Pictures of Things That Make Me Happy

Is there anything you see that makes your heart feel like it has little wings on it? Something or someone you might encounter that makes you feel instantly better? Love is a lot more complex and nuanced and, dare I say, bountiful than the narrow confines of romantic love, which is amazing but there are lots of things that can make your heart happy. Here are some of the things that, just at sight, make me feel swoon-y. The challenge I made for myself was I had to include images that make me feel good just to see, not adding other senses, like sound, feel and taste, into it. I also didn’t include specific people, like my son and my husband, because I didn’t want to presume they’d want their photos here.

What would you have on your list? What makes you feel happy to see?

For me, I will start with smiley-face cookies, the unofficial cookie of the 1970s.

Yellow Smile Cookies! Like these

Lilacs! I really don’t like many floral scents but lilacs are an exception. Just the sight of them makes me anticipate being intoxicated with their heady perfume, but beyond that, they are so pretty.

Speaking of flowers, who doesn’t love a giant sunflower? And goldfinches? And goldfinches on sunflowers? Swooooooon

And how about a sunflower by itself? They are so majestic, the lions of the flower world.

You knew puppies were going to be here, right? Puppies = instant happiness infusion, at least for me.

And not just puppies. All dogs.

Dogs with natural eyebrows make me feel particularly swoon-y.

Dogs with beards, you make me happy, too. I haven’t forgotten about you.

Just the sight of this and their strange scent of Fritos? You’d better believe it makes me happy. Gimme dat sweet paw!

Big men and little dogs, you give me hope for the world. I’m not even kidding.

No, I haven’t forgotten about cats. I love cats, too. I love your little paws.

How you luxuriate in the sunny spots, no guilt about it. Indulge away, kitty cat. Purr…

Cats in windows as I walk past? Be still my heart. Meow…

Is it too jarring to return to flowers? Because Gerbera daisies are my favorites.

Who cares if it’s jarring? Sharp drawing pencils make me happy.

Bowls of clementine oranges: You make winter bearable.

I warned you, right? This is all over the place. I love bicycles and especially bicycles with wicker baskets and panniers.

You know what else makes me happy? The sight of ducks.

And their feet. I, seriously…I need a moment.


Fanning myself.

And there is also the not inconsequential matter of their butts in the air. Duck butts!

Here’s a blue jay. A shockingly, chest-clutchingly beautiful as-if-hand-painted blue jay.

Goats? Kind of the opposite of a blue jay but I don’t care because goats = instant happiness.

Hot damn. Flying fox fruit bats, giant terriers of the skies, you are freaking wing-flapping MAMMALS and you fill my heart with joy.

I mean…I can’t…

I think it’s time to look at a used bookstore and feel all the feels.

Speaking of, let’s hang out at a library for a little while. Whenever we go to a new town, we always check out the library. My happy place. Maybe yours, too?

Main streets, I love you. I find you to be irresistible.

While we’re looking at buildings, I love vintage apartment buildings.

But especially the ones that are courtyard buildings.

Serious swoonage.

A nice al fresco patio? Maybe it’s because I’m socked in with snow at the moment but all I want to do is look at pictures like the following.

I think since we want to feel all the endorphins, let’s look at a picture of a dog again. Especially a dog with his or her head sticking out of a car window. Hello, doggo! You made my day.

And old ladies who love each other and have a great laugh together.

Who wouldn’t want to be part of that group?

And, yes, you give me life, too. Babushka? Check. Protective arm around a big orange tabby? Check. Defiant middle finger in the air? Check. No “effs to give” face? Check. Allllll the checks.

And now for something completely different: dimpled kid hands.

And hopscotch courts chalked on the sidewalk.

Jump rope games, especially Double Dutch. That’s like seeing a double rainbow.

I’m not impervious to a beautiful sunset, either.

Or a Midcentury kitchen…

Or two.

Or three.

Speaking of houses, cottages make me happy, too, especially ones on beaches.

I’d even accept a non-Midcentury kitchen because cottages on the beach make me happy.

Speaking of beaches, quiet, secluded beach, let’s get married.

I think this is becoming more like a Pinterest page. Moving on. Moving on to iced tea. Tall glasses of iced teas with lemon, mint and lots of ice. It must have lots of ice or I am not happy.

I will see you at my beach house or the secluded beach or on a café patio, sipping iced tea al fresco with my loud, laughing, give-no-fucks girlfriends.

Forest in the fall, you make me happy, too.

Big, fat autumn maple trees. You are perfect and I love you.

Feet in grass, I love you.

You, too, feet in sand.

And a quick reminder of duck feet seems appropriate here.

Animal sanctuaries. You make me feel happy.

From my head to my toes.

Shall we speak of toes again?

Vermilion also makes me happy because that’s my favorite color.

I just love reds in general and I love birds so red birds are especially happy-making to me. Northern cardinals are the ones I see most often around here and each time, the vision stuns me. How do they manage to take my breath away each time?

Red rain boots, you’re about the only thing that makes me happy about rain.

You know what? I’d long thought that I didn’t like the color pink but some years ago, we moved into an amazing vintage apartment and it had a perfect little room that was my office. The little room was pink but I loved it and not just because it was my office. I loved that it was pink, too. I learned then that I like pink but I am very particular about it. As much as I love Planned Parenthood, I am definitely not a fan of Planned Parenthood pink. Not hot pink. Not bubblegum. It has to be a soft, kind of antique-y pink like my old office. Just sitting in there, I felt immediate calm. Now I realize, I’m just a pink snob. Most do wrong by pink. A room like this, though, is a feast for the eyes.

I typically prefer vivid colors but, I don’t know, this speaks to me.

Can we talk about one of my favorite color combinations? Pink and brown. Pink loves brown. Brown loves pink. They are a match made in heaven and never shall they part. Why are you so pretty together, pink and brown?

Campfire, don’t feel jealous. You make me feel happy, too.

I like laps. I like cats. It would stand to reason, therefore, that I like cats on laps.

I love electric typewriters. I love pink electric typewriters. I am saving up for one. If you happen to have one sitting around in your cellar, hit me up.

It’s definitely kind of weird because I hate crowds and loud noises but if I see a carnival, I have to pull over whenever possible. This is because carnivals make my heart happy, too.

Tire swing, you make me happy. So happy. Regular swings make me feel happy, too, but tire swings? Whole different swinging game, there.

Old Magikist sign of Chicago, I love seeing photographic reminders of you. Every time we drove past you, it meant we were likely visiting our grandparents and that was a good thing.

Anything Halloween-y, you make me happy, the more vintage, the better.

Have we gone almost full circle? Are we back to frosted cookies? I guess we are. Halloween cookies, you make my heart feel happy.

Like these!

What are the things/beings that make you feel happy when you set your eyes on them? Make a post about it and make sure I see it, please.

We all need more love in our lives.

Marla Rose is a Chicago-area writer and co-founder of and

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