Happiness in a jar

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

A new New Year’s tradition

By Carlos Bilan, Staff Writer


Let’s be honest, 2016 did not seem like a pleasant year for many of us. If you feel the same and want to have a fresh start in 2017, then why don’t you try out this cool idea—make a happiness jar!

The idea of a happiness jar is that you write down something that made you happy on a piece of paper with the day’s date, and you drop it in a jar. You do this every day until the year ends and on New Year’s Eve, you open that jar and read everything you have written down, so you are reminded of all the amazing things that made you happy over the whole year. If you miss a day, don’t fret! You can always pick up where you left off and cover all the days you missed.

You might have seen this idea floating around social media and this post usually comes up a few days before and after the New Year, but this project seems to be inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the New York Times Bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. She posted a photo on her Facebook in 2012 of her happiness jar and she has been encouraging people to do the same.

There is no strict rule on how to make a happiness jar. You can make a happiness bottle, a happiness piggy bank, a happiness box, or any container under the sun preceded by the noun “happiness.” The idea is that you just have a vessel and it is filled with all the things you have written down, or even physical things that made you happy.

If you want to have a symbolic approach to ending the year and entering a new one, then it is a fabulous idea to use a breakaway bottle—one of the prop bottles which are safe to break and are used in acting—instead of a jar. You can even use a piggy bank and call it your happy piggy. In this way, you can smash it as soon as you scream “Happy New Year!” after the countdown, and read about all the amazing things that happened to you that year.

The way I do it is with a multi-coloured memo block—which you can buy from Walmart for cheap—and that’s where I write all the good things that happen each day. In this way, my jar appears colourful, which can create a feeling of glee when looking at it. I also suggest you use light colours as they give a feeling of calmness and are pleasing to look at. Even when a day seemed uneventful, if I ponder enough, there is ALWAYS something that has made me happy. I write down everything and I have found that it has actually been therapeutic, and it has given me a more positive outlook in life.

I use a jar because on the days when I feel depressed, I can open the jar and read of all the good things that have happened in my life so far, and I feel comforted and more optimistic that I can experience that feeling again.

Let’s face it, we all have bad days. Even the happiest people can experience sadness, and that’s totally natural. During these times, it is good to be reminded that the sadness is temporary, and you can be happy again. Reading about those awesome things that have happened to you can really help.