Happiness Quotes

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We all want to be happy, right? These happiness quotes are the place to start your pursuit.

After all, life is better when we’re happy and feel positive.

So to help you on your journey, enjoy these feel-good quotes about happiness and being happy to help you find joy and satisfaction in life.

Top 10 Happiness Quotes

Happiness is largely a choice, not a right or entitlement.

David C. Hill

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

Dalai Lama
Sydney Harris quote "Happiness is a direction not a place"
“Happiness is a direction, not a place.” – Sydney J. Harris

Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to deal with them.

Steve Maraboli

A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness.

Bernard de Fontenelle

The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.

Carrie Jones
Werner Erhard quote "Happiness is a function of accepting what is"
“Happiness is a function of accepting what is.” – Werner Erhard

It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.

Charles Spurgeon

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Quotes about Happiness

Ask any number of people and each one will likely define happiness differently. Do you have your definition or are you still looking for one?

These quotes about happiness explore what it means, how to find it, and what to do if you have it.

Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.

Immanuel Kant

Happiness is not being pained in body or troubled in mind.

Thomas Jefferson

Happiness is the interval between periods of unhappiness.

Don Marquis
William Arthur Ward quote "Happiness is an inside job"
“Happiness is an inside job.” – William Arthur Ward

The secret of happiness is to find a congenial monotony.

V.S. Pritchett

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

Bertrand Russell

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

Denis Waitley

The happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.

Benjamin Franklin

There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.

Freya Stark

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.

Robertson Davies

There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.

Charlotte Bronte

Happiness is your dentist telling you it won’t hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.

Johnny Carson

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.

George Burns

Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other. When one takes a rest, the other one tends to take up the slack.

Hazelmarie Elliott

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.

Chinese Proverb
Aristotle quote "Happiness depends upon ourselves"
“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” – Aristotle

Happiness is the resultant of the relative strengths of positive and negative feelings rather than an absolute amount of one or the other.

Norman Bradburn

Happiness is being content with what you have, living in freedom and liberty, having a good family life and good friends.

Divyanka Tripathi

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.

Jonathan Safran Foer

Happiness is a matter of one’s most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self.

Iris Murdoch

Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.

Orhan Pamuk

The greatest happiness you can have is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.

William Saroyan

The happiness which is lacking makes one think even the happiness one has unbearable.

Joseph Roux

The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid.

J.D. Salinger

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.

Pat Conroy

In order to have great happiness you have to have great pain and unhappiness – otherwise how would you know when you’re happy?

Leslie Caron

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

Mahatma Gandhi
Jon Krakauer quote "Happiness is only real when shared"
“Happiness is only real when shared.” – Jon Krakauer quote

Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.

Maxim Gorky

Happiness is a well-balanced combination of love, labour, and luck.

Mary Wilson Little

Happiness is a dry martini and a good woman. Or a bad woman.

George Burns

Short Happiness Quotes

Happiness is a place between too much and too little.

Finnnish Proverb

Happiness is a form of courage.

Holbrook Jackson

No medicine cures what happiness cannot.

Gabriel García Márquez

Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.

William James

Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin.

John Lubbock

Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.

W.P. Kinsella,
Shoeless Joe

Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.

Richard Bach

Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.


All happiness depends on courage and work.

Honoré de Balzac
Phillips Brooks quote "Happiness is the natural flower of duty"
“Happiness is the natural flower of duty.” – Phillips Brooks

Happiness held is the seed; Happiness shared is the flower.

John Harrigan

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.

Lady Blessington

Happiness is distraction from the human tragedy.

J.M. Reinoso

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

Robert Frost

The Pursuit of Happiness

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

Guillaume Apollinaire

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.

James Oppenheim

The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.

Doug Larson

There is no way to happiness — happiness is the way.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Happiness is where we find it, but very rarely where we seek it.

J. Petit Senn

As people spin faster and faster in the pursuit of merely personal happiness, they become exhausted in the futile effort of chasing themselves.

Andrew Delbanco

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Albert Schweitzer

Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response"
“Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.” – Mildred Barthel

Happiness grows at our own firesides, and is not to be picked in strangers’ gardens.

Douglas Jerrold

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.


Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.

Jim Rohn

Happiness is always the serendipitous result of looking for something else.

Dr. Idel Dreimer

Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place. But there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.

E.L. Konigsburg

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert A. Heinlein

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.

The secret ingredients to true happiness? Decisive optimism and personal responsibility.

Amy Leigh Mercree

People should find happiness in the little things, like family.

Amanda Bynes

A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.

Commonly Attributed to Benjamin Franklin

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.

Eric Hoffer
Aristotle happy quote "Happiness is a state of activity"
“Happiness is a state of activity.” – Aristotle

We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.

George Bernard Shaw

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.


My family didn’t have a lot of money, and I’m grateful for that. Money is the longest route to happiness.

Evangeline Lilly

Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.

Gretta Brooker Palmer

True Happiness

True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.

Victor Hugo

There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.

George Sand

All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.

Baruch Spinoza

Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.

Norm Papernick

Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.

Hosea Ballou

It’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness.

Richard Branson

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind.


The only way to find true happiness is to risk being completely cut open.

Chuck Palahniuk

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling"
“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” – Margaret Lee Runbeck

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

Frederick Keonig

In my life I’ve learned that true happiness comes from giving. Helping others along the way makes you evaluate who you are. I think that love is what we’re all searching for. I haven’t come across anyone who didn’t become a better person through love.

Marla Gibbs

True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Helen Keller

Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom.

Benjamin Franklin

So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?

Hunter S. Thompson

The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.

William Morris

Real happiness is not of temporary enjoyment, but is so interwoven with the future that it blesses for ever.

James Lendall Basford

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

Helen Keller

Happiness is the default state. It’s what’s there when you remove the sense that something is missing in life.

Naval Ravikant

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

Joseph Addison

Happiness is a constant work-in-progress, because solving problems is a constant work-in-progress – the solutions to today’s problems will lay the foundation for tomorrow’s problems, and so on. True happiness occurs only when you find the problems you enjoy having and enjoy solving.

Mark Manson

Happy Quotes

We hear and use the word “happy” a lot, but being happy is more than just a wish or greeting. Happy is a state of mind that we can choose and cultivate.

More important, we can share happy words and thoughts with others once we have it ourselves. These quotes about being happy will help you do just that! So be happy and see how good it feels when those around you are happier too.

Ask yourself whether you are happy and you cease to be so.

John Stuart Mill

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust
"If you are not happy here and now you never will be"
“If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.” – Taisen Deshimaru

One joy scatters a hundred griefs.

Chinese Proverb

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

Carl Jung

It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.

L.M. Montgomery,
Anne of Green Gables

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery while on a detour.


Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.

Mother Teresa

Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one’s self?

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.

Lucille Ball

Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.

Abraham Lincoln

We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.

Walter Savage Landor

It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.

Dale Carnegie

I do not exist to impress the world. I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy.

Richard Bach

The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.

George Bernard Shaw

Give a man health and a course to steer, and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not.

George Bernard Shaw

Happy girls are the prettiest.

Audrey Hepburn
Anne Frank quote "Whoever is happy will make others happy"
“Whoever is happy will make others happy.” – Anne Frank

When you’re happy you find pure joy in your life. There are no regrets in this state of happiness – and that’s a goal worth striving for in all areas of your life.

Suze Orman

If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator. He will not be striving for it as a goal in itself. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of the day.

W. Beran Wolfe

Quotes about Being Happy

The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions.

Robert Louis Stevenson

I think the key to life is just being a happy person, and happiness will bring you success.

Diego Val

Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.

Robert Anthony

There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human—in not having to be just happy or just sad—in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.

C. JoyBell C.

Happiness is an attitude of mind, born of the simple determination to be happy under all outward circumstances

 J. Donald Walters

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.

Anne Frank

It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.

Dale Carnegie

People are unhappy when they get something too easily. You have to sweat – that’s the only moral they know.

Dany Laferrière

You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.


I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.

Jane Austen,
Pride and Prejudice

Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though it were his own.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

There are two ways of being happy: We must either diminish our wants or augment our means – either may do – the result is the same and it is for each man to decide for himself and to do that which happens to be easier.

Benjamin Franklin
"You can only have bliss if you don’t chase it"
“You can only have bliss if you don’t chase it.” – Henepola Gunaratana

Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.

Robert Anthony

There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second.

Logan Pearsall Smith

Too often in life, something happens and we blame other people for us not being happy or satisfied or fulfilled. So the point is, we all have choices, and we make the choice to accept people or situations or to not accept situations.

Tom Brady

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Unquestionably, it is possible to do without happiness; it is done involuntarily by nineteen-twentieths of mankind.

John Stuart Mill

Happiness is the experience of loving life. Being happy is being in love with that momentary experience. And love is looking at someone or even something and seeing the absolute best in him/her or it. Love is happiness with what you see. So love and happiness really are the same thing… just expressed differently.

Robert McPhillips

Be Happy Quotes

Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.

William E. Gladstone

You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes.

Lauren Oliver

Nobody really cares if you’re miserable, so you might as well be happy.

Cynthia Nelms

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future.

Earl Nightingale

Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.

Roy T. Bennett

Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.

Sri Chinmoy

You do the right thing even if it makes you feel bad. The purpose of life is not to be happy but to be worthy of happiness.

Tracy Kidder

Research has shown that the best way to be happy is to make each day happy.

Deepak Chopra
Leo Tolstoy quote "If you want to be happy, be"
“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy

Learn how to be happy with what you have while you pursue all that you want.

Jim Rohn

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.

Andrew Carnegie

How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now, and there will never be a time when it is not now.

Gerald Jampolsky

If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the world belongs to you.

Lao Tzu

Most of us believe in trying to make other people happy only if they can be happy in ways which we approve.

Robert S. Lynd

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama

To be happy, you must fancy that everything you have is a gift, and you the chosen, though you worked your tail off for every bit of it.

Robert Brault

We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.

Thomas Merton

Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.

Ayn Rand

If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.

Edith Wharton

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

Albert Camus

Be happy with what you have. Be excited about what you want.

Alan Cohen

Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.

St. Augustine
Colette quote "Be happy. It’s one way of being wise"
“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” – Colette

Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.

Omar Khayyam

If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap. If you want happiness for a day – go fishing. If you want happiness for a month – get married. If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.

Chinese Proverb

Feeling Happy Quotes

He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.

Marcus Aurelius

Cheerfulness is what greases the axles of the world. Don’t go through life creaking.

H.W. Byles

Many things can make you miserable for weeks; few can bring you a whole day of happiness.

Mignon McLaughlin

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.

Mark Twain

Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect.

Alain De Botton

On the whole, the happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so.

William R. Inge

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.

Barbara DeAngelis

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.

Bertrand Russell

Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.

William Feather

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

Mark Twain

I have only two kinds of days: happy and hysterically happy.

Allen J. Lefferdink

Just as a cautious businessman avoids investing all his capital in one concern, so wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter alone.

Sigmund Freud

On a deeper level you are already complete. When you realize that, there is a playful, joyous energy behind what you do.

Eckhart Tolle

There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.

Anthony de Mello

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.

James M. Barrie

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.

Morris West

We hope these happiness quotes lifted your mood and brightened your day. Share them with your friends to keep the good vibes spreading and choose to be happier today.

Being happy makes life better and more enjoyable, even when we have to make changes along the way.

If you still need a boost to be happier, check out 30 things you need to let go of to find happiness and start taking steps toward a happier life.

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.

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