A Quick Joy Practice To Fill Your Downtime In 2021

It may sound a whole lot like a children’s rhyme, but the Happy Hat is actually a slightly—slightly!—more adult version of kids’ playtime.

The premise is simple: Fill a hat, jar, or vessel of your choosing with tiny pieces of paper. On each piece, write down an activity that you know will bring you a quick hit of joy and reacquaint you with the stuff that makes you smile.

Every time you pull a paper, you have to do the activity that’s written on it! That’s it. That’s the whole shebang. There’s something about the physicality of this practice that makes it so helpful. Once I see something written down, it feels less like a suggestion and more like a directive—and one that I’m always glad I did afterward.

Especially on weekdays when downtime tends to get gobbled up with anxiety, mindless scrolling, or just more business, filling those little spaces with a pull is my way of reclaiming a minute of joy.

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