100+ Free Things that Make Life Happier

by Belinda Munoz on June 2, 2010

sandcastle

Last month, I completely blew my budget.  I’m no spendaholic but a few unexpected bills here and there predictably did the job.

Somehow, the end of the month had me rifling through my mental rolodex for generous friends and family from whom to bum free meals and entertainment.  Thankfully, I received invitations before I could concoct a reason to crash other people’s homes and plans.  (I’ve learned three years ago that a cute kid in tow gets me invited to lots and lots of fun and free things.)

These last few days had me pondering the finer-yet-free things and life.  Wouldn’t you know it, I came up with 100+ things, some of which are weighty and others, light:

NATURE

  1. fresh air
  2. water (oceans, lakes, etc.)
  3. the beach
  4. white/black/green sands
  5. waves big and small
  6. whales/whale-watching
  7. birds/bird-watching
  8. seasons
  9. sunshine accompanied by a cool breeze
  10. aurora borealis
  11. plant growth from seedlings
  12. panoramic views
  13. fresh green blades of grass (for walking barefoot or napping)

ALL THINGS PEOPLE

  1. conversation
  2. flirting
  3. bonding
  4. laughter
  5. forgiveness
  6. friendship
  7. a support system
  8. advice from trusted friends
  9. strangers performing unexpected acts of kindness/paying it forward

SELF-ENRICHMENT

  1. library books
  2. search engines
  3. choosing positivity
  4. music
  5. exercise
  6. thoughts, thoughtfulness
  7. looking within and listening to oneself
  8. skills
  9. practice

ALL THINGS GIRLIE

  1. sisterhood
  2. motherhood (well, it costs a little bit)
  3. femininity
  4. feminism (almost free)
  5. feminine wiles (free +)
  6. girl talk
  7. hair flipping
  8. cleavage (real or illusory)

ALL THINGS MANLY

  1. masculinity
  2. a deep, resonant voice
  3. fatherhood (costs about as much as motherhood)
  4. guy talk
  5. big, strong hands
  6. socially accepted facial hair
  7. Musculus pectoralis major

ALL THINGS PHYSICAL

  1. yoga
  2. running
  3. swimming (alone or with dolphins)
  4. dancing
  5. walking
  6. bike-riding
  7. kickboxing
  8. martial arts
  9. municipally-run playgrounds and parks
  10. dining al fresco
  11. touch
  12. holding hands
  13. intimacy between two people

WONDER OF WONDERS

  1. ancient ruins
  2. ancient hieroglyphs
  3. history and historical figures
  4. the wings of a hummingbird
  5. hugging your child
  6. wandering aimlessly while humming a happy tune
  7. stumbling and getting up again and again

MIRACLE OF MIRACLES

  1. lessons from Fiddler on the Roof
  2. birth and babies (free for most species except humans in developed countries and zoo animals)
  3. holding a baby
  4. receiving gifts
  5. gratefulness
  6. sharing/generosity
  7. every day and every night

CEREBRAL/PHILOSOPHICAL AND MORE

  1. fond memories
  2. mental math
  3. learning
  4. language(s), verbal, unspoken, body or dead
  5. un-learning less-than-good habits
  6. reasoning/critical thinking
  7. rationalization
  8. literacy
  9. interpretations (of the law, of stories, of facts, circumstances, etc.) that foster freedom
  10. finding/fashioning loopholes (in order to play more, laugh harder, live better, etc.)
  11. questions and answers
  12. seeking and finding

MATTERS OF THE HEART

  1. a crush
  2. being in love
  3. love
  4. commitment
  5. devotion
  6. loyalty

ALL THINGS CREATIVE

  1. dreaming
  2. daydreaming
  3. fiction stories
  4. songwriting
  5. fantasy
  6. imagination
  7. illusion/magic
  8. problem-solving abilities
  9. street performers
  10. window displays
  11. free museum days in most major U.S. cities
  12. sandcastles and rock sculptures

THINGS THAT ARE FIERY

  1. a bonfire
  2. tango
  3. your spirit
  4. inspiration
  5. the stars, shooting stars
  6. chili peppers from your (or your friend’s) garden

+++++++++++++++++

What free things make you happier?

+++++++++++++++++

Image by johndal

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie June 2, 2010 at 8:02 am

Wow, this is a great “to-do” list for a rainy day…or a sunny day, or any day! I think your list is awesome and is inspiring my mind to wander. What I’m having fun doing is putting together all the 3’s or all the 6’s and seeing if I can create an experience out of combining them. Even as a fun creative exercise is jazzing me up. Thanks Belinda.

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2 Katie June 2, 2010 at 8:08 am

See, right now I’m dreaming about whale-watching with friends as we exchange girl talk, sharing our thoughts on socially acceptable facial hair, while we bike and hum songs, sharing, reasoning and knowing we are loyal to each other. That’s one hot chili peppered imagining!

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3 Belinda Munoz June 2, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Love how your mind works taking it to the next level!

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4 Eva @ EvaEvolving June 2, 2010 at 8:51 am

Oh Belinda, I love your lists. It’s amazing you actually came up with 100+ things!

My favorites? Green blades of grass, imaginary cleavage, bonfires. And library books – knowledge and entertainment in unlimited supply!

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5 Sarah June 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

Love this!
For me? Giggles. A compliment (given or received). Naptime. The breeze. Memories. Fantasies. Words.

Lots and lots of words.

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6 BigLittleWolf June 2, 2010 at 11:52 am

I love your lists! Yes to all of them (with a few caveats)… and… I cracked up and offer a HEAR HEAR to Girlie and Manly items.

Ah yes. Might we move manly into Fiery? I’ll gladly pass on the chili peppers for that exchange.

Delightful.

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7 Rudri June 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I echo other bloggers. Your lists are fantastic.

Enjoyment Comes from These Things: coming across a beautiful flower, kisses from my daughter, naps, nostalgia, blank page, and of course, words.

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8 Stacia June 2, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Yay for lessons from Fiddler! And I’ll add thunderstorms and crossword puzzles. =>

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9 Corinne June 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm

This is an incredible list. I might have to print out your post and put it on the fridge…

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10 Fr. Michael June 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm

You have a great imagination…and that’s a blessing!
Some of my favorite free things: running, praying, overlooking the ocean, a leisurely stroll on a warm summer evening, fun family time…

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11 Courtney Carver June 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

My favorite free thing to do is to give my dog a belly rub. It makes me so happy to see how this little thing can make him sooooo happy!

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12 Hulbert Lee June 2, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Hi Belinda, nice list. 🙂 I like this because it teaches us that happiest doesn’t have to be bought with money. You just listed about a hundred different things that make you happy and I’m sure there are a hundred other things that people can find to make them happy. The key is appreciate the small things in life and being grateful for them. Thank you and also, have you really swam with dolphins before?

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13 Belinda Munoz June 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I have watched others swim with dolphins. I lived on an island where there’s plenty of them in the water. It’s a joy to watch them do their thing. They do a kind of synchronized swim with jumps and other acrobatic-type stuff. Fascinating creatures they are.

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14 Kate June 3, 2010 at 2:03 am

I’d like to add my compliments too – fantastic list which makes me smile. Walking barefoot on the grass is my favourite I think, although that may change hour to hour!
How can anyone ever say they are bored?!
Kate.

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15 Christine LaRocque June 3, 2010 at 4:30 am

So great! For me it’s a quiet Sunday morning in bed, window open, breeze ruffling the leaves and cooling my skin. Then maybe a coffee (made at home, of course) and a good book for hours.

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16 Giulietta June 3, 2010 at 4:44 am

Hi Belinda,

The best things in life are still free! (Until they find a way to sell them back to us.) Adore “All Things People” and “Nature.” Nature is so underrated. It holds the answers to so many of our (wo)man-made problems. If we’d dive into it, we’d emerge refreshed, rejuvenated and rested. But can we see that before it’s destroyed?

Much thanks! Giulietta, Inspirational Rebel

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17 alita June 3, 2010 at 4:52 am

Ah, that was indeed quite refreshing. I enjoyed that post up to #100+

For me I enjoy the plain white computer screen with the cursor lined up just right; ‘uddles with my bambinos, the silence after I make a meal which signals to me that the food is good; running my toes in the sinking sand; brewing the perfect coffee and conversations with my best friends. Just a couple things that make me truly happy that also happen to be free.

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18 soccermom June 3, 2010 at 5:59 am

Loved this post. I do alot of thinking about the things I love and want to do before I die.
Your list just helped me add some new things to “my” list.

Thanks for stopping by. : )

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19 TheKitchenWitch June 3, 2010 at 6:15 am

I needed this post in my life today! Thank you! I looked at that beach picture and instantly felt calmer.

And cleavage (real or illusory) is, indeed, a wonderful thing.

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20 Kristen @ Motherese June 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I always love your list posts, Belinda, and this one is no exception.

One to add: cool sheets on bare legs on a warm evening. (A corollary: the cool side of the pillow.)

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21 Aileen June 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Oh I love this list!!! Nothing is greater than free happiness! Yes there are some lovely pricey things in life – but sooooooooooooo many wonderful fun free joys! A beautiful fresh morning, a hearty laugh, an embrace from a beloved.
Oh your list just makes me smile!!

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22 Claire - Gratitude Connection June 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Dipping my toes in the water, counting my blessings, warming my children’s cold hands on my warm cheeks, watching birds explore my garden, receiving a postcard in the mail.

I love your list!

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23 Wilma Ham June 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I love living in a natural environmentas there is a lot free food as well. I love while I walk to pick an orange here, a mandarin there and we can even eat certain flowers. That makes me sing and smile.

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24 BK June 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm

What a great list of Free things that make life happier! For me, a cooling breeze when I am walking, the music the dancing trees makes, flowers, greenery, blue skies, star lit night, singing while walking etc. The list does go on and on. This certainly reminds us to be grateful.

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25 Baker June 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Hi Belinda!
This pretty much sums it all. One of the things I tell people, is that the public library is one of the most Underated places on the planet. We get to read up on wonderful books filled with information all for free! Nicely done post Belinda. 🙂

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26 Privilege of Parenting June 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Great list, great spirit, great mind-set to leap into summer. Thanks!

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27 Meg at Demanding Joy June 4, 2010 at 12:40 am

Love, love, love this list! Reading it brightened my day. Thanks!

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28 Tony Single June 4, 2010 at 5:51 am

Seriously, musculus pectoralis major will never happen for me unless I invest in a steroid factory! No, gonna have to go with all the other freebies on your list there, Belinda. 😛

Except for the girlie stuff. I don’t see any cleavage happening upon my person… unless there’s some latent thing about myself that I haven’t uncovered yet! Good grief! 🙁

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29 Belinda Munoz @ The Halfway Point June 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Ha ha! I thought you might comment on those exact things, Tony. I’m not saying you’re predictable. I’m saying “I’m good.”

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30 Amit Sodha - The Power Of Choice June 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Awesome list Belinda. Reminds me of that site 1000 awesome things. Maybe you could start your own series!

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31 Paul January 13, 2013 at 5:27 am

The BEST FREE is JESUS set us FREE.

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