After more than a decade of depression, anxiety & discontent, I finally chose happy.

Here's where you can read about my journey, and all the stuff I've learned about happiness along the way.

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“True beauty lies not upon gilded

How someone looks is the least important thing about them. Renee Zellweger, included.

The internet nearly broke itself today, driven to madness by the smiling face of Renee Zellweger. One faction was outraged by her changed appearance, the other was outraged that the first group was outraged at her changed appearance. There was lots of hand-wringing and sarcasm and bitterness from both sides. All in all, it was a lot of fuss over something utterly unimportant. Not unimportant because Renee Zellweger is unimportant (all people are important) — but unimportant because her face is the least important thing about her. In a society as obsessed with appearance as ours is, it can be tough to see […]

hannah-drink

It’s been a year since I quit drinking. Here’s what I’ve learned.

It dawned on me this week that it’s been 12 months since I had a full glass of anything alcoholic. For 365 days, I’ve been high on life. (Life is the best drug ever, BTW.) The exact date of my last drink was October 20, 2013 — one year ago yesterday. I was at an NFL game (second only to a frat house in terms of quantity of Coors Light consumed). By then I’d already been cutting back on the booze for awhile, and after an embarrassing evening out in Texas a couple weeks prior, I wasn’t feeling much love for alcohol. Watching the […]

getting-outside

Survey says: getting outside is a ‘wonder drug’

I’m basically obsessed with being outside. If I have an addiction these days, it’s to sunshine and fresh air. Frankly, I attribute a lot of my recovery from depression and anxiety to vitamin D, exercise and QT spent with Mother Nature — and I tell that to anyone who’ll listen. We live on an indescribably amazing planet, full of wonder and adventure and awe-inspiring beauty. There’s magic in the tiniest of details — in ants marching, dewdrops on grass, a chirping bird. All of these are miracles. Yet, we’re a sedentary society obsessed with television and air conditioning and smartphones. Something’s wrong […]

bunnie-cakes-cake

Snapshots from Seed Food and Wine Festival

Cynics, fond of bemoaning the state of humanity and utter apathy of the population, would have you believe most people are like the infamous honey badger: they just don’t give a f***. But that’s nonsense. People DO give a f***, and I saw it firsthand this weekend. Seed Food and Wine Festival, a plant-based extravaganza of mouthwatering eats, blew into Miami with a beachside brunch, star-studded dinners, an open-air festival and lots of other culinary affairs. Keep in mind, Miami is a city known for its pornographic obsession with all things pork, so hosting a vegan festival was no small development. From Alicia Silverstone […]

good-news

5 happy YouTube videos to make your Friday morning.

Sometimes we all just need a little laugh therapy. Giggles and guffaws can come from many sources, but I find that YouTube is always a treasure trove of sweetness and hilarity. So to make your Friday morning a little bit brighter, here are 5 happy YouTube videos I adore. Some are side-splitting, some just super cute. Either way, enjoy. P.S. The Tonight Show under Jimmy Fallon is a gold mine of happy videos. HOW IS HE SO AWESOME?

This too shall pass.

5 mantras to fight depression.

Sometimes, the cacophonous chatter of our restless minds can be pretty unbearable. Usually, those brains of ours aren’t bombarding us with warm, fuzzy thoughts about snuggly puppies and Christmas presents. Instead, they’re suffocating us with lies and false beliefs – fear and self-loathing and all that ugly stuff. To break the cycle of critical self-talk, mantras are incredibly helpful. By repeating the same positive thought over and over again, we can steer our brains in a different direction. Eventually, we chart a happier, more optimistic course! On that note, here are 5 mantras to fight depression. Break ‘em out when you’re feeling bad. […]

“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the

Why you need to stop being a perfectionist right this minute.

Perfectionism, everyone’s favorite neurosis, is way worse than you probably thought. We all know it can be stressful, but who knew it could be deadly? As New York mag so aptly put, “Perfectionism is a trait many of us cop to coyly, maybe even a little proudly.” So. True. In a society that values overwork and busy-ness, all for material gain, perfectionism is a badge of honor. But common sense dictates that perfectionism and happiness can’t coexist. Perfection isn’t possible, so perfectionists spend a lifetime chasing an impossible goal. That’s a recipe for restlessness and discontent and misery if there ever was one. […]

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This lovely, surreal photo is via Karen Kleis on Flickr.

Things that make me happy: convenience stores.

Convenience stores make me happy. Admittedly, it’s an odd affinity for a girl who eschews consumerism in all its bar coded-ubiquity. As a pseudo-minimalist, I try my best to limit purchases to things that bring me value. So you’d think the STUFFiness of your average quickie mart would irk me. It doesn’t. Its effect is just the opposite. When I see the neon glow of a 7-Eleven sign, I get the warm fuzzies. My heart swells with a cozy sense of cheer. It’s like Christmas Eve caroling or Thanksgiving dinner; like holding hands with a new boyfriend or being sandwiched in […]

-Depression is a prison where you are

Depression at work and what we can do about it.

When depression hits, there’s no escaping it. You carry it with you everywhere, like Linus and his blue blanket. And considering you spend 40+ hours a week at work, clearly, depression follows you there, too. It’s not like you can leave it with the coat check. Funny enough, despite the fact that many millions of people are suffering from depression (and it stands to reason, suffering from depression at work) — no one wants to talk about it. Admitting to a struggle with depression is even more taboo in the workplace than anywhere else, with people afraid they’ll be fired or […]

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-The cure for anything is salt water-

How being in, near or under water can make you happier.

Anyone who’s tooled around Pinterest long enough is probably familiar with the adage, “The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.” Isak Dinesen actually wrote that back in 1934, but given its current popularity, you’d think it was dreamed up by some DIY’er looking for a clever phrase to crochet on a throw pillow. Turns out, Dinesen was pretty spot on. But it’s not just salt water, it’s ALL water. The book, BLUE MIND: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected and Better at What You Do, is […]