Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

These 30 little everyday things are guaranteed to lift your spirits


We’ve been told time and time again that the best things in life are free. Now a new survey has proven that this sentiment is (if you’ll pardon the expression) bang on the money.

Whether we’re drinking deep from that all-important first cup of coffee, sinking into a hot bubble bath, polishing off an entire bar of chocolate or luxuriously enjoying freshly-laundered bed sheets, it seems as if we’re definitely creatures of comfort. Which means that, yes, our spirits can be well and truly lifted by some of the littlest everyday things that cost very little – if anything at all.

Read more: 31 uplifting lines from literature to brighten up even the darkest of days

According to researchers, the average Brit enjoys 17 uplifting moments a week – and almost all of them can be categorised as being ‘the simple things in life’.

Think tucking into fish and chips at the seaside, belly-laughing with friends, breathing in the scent of freshly cut grass, finishing a great book and hearing the words ‘I love you’.

Better still, it seems as if we no longer need to feel ashamed about crawling home after a long day at the office, popping our feet up and reaching for the pizza menu: ordering our favourite takeaway for dinner is also high up there on the list of everyday things that make us feel really good about life.

Finishing a book is considered one of life's greatest simple pleasures

Finishing a book is considered one of life's greatest simple pleasures

After polling 2,000 adults, Müller Milk researchers were able to compile a list of the 30 greatest simple pleasures in life.

  1. Sleeping in freshly cleaned bed sheets
  2. Hearing the words “I love you”
  3. A kiss from someone you love
  4. Putting your feet up after a long day
  5. Being intimate with your other half
  6. A belly laugh with friends
  7. Eating fish and chips by the seaside
  8. A hot bubble bath
  9. Sitting in a beer garden on a sunny day
  10. Sitting in front of a real fire
  11. A cuddle with your children
  12. Ordering your favourite takeaway
  13. The smell of freshly cut grass
  14. Realising you’ve lost weight when you hop on the scales
  15. Eating an entire bar of chocolate
  16. Winning a tenner on the lottery
  17. Hearing a baby laugh
  18. Drinking wine looking out at a beautiful view
  19. Finishing a book
  20. Someone laughing at your jokes
  21. Finding a fiver in a pocket or handbag you haven’t used for ages
  22. Waking up to birds singing
  23. Watching Match of the Day without knowing the results
  24. A glowing school report
  25. First cup of coffee of the day
  26. Swimming in a warm sea
  27. Watching your children play
  28. Dancing to your favourite song
  29. Finding a pound left in a shopping trolley
  30. A friend request on Facebook
There's nothing more indulgent than enjoying a whole bar of chocolate to yourself

There's nothing more indulgent than enjoying a whole bar of chocolate to yourself

Speaking about the findings, a Müller spokesman said: “It goes to show big grand gestures are not always needed to make us happy and fulfilled.”

However, experts have previously revealed that there’s nothing simple about simple pleasures.

Read more: This social media platform boosts your emotional well-being as much as marriage

Writing in Psychology Today, Professor Nicole Mead recruited 122 participants to complete an experience-sampling study over the course of six days. Each morning, they participants were asked to reveal the goals they wanted to work towards – and, each night before bed, they filled in a diary revealing whether or not they had achieved them. They were also asked to, throughout the day, log whether they were experiencing a simple pleasure, a small annoyance or neither.

When Mead analysed the results, she found that an everyday experience that makes you feel good about the world is essential when it comes to making progress on your daily goals, particularly when life feels challenging and stressful.

“Modern day life is full of struggles and challenges, which erode the very psychological resources we need to make progress on our goals: positive feelings,” explained Mead.

“Simple pleasures have the power to restore those feelings of positivity and happiness, giving you the energy and perspective you need to pursue the difficult but important things in life.”

All the more reason to take a step back and smell the roses (or freshly cut grass), eh?

Images: Haley Phelps



This woman's incredible advice to millennials has gone viral


Women who became single in their 30s and 40s reveal what they learned


The big chill: eight easy wind-down routines for a great night's sleep


Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Drinking alcohol can help with foreign language skills, study finds

Anyone for a dash of Dutch courage?

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

Muggles can attend the Harry Potter Yule Ball in the actual Great Hall

You even get your own wand!

by Megan Murray
19 Oct 2017

Walking for just 17 minutes a day has a dramatic effect on your health

Want to prolong your life? A bit of gentle exercise is better than none at all

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

SATC writer admits the team argued over Carrie's unrealistic lifestyle

“I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet”

by Megan Murray
19 Oct 2017

WhatConsentMeansToMe hashtag sparks vital conversation on Twitter

“No matter what I wear, no matter what you think – no means no”

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

The Netflix shows you’re most likely to devour in 24 hours

You, my friend, are a ‘binge racer’

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

There’s a psychological reason you’re in love with Starbucks’ red cups

It’s not just because Christmas is coming

by Gemma Crisp
18 Oct 2017

Have a wonderfully macabre Christmas with this anti-advent calendar

Bah humbug

by Megan Murray
18 Oct 2017