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ThuAug 8

Happiness Happens Day – August 8, 2024

Read on to see how happiness happens and see how you can make it happen today, on Happiness Happens Day, August 8. Happiness — it’s what people want most out of life. If we aren’t actively looking for it, we are talking about it, spreading it, dreaming about it, or, hopefully, experiencing it. For many, it’s a goal to be happy. Then, there are those who always just seem happy. How do they do it? Is it naturally in them or do they work at it?  

History of Happiness Happens Day

The Secret Society of Happy People, founded in 1998 by Pamela Gail Johnson, was originally a ‘secret’ society to allow members to talk about everything that made them happy because they were genuinely happy people, but they did so secretly so as not to allow overhearing Debbie Downers to rain on their parade. From this came their slogan, “Are you happier than you admit you are?.”

They created Admit You’re Happy Day in 1999, which eventually evolved to Happiness Happens Day. In 2000, they declared the month of August as Happiness Happens Month because, well, why limit a celebration of happiness to one day? Every year, a theme is chosen for Happiness Happens Month. In 2019, they encouraged everyone to acknowledge people who make them smile, also known as our ‘Smile Starters.’

The Society offers many tools and resources to promote happiness, personally, at work, and in the community. For example, they created a Happiness Counter to help you recognize daily happy moments that tend to be overlooked. It lists 31 ‘types’ of happiness that people often feel or experience throughout the day. At the end of each day, you can reflect on how many of them you experienced and realize you had more moments of happiness than you acknowledged and embraced during the day.

Over the years, more and more people have talked about happiness — how to get happy, be happy, find happiness, spread happiness. With that, the popularity of the Society grew — so much so, they outgrew the need for secrecy! So, in 2019, the group became simply the Society of Happy People.

Happiness Happens Day timeline

Early 1880s
Happy Hour

Women’s social clubs begin holding social events referred to as ‘Happy Hour Club’ or ‘Happy Hour Social Club’ — the concept continues to this day, thankfully.

Happy Birthday to You

The lyrics and melody to the famous birthday song appear in print for the first time with no credit references or copyrights.

January 15, 1974
“Happy Days”

The wildly popular television sitcom airs for the first time, running through 1984.

October 1977
Happy Meals

McDonald’s introduces a packaged children’s meal, complete with a toy, in the Kansas City market — it rolls out nationally in 1979.

Happiness Happens Day FAQs

Who is happier — married people or single?

Studies show married people are happier throughout life but, if you are not married, having other deep, meaningful relationships can bring about great happiness.


How many times per day do people smile?

Adults smile, on average, 20 times per day, which is a fraction of that of a child who smiles 400 times per day! Let’s not lose that smile factor as adults. As Truvy (Dolly Parton) said in “Steel Magnolias,” “Smile, it increases your face value!”


How happy are Americans?

On a scale of one to three, with one being ‘not too happy,’ Americans average 2.18. Interestingly, since the 1970s, Republicans have been consistently happier than Democrats and the trend lines do not change meaningfully based on who occupies the White House.

Happiness Happens Day Activities

  1. Be a smile-starter

    Make others happy through small, smile-inducing gestures: write a handwritten letter, call, send flowers, or bake cookies. The list of ways you can spread cheer to others is truly endless but be sure to mention today is Happiness Happens Day and that they can make it happen by passing it on!

  2. Give kudos

    Seek someone out to thank or compliment them for a job well done. When we let people know how much we appreciate or admire them, it exponentially increases happiness, not only for them but also for you.

  3. Make a list

    Make a list of things that make you happy and things you see as happiness zappers. Knowing the zappers may help you avoid them or, at least, better prepare for responding to them. Also, when you recognize happiness zappers for what they are, you can more quickly reframe your state of mind and move thoughts to the list of things that make you happy.

5 Amazing Ways To Choose Happiness

  1. ​Gratitude

    Expressing gratitude leads to an overall optimistic attitude; it is consistently and strongly correlated to feelings of happiness.

  2. ​Volunteer

    Giving of your time to help others has been shown to decrease feelings of depression and improve optimism and a sense of worth.

  3. Give

    ​We’ve all heard the phrase: it is better to give than to receive — yes, giving is another action that leads to happiness and benefits the giver as much, if not more, than the receiver.

  4. Encourage

    Lifting others up brings about a reciprocal effect — put out positive thoughts and feelings and this is what you will likely receive in return.

  5. Reminisce

    ​Spend some time looking at old photos, flipping through high school yearbooks, or reading old letters and you will find feelings of happiness overflowing as you stroll down memory lane.


  1. We want to be happy

    In a 2016 survey, when Americans were asked which they would prefer: to have a happy life or a life of achievement, 81% of people answered they would rather be happy! Being happy is important so we love having a day dedicated to making happiness happen.

  2. Happiness is contagious

    Studies of social networks have revealed that not only does your direct circle of friends impact how happy you are but people you know indirectly can, too, so we want happiness to extend well beyond our innermost circle.

  3. Happiness helps you live longer

    Medical studies have shown happy people are more likely to live longer due to having a stronger immune system, fewer aches and pains, and decreased stress, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Happiness Happens Day dates

2024August 8Thursday
2025August 8Friday
2026August 8Saturday
2027August 8Sunday
2028August 8Tuesday

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