Best Breakup Recovery Songs Playlist and How To Process Negative Emotions To Feel Better

(Photo credit Kristopher Roller)

Some days feel difficult and that’s ok.  It’s not healthy to strive for happiness all of the time.  Trying to force happiness at inappropriate times can signal mental health issues, such as mania.  If your dog dies or a relationship ends negative emotions are appropriate.  We need to process our emotions and feel them so we can move forward.

Emotional processing occurs when a person experiences a negative event and can cope with the event as time passes.  We all face challenges that cause fear, sadness, and anxiety but these feelings are temporary for the majority of people.

There are many ways to process, or reduce, emotions.  You don’t want to get stuck feeling sad or angry long-term, right?   Masking emotions with unhealthy behaviors or blocking them doesn’t help us feel better.

Use music as a healthy way to process emotions.  Sad music lets us grieve and gets tears out so that we can feel our emotions and heal.  Also, angry music lets us feel anger and safely release it.  So, use our Breakup Recovery playlist as a catalyst for emotional health.

Best Breakup Recovery Songs Playlist

1. Thank U, Next – Ariana Grande

2. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

3. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift

4. A Little Bit Stronger – Sara Evans

5. Best Thing I Never Had – Beyonce

6.  You Don’t Own Me – Lesley Gore

7. How To Be A Heartbreaker – Marina and the Diamonds

8. Be Alright – Dean Lewis

9. We Don’t Talk Anymore – Charlie Puth Ft. Selena Gomez

10. Someone Like You – Adele

11. Stitches – Shawn Mendes

After processing emotions, consider using the Three P’s of optimism, Personalization, Pervasiveness, and Permanence to change thinking patterns from negative to positive.  Also, think about lessons learned from your experience.  You can benefit from post-traumatic growth by finding benefits in negative events.  For instance,  you might decide to listen more, talk through challenges, or take time to go back to school or learn guitar.  Emotional processing can also help us avoid past mistakes and this can be combined with post-traumatic growth to create your Best Possible Future.

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Shellee Godfrey

Shellee Godfrey creates happiness for her clients as a Systems Analyst and writes comedy screenplays based on her smart and sassy 80’s diva background.

HappyHack: Best Possible Future – How to Make Your Dreams Come True For Work and Play

Why are you smiling so wide in the future? It’s 5-10 years from now, and your happy grin comes from achieving your dreams. You accomplished this by creating achievable goals and then marking them off one after the other.

Research shows that writing about, or visualizing, positive thoughts and dreams can bring about your Best Possible Future.  This optimistic thinking can provide insights, which spark positive choices, goal achievement, well-being, and emotional adjustment.

“This isn’t just about imagining a model future. It’s also about building a best possible self today that can make that future come true,” says psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.  In one study, students wrote about their “best possible future” for 20 minutes for four consecutive days.

They responded to this prompt created by psychologist Laura King:

“Imagine yourself in the future, after everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realization of your life dreams, and of your own best potentials. In all of these cases, you are identifying the best possible way that things might turn out in your life, in order to help guide your decisions now.”

Study participants showed an immediate boost in well-being after completing this exercise, and they remained happier three weeks later. Also, students suffered from fewer illnesses for five months after this activity. Another study instructed participants to imagine their “best possible self” with a focus on work, relationships, and personal hopes. They were asked to imagine this for five minutes per day for three weeks. Study participants reported increases in optimism which built over the two weeks.

This exercise will clarify your goals so you can make decisions to create your best possible future. So, take a few minutes to start transforming your dreams into reality. When you need a refresher or are ready for new goals, review your responses and change them as needed.

.HappyHack: Best Possible Future

Time needed: 20 minutes

Supplies: paper and pen or word processing device

Instructions: Envision your future where you have worked hard to accomplish your goals and you are now celebrating your success. You have achieved all of your dreams and everything has worked out as well as possible. Think back to the specifics of how you have made your best possible future happen by setting achievable goals and accomplishing them. Now write about your future focusing on the specifics you will need for success. Questions you may want to consider:

• What is your dream job?

*Which certifications, training or education do you need for this job?

• Which financial goals have you accomplished?

• Which favorite activities do you enjoy?

* Which training, equipment or supplies do you need for these activities?

• Which people are the most important for your social life?

* What is your relationship status?

* Which relationships are the most important for you?

• What is your lifestyle like?

* Which healthy choices do you practice?

* Which fitness activities do you choose?

* Where do you live?

• Which other choices and goals will help you achieve your best future?

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

11 Funniest of Funny (Comedy) Movies and Let’s Fight Coronavirus With Laughter

Photo credit JESHOOTS.com

Who else needs a dose of positivity to fight coronavirus bad news?  Watching funny movies can boost happiness and health, so let’s laugh more.  Laughter increased positive emotions for people watching a funny clip, which improves wellbeing.  In another study, laughter improved mood and lessened pain for hospital patients as they selected items from a “laugh-mobile”, so similar measures could help coronavirus patients.

Need more evidence of laughter as medicine?  A study showed laughter decreased stress and improved immune system function.  Who doesn’t want that?  Also, psychologist Barbara Fredrikson found that positive emotions broaden-and-build which leads to more positive emotions, and greater health and happiness.

Emotions from happy movies can also improve mood due to emotional contagion, which means we can help friends and acquaintances.  A study with more than 600.000 Facebook participants found that user emotions were influenced negatively or positively by a newsfeed displaying similar emotions.  This is why we smile with Cher in Clueless when she finds true love, and laugh at Ferris Bueller’s ditch-day fun.  So, invite a friend over to share your laughter.

Photo credit Helena Lopez

We wanted to replace missed social events due to coronavirus with fun movie nights at home.  So, we reviewed Top “Funny Movie” lists from Buzzfeed, Rotten Tomatoes, OprahMag, and more.   Numbers indicate the “funniest” appearances for each movie.

  1. Clueless – 8x
  2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 7x
  3. Legally Blonde – 6x
  4. Princess Bride – 5x
  5. Bird Cage – 5x
  6. Mamma Mia – 5x
  7. School of Rock – 5x
  8. The Devil Wears Prada – 5x
  9. Forest Gump – 5x
  10. Pitch Perfect – 4x
  11. Elf – 4x

Your library may have copies of these movies, or you can find them online.  So, pop some popcorn, choose a comfortable spot, and dose yourself with laughter by binge-watching movies from our list.  Also, to increase laughter’s benefits, invite a friend or family member to watch along with you.  You’ll broaden-and-build their positive emotions along with yours, and boost your immune systems.

Try not to laugh at my favorite comedy, Ferris Bueller, and Shellee’s favorite funny movie, Night at the Roxbury.  What’s your favorite comedy, or which essential funny movie is missing?

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Shellee Godfrey

Shellee Godfrey creates happiness for her clients as a Systems Analyst and writes comedy screenplays based on her smart and sassy 80’s diva background.

Top of the Top-10 Happy or Feel-Good Movie Lists

Photo credit JESHOOTS.com

Watching happy movies can build positive emotions and lift your mood.  In one study, people watching a happy movie recovered from negative emotions, including rumination and worry. So, watch a happy movie to feel good.

Also, emotions from happy movies can improve mood due to emotional contagion.  A study with more than 600.000 Facebook participants found that user emotions were influenced negatively or positively by a newsfeed displaying similar emotions.  This is why we smile with Cher in Clueless when she finds true love, and laugh at Ferris Bueller’s ditch-day fun.

To increase positive emotions from a happy movie more, invite a friend over to share the experience.  A study showed positive social connections result in an “upward spiral” of positive emotions and also increase health.

To find the best happy movies, we reviewed Top 10 lists from Buzzfeed, Rotton Tomatoes, OprahMag, and more.  The movies are listed in order of occurrences found on “best” lists.

  1. Clueless (8 times on best lists)
  2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (7 times)
  3. Legally Blonde (6 times)
  4. Princess Bride (5 times)
  5. Brid Cage (5 tines)
  6. Mamma Mia (5 times)
  7. School of Rock (5 times)
  8. The Devil Wears Prada (5 times)
  9. Forest Gump (5 times)
  10. Pitch Perfect (4 times)
  11. (Bonus!) Amelie (4 times)

So pop some popcorn, choose a happy movie, and let the smiles begin.  What’s your favorite happy movie or what favorite movie are we missing?

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Shellee Godfrey

Shellee Godfrey creates happiness for her clients as a Systems Analyst and writes comedy screenplays based on her smart and sassy 80’s diva background.

11 Happy Songs to Help You Feel Happy Right Now and Stay Happier More Often

Photo credit Andre Furtado

Want to feel happier?  Scientists have proven that music can impact mood and change how we view the world.   Our brain builds up expectations based on experience and mood, so listening to sad music can make us feel sad, and playing happy music increases happiness.

As we experience happy emotions, they broaden and build, leading to more happy emotions.  Also, emotions are contagious, so your happiness can lift the moods of others.  In a social network study, when exposure to positive content was reduced, friends’ posts showed more negative content and with the reduction of negative content, friend’s posts showed more positive content.  So, when wanting to feel happier, use our Happy Songs to find your smile, build positive emotions, inspire new dance moves for you and others, and sing through workouts …

Happy Songs

Photo credit Juan Mendez

😃 Happy (Clap Along) – Pharrel Williams

😃 Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson, ft. Bruno Mars

😃 Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

😃 24K Magic – Bruno Mars

😃 Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen

😃 Better When I’m Dancing – Meghan Trainer

😃 Best Day of My Life – American Authors

😃 Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey

😃 Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

😃 All-Star – Smashmouth

😃 Walking On Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves

My Co-creator, Shellee, tested these songs this morning, before coffee.  She reported the playlist made her feel happy and put her in a good mood.  Also, listening to Happy, by Pharrel Williams, inspired her to dance her way to the coffee machine.

Which song makes you feel happiest, or which favorite happy song are we missing?

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Shellee Godfrey

Shellee Godfrey creates happiness for her clients as a Systems Analyst and writes comedy screenplays based on her smart and sassy 80’s diva background.

How Forgiveness Makes the Impossible Possible, Plus A Surprise Gift

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

–Lewis B. Smedes

I grew up in the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah a perfect metaphor for my unforgiving heart. My easy childhood had minor forgiveness incidents, but I had little guidance from my parents and none from religion, and this left me unprepared for the pain of a long-term unhappy marriage. Indeed, as my then-husband struggled with a painful issue (I have promised my kids to keep this issue private), I had little sympathy and blamed him for the negative impacts on our family.

Did I want to forgive my ex, as part of a forgiveness assignment for my grad school psychology class?

Absolutely not!

I can easily find empathy for people other people trying to cope with serious issues, and their friends and families, but could I use my under-expressed character strengths of forgiveness and prospective to forgive my ex? Forgiveness is an important part of good relationships, so focusing on strengths can improve well-being and future relationships.

I have forgiven others for hurts, but not him. I felt his wrongs were too grievous for forgiveness, as these hurts have caused my kids and me deep pain. When I think about this, I feel sad and mad, but worse, I experience PTSD symptoms.

Specifically, intrusive memories well up, anxiety rises, I have trouble breathing, and I feel like I’m suffocating. These symptoms have led to intimacy and commitment issues in new romantic relationships, and I find myself mistrustful as well.  Although I can’t find research studies on unhealthy relationships and PTSD, I suspect these relationships are, indeed, a cause of PTSD. While in graduate school I am discovering areas for future focus, and this may be something I would like to pursue.

I realize what happened to me is not ok, but I am divorced now, and working to create a happy life for my kids and me. In fact, my struggle has inspired me to learn how to best help others that are struggling, and that’s why I’m in graduate school, at the moldy-oldy age of 53.

Upon reflection, I can find empathy for my ex, struggling to do his best amidst adversity, just like me. His negative childhood impacted his future. In fact, my ex told me that as a child, he would hide every single day from his hostile father. I can feel empathy for this little boy without help or options. He grew up thinking this behavior was normal, and later, he wasn’t acting to hurt me, but to escape past memories, and numb the pain of our eroding marriage.

Also, my forgiveness challenge paled in comparison to a video, in which a mother forgave her son’s killer. I decided to direct loving kindness meditation towards my ex as a step towards forgiveness.

This letting go of anger could lessen my stress when thinking of my ex, or encountering him, and also manage my “hot button” triggers. Indeed, being merciful to someone that has wronged us increases life meaning and happiness by doing good (Dunn, 2017). Additionally, loving kindness meditation strengthens acceptance, forgiveness, generosity, kindness, and trust according to Mindfulness Expert, John Kabat-Zinn. Also, forgiveness does not excuse bad behavior or make it ok.

Forgiveness is not about the other person, but about releasing ourselves from hurt, bitterness, and anger.

 

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Ruminating about my past hurts me again every time I think about these painful memories. The brain registers the same pain whether it’s an injury or a memory. So, to end this, I decided to try forgiveness. I used Zinn’s mantra:

  • May I be safe.
  • May I be happy.
  • May I be healthy.
  • May my life unfold with ease.

I next directed these words towards one of the kindest people I know, Kathy Anderson. Then I directed them towards a stranger, then I took a deep breath, and directed them to my ex.

As I thought of my ex, a rush of empathy filled me, and I began crying. I pictured him as a child, hiding from his hostile father, and as a man, having to face the break-up of his family, and live with his kids part-time.

This empathy caused the impossible to happen: I forgave my ex. Doing this triggered a rush of happiness and well-being, and for the first time, I wished him happiness and well-being in the future.

Surprisingly, this wasn’t the end of my experiment. I began thinking about the role I had played in our negative relationship, offering coldness and less and less love, when my then-husband needed empathy and compassion. Also, my decision to end my marriage flooded my ex and my kids with pain. As a result of this, guilt and rumination weighed me down many days.

This exercise had made me realize I hadn’t wanted to end my marriage, but I couldn’t live with the stress anymore. I had done my best under the circumstances, and I suddenly felt an urge to forgive myself, but could I do it?

Maybe I could. I directed the loving kindness meditation to myself once more, focusing on forgiveness. Through tears, I felt a now-familiar surge of happiness and well-being, and my heart felt like it expanded, just like the Grinch’s. Forgiving my ex had provided the perspective and self-compassion to realize I was my prisoner. I could then end my rumination, forgive myself, and free myself from mental jail.

Who else could use forgiveness?

Find happiness now by forgiving someone.  If needed forgive yourself too.

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Feeling Unhappy or Unloved? Here’s How To Feel Love Every Day

You’re not alone. 110.6 million single adults (45%) may miss out on the Valentine’s holiday, but we can easily add more love to our days, whether in a romantic relationship or not.

Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson’s innovative definition of “making love” means choosing to create big and small pleasures through in-person connections every day. This means we “make love” when hugging our best friend, savoring a meal with friends, or smiling at someone’s baby. So, let’s make every day special by “making love” all day.

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

Find Your Passion — Wake up Inspired, Happy, Excited and … Singing

Use this blog post to wake up inspired, happy and excited every day. Skeptical? I was an uninspired morning-hater, but then I discovered a secret.

It took me fifty years to discover this, plus a painful soul-search and much inspirational book reading. You can skip the epic effort because I’ll tell you the secret …

Are you curious?

Drum roll ….

Here it is:  find your burning desire and spend time doing it.  Don’t roll your eyes at me, this is actually possible. Like me, you were probably thinking:

• I don’t need a burning desire, do I? I love watching the grass grow.

• How the (bleep) do I find my burning desire?

• I’ll fix my life later, after my Game of Thrones / Netflix binge-a-thon.

I thought similar things for 48 years (yeah, I can slack) but then I decided to actually do it … find my passion / burning desire, and total shocker – I found it!

Ta-da …

Helping people boost happiness and stress less makes me feel happy. I find this difficult but love doing it. Harvard Professor of Psychology, Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happinessstates the key to happiness is making wise choices of what to do, which maximizes our pleasure.

Bam! My passion makes me feel happy. Just today I said, “Good morning!” to my daughter.  It burst from my mouth and shocked us both.

As a former morning-hater, I thought good morning advocates were crazy.  But here I am … abra-cadabra … enjoying my mornings because I’m choosing to do what I love. Yesterday I woke up singing Oooohhhh What A Beautiful Morning. I apologize to my kids, who ran for cover. I might need a singing lesson, but me waking up singing feels miraculous.

I wish the same for you (sorry kids!) So how can you find your burning desire? Close your eyes and answer (at least) one of these questions:

•What activity makes you feel happy …. excited … thrilled?

What loses you in time, so you’re shocked when it’s suddenly past midnight?

•What did you love as a child but gave up?

•What makes your heart zing-zing with conviction?

Discovering your passion takes deep thought but it’s worth it … it unstuck me (hallelujah!) and transformed my life from from black and white to color. Below are some of the items that helped me find my passion. Use them to light your fire. I give them all 5-stars.

The Accidental Billionaires (book). Passionate entrepreneurs transform their dreams into billions.

A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose (book) . Woke me up. Mission accomplished, Mr, Tolle!

The King’s Speech (movie). Against all odds, King George VI overcomes a debilitating speech impediment to claim his throne.

Think and Grow Rich (book). A gold mine of inspiration.

Never, Ever Give Up (TED Talk). Experts agreed 60-year-old Diana Nyad couldn’t be the first to swim 110 miles from Cuba to Florida. She proved them wrong.

So … if a sarcastic, stuck fifty-something like me can find my passion you can too.

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Find yours, I beg of you. You can thank me later.

What’s your passion or biggest source of inspiration? Please comment, like and share.

Want more happiness and to track your happiness trends?  Join HappySpree

About the author(s)

Kendeyl Johansen

Kendeyl Johansen is a tech geek creating inspirational multimedia content to increase happiness and health for individuals and organizations.

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