1. The old woman at the gym. She’s 80 and she has to wheel her walker around to all of the machines to get to them, but grandma is still kicking ass. And hitting on the trainer while she’s at it.
2. When the guy you have a crush on “likes” your status on Facebook. It’s like the internet equivalent of when they would lightly shove you in the hall between classes in middle school, because 8th graders only know how to show affection through aggression.
3. Passengers on the train who actually give up their seats for other people — for the woman who is carrying a million shopping bags or the guy who has his baby strapped to his chest in a sling. We all talk about being “the chivalrous person,” but these people do it.
4. When you go that extra mile on the treadmill, even though you think you can’t possibly do it. Sometimes overcoming life’s little obstacles is enough.
5. Getting a handwritten letter from someone in the mail, knowing that they took the time and care to correspond with you, rather than just dashing off an email. This almost never happens, so when it does, it’s like getting a unicorn in the mail. Not that one of those would fit in the mail slot anyway.
6. When your partner tells you it’s “your turn.” Those are my two favorite words to hear in bed, other than “meatball sub.” (If you can’t eat a sandwich during sex, what’s the point?)
7. Snagging tickets to the new Beyonce concert. I can’t possibly afford it, so I won’t be able to say from experience. However, I imagine this would make everyone’s day better.
8. When your parents tell you they are proud of you. Seriously, it never gets old.
9. That moment when you’re listening to Pandora and the exact song you wanted or needed to hear comes on. It’s like a gift from the Pandora gods.
10. Getting a much better grade on a paper than what you expected. Sometimes we don’t give ourselves credit for our writing skills or the ability of our minds to create great things, and when someone else recognizes that, it means everything, especially when you frigging killed yourself on that paper.
11. Hearing that your best friend — who has been looking for a job forever — finally got that job they really wanted.
12. When someone smiles at you on the sidewalk for no reason. They aren’t hitting on you. They’re just happy at your existence for no reason. Which is the best reason there is.
13. A mini-marathon of your favorite show. There’s nothing in my life that a little Gilmore Girls can’t fix.
14. Googling “kittens” or “Christina Hendricks” on the internet. To each their own.
15. Making yourself a new Spotify playlist for the day. I always hear people complain that they need new music in their lives, so it’s energizing to know that you’re expanding your musical horizons by bringing new songs, genres and artists into your day. Today I invited Die Antwoord, A$AP Rocky, Ladyhawke and Tame Impala officially into my life.
16. When Vulture or the AV Club retweets you. This happened to a friend of mine, and it was like she unwrapped the Golden Ticket. I was jealous for days, but happy at her success at the internet.
17. Seeing old people on the street holding hands and acting like teenagers in springtime — still in love after all these years. You kind of hate them for being so adorable and smitten, but you so want to be them when you grow up.
18. Finally making conversation with that woman at work you thought hated you and finding out you have more in common than you might have thought — like that you both grew up in Ohio. However, to be fair, everyone is secretly from Ohio. (Except for David Bowie. He comes from space.)
19. Trying something new and being rewarded for your decision, like when you duck into that new Korean place your friend recommended (even though you’ve never had Korean food) or finally trying the only flavor of Naked juice you haven’t had before and finding out its your favorite.
20. CLEAN. MOTHEREFFING. UNDERWEAR.
21. When you walk outside and it’s unexpectedly nice out today, even though it’s been cold as hell for weeks. It doesn’t even have to be objectively nice, just a step in the right direction is all you need.
22. Coming home to a clean apartment. There’s just something about seeing all your stuff arranged perfectly in order—everything exactly where it should be—that gives you a strange sense of comfort.
23. When that musician or band you’ve been waiting to release another album finally does. That My Bloody Valentine record unexpectedly dropping this weekend almost killed me with excitement.
24. Landing a hi-five on the first try and hearing that perfect smack.
25. Finding an old book or record that you thought you’d lost and getting to experience it all over again, like it was the first time.
26. When one of your roommates does the dishes, because they know you did last time and they remembered that it was their turn to pitch in.
27. When you watch something you’ve seen a million times and pick out a joke you’ve never noticed before and that joke suddenly becomes the funniest thing you’ve ever heard.
28. Hanging out with your younger siblings and seeing little bits of yourself in them, the way you share not just blood but noses and fingernails, that you laugh the same or that their face scrunches up in the same shape yours does. We need to see our shapes in those close to us.
29. When someone tells you how great you look, and they genuinely mean it. No, you didn’t get a haircut or lose weight. You’re just doing you, and that’s the best affirmation they can give you.