How Are You Finding Joy Right Now?

How Are You Finding Joy Right Now?

How Are You Finding Joy Right Now?

I thought I’d do another open post today. I’m curious: how are you finding joy right now? I feel like joy is a bit of a commodity these days; replaced by anxiousness, dread, uncertainty… need I go on? My hope is that maybe by sharing our own ways of finding joy, we might inspire one another a little bit. I know I’ve definitely been more on edge than usual and in hearing from a lot of you in the DMs, comments, etc. I know many of you are feeling a lot of the same!

Here are mine!

Last Friday, I took the afternoon off from work. I didn’t have any real plan besides wandering around. I walked up and down 5th Avenue (per usual Cartier is dressed up like a gift!), through Rockefeller Center, and ended up at the MoMA to wander around some more and see some art. Two things that spark a lot of joy for me are a) art (duh) and b) the sensation of having nowhere to be/not being in a rush.

Spotify singalongs and dance parties. Music has been a big one for me. I have been listening to a lot of old happy stuff (think The Monkees, The Beach Boys, Van Morrison, Sonny & Cher, etc.) Taking a break in the day to dance around my apartment sounds so cheesy (and it is a little cheesy!). But it always gives me a boost in mood.

Hanging out with my niece or Facetime with my nephews. They’re just the best.

Candy. Hey. When in doubt, a bite of something sour and chewy works short-term wonders. Just being honest.

Tell me yours in the comments!!!

PS – I really loved our last community post – it was fun reading through everyone’s comments on what work is like right now.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Patty:

    I just finished reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth” and loved this quote:

    “Joy doesn’t come from what you do, it flows INTO what you do and thus into this world from deep within you.”

    I love that idea. No, maybe we can’t do things that “bring” us joy right now, but where can we find the joy in what we’re already doing? How can we let joy flow within us even when we’re doing basic tasks? I’m going to practice accepting the struggle and finding joy in the mundane. Then my life will be full of joy!

    That being said, I’ve been drinking a lot of pink champagne and that’s bringing me quite a bit of joy.

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Teresa Waters:

      Eckhart Tolle’s books changed my life starting a decade or so ago! GREAT stuff!

      11.18.20 Reply
  2. Caroline:

    Bird watching. It’s been one of the few things you can do anywhere that’s 100% outside, socially distanced, allows some minor human interaction with other birders, and as a really competitive person I’ve loved passing people on the county and state list on eBird. Hit my 101st species in my home county last weekend. Take that, John. (John is some random man I have been neck and neck with for months, but I’m currently 4 ahead. He’s probably a lovely person, but I’m taking him down.) Canada warblers look like they’re wearing those bubble necklaces that were cool about 12 years ago. It is crazy how all of these colorful, tiny birds are flitting around in tree tops and most people will never even notice them.

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Steff:

      This is awesome

      11.18.20 Reply
    • Shana:

      Caroline, this is giving me life – especially the “take that John” comment because competitive bird watching is a thing 🙂 well done!

      11.18.20 Reply
    • Caroline:

      I love this I love this I love this

      11.18.20 Reply
    • Elizabeth:

      Just reading about this brings me joy!!! I love when people are passionate about something truly unique. You may have just inspired me to try birding!

      11.18.20 Reply
    • Betsy:

      Oh my. My kids are avid bird watchers and I am little afraid (but mostly really excited) to check out eBird!

      11.18.20 Reply
    • Morgan:

      Random question for you, what bird watching binoculars do you use? Looking for my father and there are so many options! Also this sounds like a great hobby

      11.18.20 Reply
      • Caroline:

        I just got an upgrade this year, and use the Vortex Razor HDs. They’re like a grand though. I’ve used a few pairs of Nikons and wouldn’t recommend them (especially if you wear glasses or sunglasses when using binoculars). The quality of the glass isn’t worth the price. The Vortex Diamondback run about $230, and would be my recommendation for a more budget-friendly option.

        11.18.20 Reply
        • Morgan:


          11.19.20 Reply
  3. Christine:

    Things that are bringing me joy lately:
    -Cuddling up in bed with a good book (recent fave: a good girls guide to murder)
    -Cuddling with my dog and giving him undistracted attention
    -Sweet and salty popcorn!!!
    -a (way too hot) bath!

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Sarah:

      1. Playing with my cat. His unbridled joy licking/thumping/chasing his new toy is contagious
      2. Listening to BOP! I only started listening recently so have heaps of back episodes to go through. It brings me all the joy of a long phone call with friends with none of the emotional drain (some days this is very needed!)
      3. Planning and making Christmas presents – I’m trying to go handmade as much as possible this year

      11.18.20 Reply
  4. Kelly:

    I love this idea!
    Finding joy in:
    – Running. I look forward to it each and every morning.
    – Long walks with the dog and baby while listening to a podcast
    – Laying in bed reading
    – Stretching
    – Hershey Kisses. I put them in the freezer. It’s a good little sweet treat.

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Stacey:

      Yes long walks!!

      11.18.20 Reply
  5. Zoe:

    I am usually firmly in the camp of “no Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving” (because Thanksgiving is an underrated holiday and it deserves love too!) but this year I just couldn’t resist putting up my decorations early. Because, hey- it’s 2020 and why not? That’s the main thing bringing me joy right now, as well as the fact that we are finally starting to see cooler temps here in San Antonio, TX (if you northerners consider mid-70s to be cool…haha!).

    11.18.20 Reply
  6. Steff:

    Love this post and the comments so far! Shoutout to Caroline for competitive bird watching. For me, joy right now is quick snail mail notes to friends, a puzzle, wine (always, duh), ABBA (those are some real bops), Heather McMahan’s insta and podcast (she is all of us in quarantine), and to be honest, cleaning (as much as I’d like to be Rachel, I’m really Monica…).

    11.18.20 Reply
  7. marcella:

    Things bringing me joy lately!

    1. new candles for this season
    2. my new Boie scrubber I compulsively ordered off Instagram.. lol
    3. new season of The Crown!!!!
    4. going on a run in the mornings before work to get some sunshine and listening to a 4-part running podcast that brings me back to my high school state championship days.. #washedup haha
    5. putting a few drops of lavender essential oil in the shower before I get in and it’s SO relaxing 🙂

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Grace Kretschmer:

      Heck yea to The Crown! Watching Season 4 (yes..I’ve already completed it) has been the highlight of my week.

      11.18.20 Reply
  8. Stacey+Hoffman:

    Reading and Melissa Wood Health work ours are bringing me joy, those are my times in the day just for me. Also all the joy my 2 kids are still finding in life. Even though this year has been so hard on all of us, little kids are still full of amazement and joy!

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Brandi:

      This is the best thing I’ve seen in a while! Your answer is giving me joy! I also love the sentiment of noticing little creatures that have been there all along who couldn’t care less about covid or politics.

      11.18.20 Reply
  9. Grace Kretschmer:

    There’s a playlist on Spotify called Songs to Sing in the Shower that has done the trick to lift my mood when I feel gloomy. Each song is like a burst of joy. Besides that, my dog has brought so much joy during the 2020 sads. I’ve found giving her a good snuggle or taking her on a good walk is a way to change my gloomy perspective.

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Steff:

      Yes! I love that playlist! Would also recommend the “Cleaning Kit” playlist

      11.18.20 Reply
  10. I’m framing old family photos as Christmas gifts this year and I didn’t expect the joy I would find from looking through the photos! I love seeing my late grandmother’s gorgeous handwriting on the back of photos telling me the date and names of people in the photos. It’s a little detail that I appreciate since we so rarely print photos anymore. I can’t wait to give these memories to my family this year, but it has been a gift to myself as well! Also, champagne on weekend nights. Because why not?!

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Jordan:

      I love this, might have to steal this idea!

      11.19.20 Reply
  11. Songs from the 2000s – I was a teen then so these songs just hit different! And also, filming TikToks brings me so much joy, haha! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    11.18.20 Reply
  12. Mimi:

    This is so timely. I haven’t been prioritizing joy, and that’s clear. My book club is reading the new Christina Lauren Christmas romance for December – “In a Holidaze” and the big question it centers on is “What makes you happy?” As I put together our book club questions I’ve been really thinking about that question. Definitely excited to start holiday baking for some relaxing.

    11.18.20 Reply
  13. Kristen:

    I am a huge “half full” kind of person, and have not suffered as much as many, so I feel extraordinarily fortunate.
    Places I have found joy:
    I have always worked outside the home, so for the first time in my life, I have been home full time with my kids. We have been together, the three of us, nonstop for nine months.
    I drove 1000 miles each way with my to spend 3 weeks with my family this summer. I am proud of myself for driving that far, the only driver. And more importantly, I hadn’t been home for more than a few days since I graduated college, and I feel so lucky to have that time with my parents.
    I feel so lucky to have a place to play tennis outdoors and friends and a husband to play with. Since tennis is low risk, I feel good about that, and I have been able to spend time with friends safely.
    There are lots of other little things, for example, since I can’t go to the gym, I have been running and walking outside, and I have discovered the joy of audiobooks. Since we are home, we bought outdoor furniture and a fire pit, and that has been a wonderful place to spend time with my husband.

    11.18.20 Reply
  14. Taylor Breuer:

    I started writing cards with Punkpost this month and it has been so wonderful to force myself into structured hobby time! I’m also “easing into” Christmas (think movies and music, but not decorating yet), and trying to find little moments with my one year old where neither of us are distracted or frustrated. While I’m reading these, I’m realizing that I need to put more joy in my life…AND WHAT GOOD IDEAS THERE ARE!

    I’m also trying to organize as many secret santas as I can, because we could all use some gift giving and receiving 🙂

    P.S. The typeface of the Stripe body text is also bringing me insane amounts of joy.

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Hahahaha that makes me really happy to hear (and my designer will love to hear that too!).

      11.18.20 Reply
  15. Wendy:

    Reading- I am halfway through a knock at midnight and it’s so good and informative, if not a horrifying look at the criminal justice system as it relates to drug offenses.
    Cheesy holiday movies on Netflix and running outside to Christmas music.

    11.18.20 Reply
  16. Adrianna Iafolla:

    I’m on a reading binge! I started reading a lot more than usual back in March and have been steadily reading, but in the last month or so I’ve stepped it up a notch. Going through your book recommendations and constantly reading and trying to spend less time on social media. It’s been so wonderful My husband and I just started watching holiday movies last night and wow we both were like this is what we needed!! Holiday spirit! And of course, retail therapy lol definitely has been helpful.

    11.18.20 Reply
  17. Dana Mannarino:

    I make an effort to get up and get dressed every morning before work. I try to go for a walk or do yoga with my boyfriend before sitting at my desk to work. I also put on a Motown playlist and my mood is INSTANTLY boosted!

    Dana | It’s Casual Blog 

    11.18.20 Reply
  18. Cy:

    I’m always pretty joyful, that’s my nature, but several things bringing me joy lately; Hanging out with my dad watching cooking shows and plotting what new recipe we want to try. Watching movies old and new ( Dash & lily on Netflix is so cute!). I drive a lot commuting to and from my dad’s ( caretaking)so I listen to podcasts (breaking beauty, Naked beauty, Armchair expert and Redhanded are favs) and audio books( I finished Trevor Noah’s bio. Pre-ordered Obama’s and Mathew Mcconaughy’s and currently finishing Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal”. I decided to start sewing again, trying to decide what projects to start. I mostly finished my Christmas shopping ( love retail therapy!) Having daily morning chats with my sissy ( She’s currently back in Brooklyn). Sitting in my cozy chair with my feet up drinking tea with my cat Minnie asleep on my lap. Last but not least, reading the daily Stripe post :). Thanks Grace!

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Kerry:

      I watched all of Dash & Lily in one go last night and it was so so lovely and full of joy and nothing beats a cat on your lap! Xxx

      11.18.20 Reply
  19. christina V:

    When we lived in NYC during and right after law school (10+ years ago now) my husband I loved to walk from our mid town apartment all the way to the union square trader joe’s and buy all the cheese we could find, and make a little afternoon charcuterie in our studio apartment (with wine of course!) So now, living in CT with our young kids, we have been trying to do that on saturday afternoons (no more walking to the store part, but driving can be nice too sometimes when its 35 degrees, lol). Also have gotten back into running (I hate distance running, so setting small 3 mile goals 3 days a week is my jam).

    11.18.20 Reply
  20. Katie:

    My morning commute aka a twenty minute walk before I logon for the day. The MWH challenge. I’m starting to wrap holiday gifts. Easy way to make my apartment more festive! Smith’s wellness teas. I drink all 3 throughout the day. It causes me to step away from work. And a recent quote that 2021 has that new car smell!

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Caroline:

      Interested in these wellness teas! Also, love your “commute” that’s a great idea. I’ve kind of been missing that 30 minutes to myself with my podcasts & playlists in the morning. Might have to copy you!

      11.18.20 Reply
  21. Katie:

    I have been finding joy in creativity- holiday decor and cooking, and productivity, like mending and organizing.

    However, full disclosure, I realized in the summer that I was having a hard time finding joy in anything. My depression was getting higher and higher and I was experiencing anhedonia, where my previously joy-making things just made me grouchy and blah. Getting back into treatment (for me, a certain med I’d used before) was my saving grace in being open to joy again.

    Don’t feel bad if the joyful things make you mad or sad or blah. It could be a sign of something else, and that’s ok. Sending hugs to my fellow Stripers!

    11.18.20 Reply
    • Katherine:

      Hi Katie! I feel that so much. This summer I felt like Eeyore from the Winnie the Pooh stories…just not excited about ANYTHING at all. I’d never really been that way for so long before. Just leaning into those emotions and knowing it’s ok to feel that way helped so much. Seeking help in whatever way works best for you is huge, and also not forcing yourself out of negative feelings. All the things we have been going through–this is not nothing!! We are allowed to feel how we feel. Thankfully, I’m feeling ready to find more joy again!

      11.19.20 Reply
  22. Sidney:

    The abundant amount of time that I can spend reading brings me a lot of joy. I also am single and live alone so a few months ago I purchased some items that really made my apartment feel extra cozy and like home. Although my cat can be a big asshole, he knows at night I need those extra cuddles and he always lays with me until I fall asleep. It’s made me so happy.

    11.18.20 Reply
  23. Alexandra:

    I moved back to my parents’ house this summer (pandemic, lease expiring, family health issues, etc.) so I’ve been WFH at a desk in my bedroom since July. I was adjusting pretty well, but the end of Daylight Savings Time threw me over the edge. While doing some cleaning, I found my old 3 ft fake Christmas tree in the basement so I immediately brought it upstairs and plopped it right next to my desk! I turn the lights on in the afternoons and it makes such a difference while finishing up the work day. Highly recommend anything with twinkle lights these days!

    11.18.20 Reply
  24. Andrea:

    I have not been finding joy lately, my work has slowed down after a crazy rush so I’m feeling listless in the extra hours. I’ve gotten too comfortable wasting hours on dumb phone games. I’ve challenged myself to do something “creative” or engaging every day. That could be a walk with my audiobook (currently How to Be Anti Racist), catching up on the New York Times and magazines that seem to pile up, I’ve ordered a water color kit of Christmas watercolor tutorials, I have some decorating projects around the house to tackle in between conference calls. I just don’t want this time to be “wasted” on junk TV and doomscrolling, but I’m also trying to give myself grace that maybe my brain just needs extra decompression time right now.

    11.18.20 Reply
  25. Elizabeth:

    Ways I’m finding joy:
    -Starting the day by getting my body moving outside, whether it’s a 2-4 mile run or walk with a podcast
    -Trying Trader Joe’s seasonal products (I’m a major TJ’s stan)
    -Proscuitto, goat cheese, blackberry, kale/mixed greens, and balsamic glaze salads
    -Cuddling with my dog
    -Talking on the phone with my grandparents regularly
    -Shopping in my own closet/jewelry box and wearing things I’ve forgotten about or haven’t worn in a while
    -Getting an early start on putting our Christmas tree and decorations up (and starting holiday shopping early to help small businesses reach their Q4 revenue goals earlier in the season)
    -Making lists – I love lists. Lists of shows to watch, things to do, books to read, movies to watch, meal ideas, gift ideas for others, things bringing me joy… 🙂

    11.18.20 Reply
    • amy:

      Your salad sounds amazing!

      And yes to all the Trader Joe’s seasonal items & making lists.

      11.18.20 Reply
  26. Betsy:

    What is bringing me joy right now – real, authentic JOY – is doing things for others. I am donating furniture to charity tomorrow and I started writing one letter every day and mailing it, letting someone know I like/love/appreciate them. Also, I sent lunch and a bottle of wine to my elderly aunt who is isolated, my kids and I are doing a curbside food drive this weekend, I am organizing a socially distant outdoor scavenger hunt for my kids and a few of my friends…it is all making me so happy to be productive in a way that doesn’t feel self-serving. Of course, I am feeling good and energized by this and that is awesome, too!

    Also bringing me joy: letting my daughter stay up late so we can watch The Voice together, family movie night, reading to my little cousins over zoom, and whenever my husband says, “Don’t cook – let’s get takeout.” Brene Brown’s podcast. And Ted Lasso.

    All this is said with the caveat that I have a husband and kids and am not isolated and I do not struggle with mental health right now. Also, I live someplace I can get outside in nice weather most days. My job is secure. I am very fortunate and remembering that helps me a little bit when I get frustrated.

    11.18.20 Reply
  27. Morgan:

    The comments on this post have brought me joy today! Love seeing how others are finding joy despite the circumstances this year.
    Weirdly enough, the most recent snow in upstate NY has brought me joy. The coziness that a first snow brings has made me feel like I am not missing anything by staying inside. Another small thing bringing me joy is the heat in my apartment–nothing quite like going for a cold walk or run and coming inside to the warmth and a hot bath.
    P.S. the bird watching comment made me laugh out loud!

    11.18.20 Reply
  28. Hot chocolate & marshmallows. Starting the cozy winter feelings this week!

    Lazy Sundays- as a mom who works & is also in grad school, doing absolutely nothing productive is definitely a luxury.

    11.18.20 Reply
  29. – Friday afternoon Peloton “happy hour” rides with my best friends from college.
    – Trying to cook more at home (and bake!)
    – making a list of holiday traditions we can still do socially distant (driving around and looking at lights!)
    – reading for 20 minutes at the beginning and end of each day (currently devouring “Ties that Tether”)
    – Bachelor Nation memes

    11.18.20 Reply
  30. Anna:

    Grace, would you ever do a post on Melissa Wood Health? Exercise has been so hard to get into from home but is really so helpful and I just need to know: Is MWH really as good as they say??

    11.18.20 Reply
    • I do it every day and am obsessed. I will consider a review but it’s the best $10 a month I spend. Lots of people talking about it in the Facebook group, too, if you search her name there! xo

      11.18.20 Reply
  31. Evans:

    I love this post and the comments! I’ve been getting a lot of joy from buying stamps on They also send really pretty catalogs in the mail and I get super jazzed about what’s coming out next. (The fruit and veggie stamps are next level btw). It’s fun putting a pretty stamp on a letter to someone you miss!

    11.18.20 Reply
  32. Emma:

    I adopted a cat about a month ago and honestly she has been the biggest comfort and sparker of joy. Working ok my laptop while she purrs next to me on my desk makes answering emails a little cozier.

    Also, I’ve been really into Kate Kennedy’s podcast Be There in Five. I love her brain and her voice is so soothing!

    11.18.20 Reply
  33. Teresa Waters:

    Long walks with my dogs, Podcasts that are uplifting (Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields has two new ones called The Hug 1 and 2), Music from when I was young (John Denver, Carpenters), YOGA with Adriene (Youtube online), Noticing the little joys like putting on a sweater and drinking hot tea.

    11.18.20 Reply
  34. Jordan:

    It’s fun to read these responses As a mom of twin 4-year olds in Texas, here are a couple things bringing me joy:
    – Walking my neighborhood alone (no kids allowed!) while listening to podcasts and audiobooks.
    – Coloring with my kids. Once my kids got really into coloring books, I bought myself some fancy fashion coloring books so I could join in. Glittery gel pens are a must.
    – Puzzles!
    – Thinking about and shopping for the perfect gifts for the lovely people on my list.
    – Transitioning to my wintery fleece sheets.
    – Eating all of the tomatoes I’m growing for the first time in my pandemic garden. (Not bringing me joy: grasshoppers trying to ruin said garden!)
    – Fireball on ice.

    11.19.20 Reply
  35. Danielle Breen:

    Gosh, I try to find joy in a lot of small things:

    The conversations I am starting to have with my now 3 1/2-year-old, which are so much more in-depth than I expected. He asks the best questions, and his intelligence literally floors me sometimes. I know for sure I could not read, add and subtract at age 3….kids these days.

    Exercise, not to lose weight just to lose anxiety; specifically my Peloton, a little over a year 900 plus workouts and no end of my love affair in sight.

    How lucky I am to have the start of Epping Forest a 5 min walk from my London home. Absolutely lovely wooded trails for walking, running and exploring.

    Cooking lovely cozy meals for my husband and I to enjoy; 3 year old less so, great talker, still in the picky toddler eating stage.

    Originally from NY and FINALLY found a decent NY-style bagel place which just opened a few minutes from my house.

    11.19.20 Reply
  36. Rebecca:

    I have been reading books recently about hygge and joy (the Joyful book you recommended actually!) and so I have been trying to be really intentional with my space recently. That is bringing me joy. Taking a little extra effort to light candles, play music, and really sort of get into a cozy theme at home helps lessen the blow of pandemic holidays.

    11.19.20 Reply
  37. Shana:

    What brings me joy, honestly reading your posts, this space and the conversation in general. Making a list and shopping for everyone right now 🙂 Planning a virtual gift exchange for my large team – thank you MSFT forms, power apps, and all other things I have started using more while working virtually/from home. “Quiet weeks” at work next week and 2 weeks over the end of the year holidays. Spending time with my daughter and husband making holiday crafts, decorating for Christmas 🙂

    11.19.20 Reply
  38. I love a good dance party! They always do wonders for my mood 🙂 Definite a highlight in the day.

    I’m finding joy in early morning coffees, reading, mid afternoon strolls, and not being in a rush, too. I had to take a week off work and it made me realise how stressed/anxious I am at the moment. This week – whilst inconvenient – has given me the *pause* I needed.

    xo, Victoria

    11.19.20 Reply
  39. Meghan:

    I know I’m a bit late to comment, but in addition to the regular stuff (Netflix, mint chocolate chip ice cream, etc.), I’ve been trying to do good things for others/the planet. One easy thing I did is to register for the National Marrow Registry. It’s easy, and maybe one day, I can save a life!

    11.19.20 Reply
  40. Mary:

    I enjoy morning walks picking up a selection of fallen leaves , acorns and chestnuts from the trees. I have quite a selection to enjoy on our dining room table.

    11.21.20 Reply