A happiness jar is a simple way to bring more happiness and positivity into your life. It takes only a few minutes to create. Enjoy the many benefits it will provide to you and your family. Read on to see how it will help you. We also provide free templates and labels to create jars of happiness with labels.
A happiness jar is a jar that you fill with notes on which you write down your happy moments. Some people add a note each day with their happiest moment that day, and others add a note each week with their happiest moment that week. You can also just add a note whenever you want to. The idea is to remind yourself of the good things that happen to you every day. These are often seemingly small events or moments that you might not even notice if you don’t make a conscious effort to look out for them. However, those moments create the most meaningful and happy memories.
When you are feeling down, you can pick a note out of the jar and read it. It will bring back happy memories. The goal is to make a habit of thinking about these happy moments and appreciating them.
Happiness jars were originally created by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love, City of Girls, and other books). Every single day, at the end of the day, Elizabeth writes the happiest moment of her day on a piece of paper and sticks it in her jar. She explains that it takes only 35 seconds to do this. Elizabeth emphasizes that there are no rules. Use any vessel you want (even an old tissue box) and put whatever you want into your chosen vessel.
Recording the happy moments in your life is more important than creating the jar so if you can’t be bothered to store them in a jar then use the printable jars below and write them on the jars or just record them in a note on your phone.
How to Make a Happiness Jar
- A jar or box (it doesn’t matter what you use)
- Paper or notes
- Ribbon (optional)
- Paper glue or sticker paper (if you want to create a label – optional)
- Get an empty jar or a box if you don’t have a jar.
- Cut notes into small strips or use our free download with positive quotes. If you use blank paper, you will write whatever you want. You can use blank notes when you can think of things to write about and the notes with positive quotes when you need some help. If you don’t feel like cutting paper, then use post-it notes or origami paper (it comes in pretty colors and designs and it is the perfect size).
- Tie a ribbon around the rim (optional).
- Create a label for the jar with these free custom labels (optional).
- Keep the notes or pieces of paper nearby. If you have to start looking for scraps of paper to write on, then you will be less likely to add a note to your jar.
- Date your notes to remind yourself when these moments took place.
- Make happiness jars for your friends. They make great gifts.
- Start a new New Year’s eve tradition and read your notes from that year to remind yourself of all your happy moments throughout the year.
- If you have a good moment during the day and don’t want to forget it, then write it on your phone and add it to your jar when you get a chance.
- Try to do this at the same time each day and tie it to an existing habit (habit stacking). This will help you make it part of your daily routine. For example, as I get home from work each day or before I go to sleep each night, I will write a note.
How to use a happiness jar
- At the end of each day or week, take one of the notes and write down your happiest moment that day or week.
- Fold up the note and stick it in your jar.
- You can ask each family member to add a note each day.
- When you or someone in your family is feeling down, you can pick a note out of the jar. You don’t have to wait until you are down. You can also write a new note each day and read one old note.
Jars of Happiness Gifts
- Create a gift for someone (give them a mason jar with pretty ribbons and a nice “Jar of Happiness” label and some blank notes and a pretty pen). You can even add some notes describing happy moments you have spent together to get the jar started.
- Add notes throughout the year and read them at the end of the year. It is a great way to end a year.
- You can add memories from special moments such as a pebble from a walk on the beach, a ticket stub from a great movie or concert, or a photo of a beautiful sunset.
- Write about compliments you received or things people said to you that touched you or motivated you.
Jar of Happiness Template
Write or draw the things that make you happy in the jar. You can change the category titles. For example, you can make a jar for each family member or friend or for each day of the week. You can delete or add jars and you can change the titles. For example, some people like to call it a joy jar.
Happiness in a jar is cute but not necessary. If you don’t want to use an actual jar, then use a box, bowl, or any vessel you want. You can also print our free jars of happiness template above. It is useful in a classroom when you don’t have a jar for each student. It is also a great insert to create for your planner or journal. You can print a clean copy each week or month.
Things to write in a happy jar
- Happy moments that you experienced
- Things you are looking forward to
- Things you are proud of
- Your accomplishments and achievements (no matter how small)
- Nice things people did for you or things you did for others
- Things that make you happy
- Positive quotes
- Pretty pictures or pictures that inspire you
- Photos of people you love and appreciate or people who make you happy
- Good things that happened to your or your family
- Things you are grateful for (call it a gratitude jar)