Home Lifestyle 365 Simple Pleasures To Brighten A Year

365 Simple Pleasures To Brighten A Year

by Renee

Life is filled with simple pleasures – the little satisfying effects you never really anticipate, but always take great pleasure in.  They are life’s unexpected gifts that we all subconsciously celebrate in our own unique way.

Every day on our sister site, What Money Cannot Buy, people share their favorite simple pleasures and vote on the simple pleasures that other users have submitted.  Over the past year the site has amassed an immense database of truly priceless moments.

As stated on the What Money Cannot Buy About page, if the economic downturn has clouded your mind with worry then you’re in the right place.  Our users submit dozens of simple pleasures and priceless moments every week that make them happy and don’t cost a dime.

They say the best things in life are free.  And I think the list below perfectly proves that point.  Of the thousands of simple pleasures that have been submitted to What Money Cannot Buy over the past year, these are 365 of our personal favorites.

  1. Songs that bring you back to great moments in your life.
  2. Sleeping right next to someone you truly love.
  3. Accidentally overhearing someone say nice things about you.
  4. Laughing so hard you don’t even make any noise.
  5. That instant when the thing you didn’t understand suddenly makes complete sense.
  6. Those random good-hair days when you just feel beautiful or handsome.
  7. Kissing someone and smiling at the same time.
  8. When you drop something and then swiftly grab it in mid-air before it hits the ground.
  9. When questions on an exam give away the answers to other questions on the same exam.
  10. The feeling you get when a group of friends all laugh really hard at one of your random jokes.
  11. Making a completely random guess and getting it right.
  12. Waking up, realizing it’s the weekend, and curling up for another thirty minutes of sleep.
  13. The bittersweet feeling of finishing a really good book.
  14. Finally getting to sleep in your own bed after being away for a few weeks.
  15. Correctly guessing an old password on a website you haven’t visited in awhile.
  16. Waking up all by yourself a minute or two before your alarm goes off and feeling well rested.
  17. Seeing a best friend you haven’t seen in awhile and picking up right where you left off.
  18. When someone tells you “yes” when you expected them to say “no.”
  19. Sitting outside during a thunderstorm. The sound of the thunder, the flash of lightning and the smell of rain to remind you of the beauty of nature.
  20. When you’re hot under your bed covers and you stick one leg out from under the covers to cool off.
  21. The sudden silence when you pass under a bridge on the highway when it’s pouring rain outside.
  22. Realizing you were smiling the entire time you were talking to someone, right after you hang up the phone.
  23. Laughing hysterically with your friends, then pausing momentarily, looking at each other, and then laughing hysterically again.
  24. When your significant other kisses you when they think you are asleep.
  25. Taking the perfect picture.
  26. An unexpected compliment from an unlikely someone.
  27. When someone around you randomly starts laughing and even though you don’t know why they’re laughing it makes you laugh too.
  28. Popping bubble wrap.
  29. Listening to someone else’s heartbeat.
  30. The feeling you get when you’re just waking up when you’ve gotten enough sleep.
  31. The kind of friend you can say “I love you” to without implying anything but a deep platonic friendship.
  32. Seeing two elderly folks who are madly in love. It’s a sight of love that has surpassed the tests of time.
  33. Finding something you made when you were a kid.
  34. Hanging out with your closest friends and just being able to feel comfortable in your own skin around them.
  35. Being next in line.
  36. When you succeed in doing something someone said you were incapable of doing.
  37. Wind blowing through your hair.
  38. The feeling of ‘clicking’ with someone else’s personality instantly, and being able to talk about anything even if you’ve only known each other for a few hours.
  39. When the song on the radio ends right as you pull into the driveway.
  40. The humble feeling of accomplishment you get after you fix something that was broken.
  41. When you wake up before your alarm and you have enough time to go back to sleep for awhile.
  42. Pulling into your neighborhood after a long road trip.
  43. Randomly catching a glimpse of your reflection in a window or mirror and liking what you see.
  44. Seeing the person who makes your heart race, even if it’s just for a few seconds in the hallway.
  45. Hearing a new song you really like and then downloading it and listening to it over and over and over.
  46. A certain smell that instantly takes you back to another place or time in your life.
  47. Crossing things off your to-do list.
  48. Seeing somebody use and enjoy a gift you gave them.
  49. When the beer or soda foam goes up out of the glass, but doesn’t spill over.
  50. Being able to tell someone some genuine good news.
  51. The good pain of stretching your legs after sitting down for a long time.
  52. When someone scratches an itch on your back for you.
  53. When your dog or cat follows you all over the house.
  54. The moment you see that you actually got a really good grade on a test or term paper.
  55. When you accidentally say something that rhymes.
  56. Making momentary eye contact with a cute stranger.
  57. An honest relationship. No secrets. No lies.
  58. Running warm water over your hands when you have a chill in your body.
  59. People who make you smile just by thinking of them.
  60. Realizing there’s nowhere else you would rather be right now.
  61. Seeing a double rainbow.
  62. Taking a ridiculously long nap and feeling like a million bucks when you wake up.
  63. When you realize you have finished everything way ahead of schedule and can do whatever you want for the rest of the day.
  64. Looking at a digital clock and seeing a series of numbers, like 12:34, a pair like 10:10, or 11:11.
  65. Cleaning up your room and finding something that brings back brilliant memories hidden at the back of a drawer.
  66. The way the sun shines through the leaves of a tall tree.
  67. The exciting feeling you get when you’re getting off the plane in a city you’ve never been to before.
  68. Receiving a surprise hug from behind by someone you were looking forward to seeing.
  69. When nobody else uses the public restroom the entire time you’re in there.
  70. The feeling of a fresh mouth after you brush your teeth.
  71. Being on the beach at night.
  72. Getting a second chance.
  73. Waking up early and going someplace, like the beach or a park, and being the only one there.
  74. Having a really great day with a friend you haven’t spent time with in ages.
  75. Sneaking your own food and drinks into the movie theater.
  76. Waking up to good morning texts from someone who makes you smile.
  77. Changing into clean, dry clothes after you’ve been swimming for awhile.
  78. Hearing a song that seems to be written about exactly what’s going on in your life right now.
  79. That weightless feeling you get after a good cry and knowing you’ll be ok.
  80. Hearing a song that you haven’t heard since your childhood and realizing you still know all the words.
  81. When you make eye contact with a friend from across the room and you both automatically smile.
  82. When someone unexpectedly remembers your name.
  83. The “butterflies in your stomach” feeling of a new romantic relationship.
  84. Waking up from a weird dream and remembering every last detail.
  85. When your roommate goes away for the weekend and you have the whole apartment to yourself.
  86. When you finally yawn after an airplane flight and your ears pop back to normal.
  87. Scoring 100% on anything.
  88. Driving fast over a small hill in the road.
  89. Falling in love with someone.
  90. Turning right to the book or magazine page you were looking for.
  91. When you and a close friend finish each other’s sentences.
  92. When your jaws and cheeks ache from too much laughing.
  93. Seeing rainbows through your yard sprinkler.
  94. Hitting all green lights while driving when you are in a rush.
  95. Singing and dancing around the house with music blaring when no one is home.
  96. When your birthday lands on the weekend.
  97. When a red light turns green right as you were slowing down to stop.
  98. The cold side of the pillow on a warm summer night.
  99. When that meeting or event you didn’t want to attend suddenly gets canceled at the last minute.
  100. Waking up after having a great dream and just laying in bed thinking and smiling.
  101. Deciding to eat breakfast food for dinner.
  102. Making the first footprints in fresh snow.
  103. Having the auto-complete feature in your web browser find the URL you were looking for before you type the whole thing out.
  104. Singing every word to your favorite song at the top of your lungs.
  105. When you and a friend say the same exact thing at the same exact time.
  106. The fact that no matter what happened during the day, your dog is always insanely happy to see you when you get home.
  107. When your heart stops for a split second when you see your significant other’s name flash across your cell phone screen.
  108. Finally being able to pee after you were forced to hold it for a while.
  109. People who make you laugh.
  110. Discovering a new shortcut.
  111. Peeling layers of dried school glue off your hands.
  112. Those days where you’re completely free to do whatever you want without worrying about school or work.
  113. Finding something you thought you had lost forever in a place you least expected it to be.
  114. The smell of fresh laundry.
  115. Turning the alarm clock off on Friday nights.
  116. Having the exact change to buy something instead of breaking another dollar.
  117. The hilarity of an inside joke. You’ll never get it unless you were there at its inception.
  118. When you push the button for the elevator and the door immediately opens because it’s already on your floor.
  119. Seeing a shooting star.
  120. Putting on clothes that are still warm from the dryer.
  121. The musty but wise smell of an old book.
  122. The feeling of nostalgia when you visit a place you haven’t been to in years.
  123. Knowing deep down that you made a difference in someone’s life.
  124. Stepping on crunchy fall leaves.
  125. Falling asleep as soon as you lay down.
  126. When good memories of someone who has passed away still make you smile.
  127. When you’ve found or made the perfect gift for someone and you just can’t wait to give it to them.
  128. Watching a movie you love with someone who’s never seen it before.
  129. When a zit you had the night before is almost completely gone in the morning.
  130. The joy of watching a baby smile.
  131. When you’re really upset and someone makes you smile.
  132. Talking to someone who has a cool accent.
  133. A first kiss. The sweet rush of butterflies in your tummy when you kiss someone special for the very first time.
  134. Realizing you can do something you didn’t know you could.
  135. Best friends you have known so long and get along with so well you consider them your brothers and sisters.
  136. A hot shower after a long day and then climbing into bed with freshly laundered sheets.
  137. The smooth, soft feeling of a freshly shaved legs.
  138. When your muscles ache after a good workout.
  139. Returning to the exact same warm spot in your bed after you get up to pee in the middle of the night.
  140. Opening your exam results and seeing that you’ve done much better than you expected.
  141. That warm tingling feeling that shoots through your body when you spend time with someone you really like.
  142. Seeing a room lit up by the soft glow of Christmas lights.
  143. That split second when you almost lean too far back in your chair and your heart skips a beat as you glide forward into a stable sitting position.
  144. Feeling the sunshine on your face.
  145. Walking barefoot through soft grass.
  146. When you find out the name of a song you’ve been wanting to know forever.
  147. The feeling you get when you realize you’re not alone anymore.
  148. When a stranger offers to take a photo of you and your friends so you can all be in the photo together.
  149. The realization that you actually have people that love you and would do anything for you.
  150. Being called beautiful when you don’t have any makeup or fancy clothes on.
  151. Friends you’ve known since your childhood.
  152. Those songs that just have this way of reminding you that you’re alive.
  153. Being told “I love you” for the first time by the person you’re in love with.
  154. Glancing at the person you really like only to catch them looking at you too.
  155. Finishing a great book and having the sequel right there.
  156. Waking in the middle of the night to the sound of rain outside and feeling warm and cozy in your bed.
  157. Finding out that the person you miss misses you too.
  158. The excitement of getting a new text message when you’re bored and lonely.
  159. When someone randomly smiles at you and you can’t help but to smile back.
  160. Getting something cool (and unexpected) for free.
  161. A friend who truly believes in you.
  162. The sigh of relief when you finish writing a long paper for school.
  163. When you cook something and everyone likes it.
  164. Being able to recognize your best friend’s handwriting.
  165. Finding out that a loved one you were worried about is safe and well.
  166. The joy of looking at a picture of yourself and loving it.
  167. Hanging around the house in your pajamas all day long.
  168. Playing Rock-Paper-Scissors to settle a decision with one of your friends.
  169. The first intimate touch from someone you like. Whether it’s holding hands, a hug, dancing, or something else, it always seems perfect.
  170. When the blinker on your car blinks at the same speed as the blinker on the car in front of you.
  171. Getting an unexpected call from someone who makes you smile.
  172. When you’re listening to the radio and a bunch of songs that you love come on all in a row.
  173. Seeing someone else laugh hysterically.
  174. The moment when you crawl into bed after a long, tiring day.
  175. A big hug from a good friend.
  176. Looking at yourself in the mirror and making funny faces.
  177. Having a long phone conversation with your best friend when you should be sleeping.
  178. Realizing from their expression alone, that someone just had the exact same idea as you did.
  179. Slipping off your shoes without untying them.
  180. Jumping into a hot shower after being freezing cold.
  181. When you finish a long day of productive work and feel completely comfortable with wasting the evening just kicking back and enjoying yourself.
  182. Feeling lucky when someone else says they’re lucky to have you in their life.
  183. Looking up at the sky on a really clear night and seeing nothing but stars.
  184. Being wrapped up in a warm blanket on a chilly night.
  185. Doing something in a haste at the very last minute and totally getting away with it.
  186. Having that one person who is always, always on your mind. And knowing you can count on them.
  187. When a new friend sends you the first text message you’ve ever received from them.
  188. When a little kid gives you an unexpected hug.
  189. Finding money in a pair of jeans you haven’t worn in a while.
  190. Successfully blowing a huge bubblegum bubble without popping it.
  191. Long talks with your friends about the past, and how much you miss those times.
  192. That first hint of a cool breeze at the end of a hot summer.
  193. Witnessing a random act of kindness.
  194. Grabbing your phone to text someone and seeing that they have already texted you.
  195. Coming home to the smell of your favorite food being cooked for you.
  196. When someone recognizes your hard work and achievements.
  197. Achieving something that you worked so hard for.
  198. The feeling of how smooth your teeth are once you get your braces taken off.
  199. Getting a hug from your mom when you’ve had a tough day.
  200. Seeing a big, bright, full moon.
  201. Watching the clouds go by.
  202. Finding out that your favorite username isn’t taken on a popular website.
  203. When someone special writes something nice on your Facebook wall.
  204. Thinking about someone and then seeing them randomly.
  205. Finding and reading an old love letter someone wrote to you.
  206. Staying up late and waking up late on long holiday weekends.
  207. The satisfaction of knowing you did your best.
  208. Looking at the driver in the car next to you at an intersection and seeing them sing along to the same song on the radio that you’re listening to.
  209. The smell of fresh cut grass.
  210. Taking a deep breath of fresh air.
  211. Sneaking a look at the groom whilst the bride is walking down the isle. The look on his face is always priceless.
  212. The feeling you get once you have decided to make a change in your life, and have actually made decent progress in doing so.
  213. Singing the sounds to the guitar solo or trumpet solo when you’re listening to a song on the radio.
  214. Seeing Inbox(1) when you check for new email.
  215. Free food samples at the mall or grocery store.
  216. Snuggling into a warm blanket just out of the dryer.
  217. Walking around your house and admiring your work right after you finish cleaning it up.
  218. Being fifteen and realizing that you’ve got a whole life of possibilities ahead of you.
  219. The feeling you get when you drink a whole bottle of water to satisfy your thirst.
  220. Laughing when you know you shouldn’t, and making everyone around you laugh too.
  221. Getting real snail mail from someone special. Like a letter or postcard.
  222. Taking off high heels or dress shoes after wearing them all day.
  223. A good, genuine conversation. Those moments of verbal bonding when the topic of conversation flows seamlessly and all parties involved gain as much as they put in.
  224. When a little kid gives you a high five.
  225. Having a sibling that you’re best friends with.
  226. The way the sun blankets the most beautiful shade of orange on everything in sight at just the right angle at sunrise and sunset.
  227. Seeing or touching something that’s hundreds or thousands of years old.
  228. The feeling of truly being in love with someone and knowing they love you too.
  229. When you’re on vacation and you forget what day of the week it is.
  230. When you gain an hour for daylight savings time.
  231. Leaning back on the cool grass on a starry night, away from all lights and noises.
  232. When you finish a mountain of dishes and look around at a clean kitchen.
  233. Making a paper ball into the waste basket from across the room.
  234. Driving in the middle of the night when all the streets are completely empty and you’re the only one on the road.
  235. Sitting down at the end of the day after being on your feet all day long.
  236. Finally removing something out of your teeth with floss after it has been stuck there annoying you all day.
  237. Eating ice cream (or any food) right out of the original carton.
  238. The rush you get when you’re driving on the open road and your favorite song randomly plays on the radio.
  239. Jumping from the jacuzzi to the pool and back to the jacuzzi again.
  240. The goofy excitement of screaming at movie characters for doing something stupid or dangerous.
  241. Listening to the birds chirp outside as the sun rises into the sky on a sunny Sunday morning.
  242. The excitement of going on a school field trip.
  243. Waiting until nobody is home and then blaring your favorite tunes and dancing all over the place.
  244. First experiences. They’re always exhilarating.
  245. Being at the center of a crowd of concert goers who all share the same love for music, and then singing aloud to a song all as one.
  246. When an online video plays without having an advertisement first.
  247. The bursts of flavor in the first few moments of chewing on a fresh piece of gum.
  248. Sitting on the edge of a swimming pool and dangling your feet into the water.
  249. The crackling sound of a fireplace on a chilly winter night.
  250. The excitement of swinging on a swing as high as you possibly can.
  251. When your hand fits perfectly in another’s.
  252. Trying to talk under water.
  253. A clean house.
  254. Seeing old home videos of yourself when you were a kid.
  255. Waking up from a terrible nightmare and realizing you were just dreaming.
  256. Drawing on a steamy bathroom mirror with your fingers after taking a hot shower.
  257. Realizing that you’re in the fastest moving checkout line at the grocery store.
  258. When you receive more than you expected. Like money, food, love, etc.
  259. Finishing a test at school and knowing you aced it.
  260. Having a crosswalk change to the ‘Walk’ sign right as you walk up to it, without having to break your stride.
  261. When a friend brings you back a souvenir.
  262. When you see a friend’s baby picture and it looks just like them.
  263. The look on your parents face when you make them proud.
  264. When another driver flashes their headlights at you to warn you about the cops.
  265. The smell of a backyard BBQ.
  266. Putting socks on your cold feet.
  267. Looking at that scale and seeing that you lost more weight than you thought you had.
  268. The silence at night after a heavy snowfall.
  269. This scenario: “Where’s my phone?” “I’ll call it!” “It’s on vibrate!!!!” “Everyone SHHHHHHHH!!!” “I hear it!” “Found it!”
  270. The last m&m (or piece of candy) hidden in the corner of the bag.
  271. Finding out that others are experiencing the same problem you are experiencing.
  272. Kicking off your shoes in your office or at school or somewhere you usually aren’t supposed to.
  273. Playing with a kitten.
  274. Those mornings and evenings when you can see the moon and the sun in the sky at the same time.
  275. The moment of nervous energy before you take that big risk and the feeling you get when it has paid off.
  276. Having a good time hanging out with a sibling that you used to fight with as a child.
  277. When your friend saves you a seat at the bar or on the bus (or wherever).
  278. When someone special brushes their fingers through your hair.
  279. A fresh ocean breeze.
  280. When the dentist declares you cavity-free.
  281. Still having butterflies when I look at him after 21 years and 4 kids.
  282. When you’re helping someone wash a car and you spray them with the hose but pretend like it was an accident.
  283. Friendly neighbors who wave to you when you drive by.
  284. The feeling of reuniting with your loved ones at the airport after spending months apart.
  285. When you find a quarter in the return slot on an arcade game or soda machine.
  286. When you come clean and tell the truth and instantly feel a heavy weight lifted off of your conscience.
  287. Handwritten notes from mom in your lunch bag.
  288. Meeting someone you just can’t get out of your mind.
  289. Throwing food up in the air and catching it in your mouth.
  290. Shouting out random numbers when someone is counting.
  291. Friends and family who never give up on you.
  292. Kissing in the rain.
  293. Taking a running start and then sliding across a tile floor in your socks.
  294. Having an interesting conversation with a complete stranger.
  295. Getting a creative, well thought out gift, rather than an ordinary one.
  296. Hearing someone sing cheerfully to themselves.
  297. Autumn leaves dancing on the road behind the car in front of you.
  298. When a police car finally passes you after driving behind you for awhile on the freeway.
  299. The tingling feeling when you lightly touch your lips with your fingertips.
  300. Great sex.
  301. Falling asleep in the arms of your loved one.
  302. Sharing an umbrella with someone else.
  303. Hanging your hand out the window of the car when you’re driving down the highway.
  304. Running as fast as you can to catch a plane or train and actually making it.
  305. Mothers who know just the right thing to say.
  306. The feeling of excitement in your tummy when you’re going up the initial hill on a roller-coaster.
  307. Watching a musician who loves the music so much that it’s become part of his or her soul.
  308. When responsible grown-ups let loose and act like children every now and then.
  309. When your teacher calls in sick and you have a cool, laid back substitute teacher.
  310. The goofy excitement of running up the down escalator.
  311. When someone comes back and thanks you because they truly loved something you encouraged them to do.
  312. Surprise encounters with long-lost friends. You haven’t seen them in years, and you figured you’d probably never see them again. Then suddenly, there they are standing right in front of you.
  313. When the thing you need to buy just happens to be on sale.
  314. Seeing a big, beautiful, old tree that has lots of moss hanging from it.
  315. People watching.
  316. Making a wish and then having it come true.
  317. When traffic is light and you get home from work or school sooner than usual.
  318. Getting told that the test results were good. And that you’re going to be okay.
  319. The drive home from work on the last work day before a long holiday weekend.
  320. A daytime sitcom marathon of one of your favorite shows on a lazy day off from work.
  321. Gathering around the Christmas tree with your family on Christmas morning.
  322. Laughing at old family photos.
  323. A bouquet of flowers in a vase of water that lasts way longer than you had expected.
  324. Watching a dog or cat chase its tail.
  325. Taking a walk through early morning fog.
  326. When you look into the eyes of your best friend and know, without a doubt, that you can trust her. You can see it in her eyes and you can feel it in your heart. She has no ulterior motive.
  327. The excitement of cracking open a new book and feeling like an adventure is about to begin.
  328. Walking with bare feet through rain puddles.
  329. The scent of your significant other.
  330. Being able to sit with your true friends comfortably in silence.
  331. When a cashier opens a new lane at the grocery store and you instantly go from last to first in line.
  332. Eating a food you used to love when you were a kid, but haven’t had since.
  333. Playing old-school board games, like Monopoly, with friends and family.
  334. Finding a beautiful shell on the beach.
  335. Playing the air guitar or air drums while you’re singing along to your favorite song.
  336. Those mornings when you wake up and there is energy just oozing out of you and you feel fantastic.
  337. When you walk outside after being stuck inside in a cold room and the warmth of the sun gives you goose bumps.
  338. The pull-through parking spot. You pull into a parking spot and are delighted to see the availability of the parking spot immediately in front of you. You pull through to the spot in front so that when you return to the car you can drive forward out of the parking spot. Why? Because driving backwards is a pain in the butt.
  339. Taking the first breath of warm air when you get home from a long walk in the biting cold.
  340. Lying down outside at night, looking up at the stars and convincing yourself you are actually looking down.
  341. Being bored with your best friend rather than being bored alone.
  342. Finding yummy leftovers in the fridge from dinner the night before that you had totally forgotten about.
  343. Taking an afternoon nap after a big lunch.
  344. Being the first one to take a shower and getting the hot water before it runs out.
  345. Seeing really cool, artistic graffiti.
  346. The smell of gasoline.
  347. The sound of a baby just learning how to speak.
  348. Seeing a funny license plate on someone’s car.
  349. Feeling like you truly belong somewhere. Like you don’t have to pretend to be anyone you’re not. Like you can just be yourself and you know that everyone around you will accept you for it.
  350. Eating the extra fries at the bottom of the bag on the drive home.
  351. Winning a game… any game.
  352. The bittersweet emotions that rush through your body on the very last day of high school.
  353. That hilarious, awkward moment when you catch someone making weird faces at themselves in the mirror.
  354. When a cop gives you a warning instead of a ticket.
  355. Picking up something small off the floor with your toes.
  356. When another driver lets you into their lane in traffic when you’ve been trying to get over and nobody else has let you in.
  357. When a good friend does something that makes you smile, not knowing it was exactly the moment you needed a reason to.
  358. Waking up after staying up late struggling with an assignment problem only to discover the answer within five minutes of being awake.
  359. Seeing a license plate from a state or country that’s really far away from where you are.
  360. The satisfying feeling of doing the right thing.
  361. Learning a new skill all by yourself.
  362. When you’re finally healed and back to yourself after an injury or illness.
  363. Turning the page of a calendar and seeing a month full of things you have been looking forward to.
  364. When you finally conquer a personal fear.
  365. Realizing you still remember your childhood street address and phone number.

If you enjoyed these simple pleasures from What Money Cannot Buy, we highly recommend you also read PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives and Other People’s Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See

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