself that lifts you, encourages you to celebrate who you are without other expectations, and has a positive mindset that can tell what is true regardless of how you feel that day. 

4. How to be more confident?

Confidence is believing in your abilities and feeling comfortable in your skin. With confidence, it can be easier to trust what you are capable of, your value, and what you can bring to the table for others.

To boost your confidence, try these three tips:

  1. Set realistic goals: Achieving them will give you a sense of accomplishment. It boosts your self-esteem when you can prove that you are capable of whatever you set your mind to.
  2. Practice self-care: Self-care reflects your confidence and positive feelings.
  3. Face your fears: Each time you do, you prove to yourself that you can overcome challenges.

Remember, confidence is not static; you can build upon it with practice. Look for opportunities to challenge yourself and believe in your capabilities. Even if you have fallen off of habits that once were important, today can be your day one. Make today one you are proud of.

5. How do you connect with others?

Connection is a core human need. As much as you may wish to be able to do it all on your own, it is suitable for both your body and mind to have people close to you whom you connect with often. 

Finding like-minded people to connect with can feel more complex than ever, especially if you are post high school or college, where social activities are built into the experience. Regardless of your age, new connections are out there to be made.

Here’s how you can create meaningful relationships:

  • Join groups with similar interests: Whether it’s a book club or a fitness class, being part of a community can be fulfilling and lead to connections based on your favorite topics or hobbies. 
  • Reach out to old friends: Sometimes, rekindling old friendships can bring new joy. Is there anyone you used to be close with, and life got in the way of talking more often? Reach out and ask them how they are doing.
  • Be open to new relationships: Remember, nervousness is okay, and genuine connections come from vulnerability. Meeting new people can be awkward sometimes. Know that it is uncomfortable for most people. Lean into the awkwardness and laugh. Most people can completely understand how hard it is to meet people, and they may appreciate the effort you’re giving.

6. How do I find my purpose in life?

One way unhappiness creeps into your life is by feeling unfulfilled, bored, or stressed out by your work. Finding the thing (or things) that make you feel alive can give your life direction, fulfillment, and a strong sense of purpose in your life. Start by asking yourself:

  1. What am I passionate about?
  2. What are my greatest strengths?
  3. How can I contribute to the world in a meaningful way?
  4. What activities make me lose track of time?
  5. Who do I admire most, and why?

Your purpose might be nurturing a family, excelling in your career, or making a difference in your community. Remember, it’s a personal journey that can evolve over time and life experience. 

Also, consider asking your friends what you’re good at, what your five best qualities are, or what they like most about you from their perspective. This can give you insight into your strengths that you may brush off and not give yourself credit for.


Rediscovering happiness is a personal journey. It involves understanding yourself, building self-worth and confidence, connecting with others, and finding what truly brings you joy. If you’re struggling to find happiness alone, remember that seeking help is okay. A licensed therapist can provide the tools to understand your unhappiness and guide you toward a more joyful, fulfilled life.

Are you feeling ready to take the next step toward happiness? Consider contacting a Makin Wellness licensed therapist who can walk alongside you in this journey, helping you uncover the joy you deserve. Schedule an appointment or call (833)-274-heal to be matched with a therapist who specializes in what you need to succeed. Taking action today is the first step to being happy again.

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Picture of Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

Sara Makin MSEd, LPC, NCC

All articles are written in conjunction with the Makin Wellness research team. The content on this page is not a replacement for professional diagnosis, treatment, or informed advice. It is important to consult with a qualified mental health professional before making any decisions or taking action. Please refer to our terms of use for further details.

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