I'm a writer, Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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woman in nature writes the secret to happiness is gratitude and noticing the simple joys

How often do we take notice of our everyday simple joys?

Here are twenty simple joys that you can look out for everyday! I hope that by noticing these sweet moments, it may bring an extra dose of appreciation to your day. 🙂

20 Simple Joys You Can Look Out For Everyday

The Sky

Something so simple but so grand, the sky is our constant friend and ally. The sky is wide and big, and I find time and time again that gazing up at the sky, the moon and the stars make me grounded and restore balance and humility within myself. On even the most stressful days, looking at the expansive sky reminds me that I am not alone, that I am a small, tiny moving part in the vast wholeness of the Universe. Looking up at the sky reminds me that we are connected, united as one. It sounds cheesy, I know, but the sky is certainly a simple joy that we can, and should, take notice of every day.

The Steady Rise and Fall of the Sun

We have so much we can learn from the sun and its generosity. The sun rises, confidently, steadfast every single day. It isn’t ashamed, and it doesn’t even think about rising – it just is. It just does. It explodes with rays of light and vibrancy every morning. It heats our planet, giving us the precious gift of late summer evenings and warmth in even the coldest of winter months. The sun shows up for us humans and our planet time and time again. And it even gifts us the most delightful rainbows and sunsets! Truth be told, if you can’t find joy in the sun, I don’t know what will. 

The Natural World

I find the most gratitude and appreciation from the natural world. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see how much I appreciate it in my “Nature” stories! I go a little coo-coo for wildlife. Not only is nature and the seasons our greatest teacher, but there is just so much beauty and aesthetically pleasing elements to nature! Take flowers for instance: do you ever stop to smell the wildflowers and ponder the variety of different flower types there are? I mean, how can there be so many different cross-breeds and colors and shapes? It’s a miracle. It’s almost as if God or the Universe gifted us flowers out of guilt because of how hard life can understandably be. Earth is a challenging place to master our soul lessons we’ve chosen to learn. But flowers, mountains, plants, forests, trees, and even the teensiest blades of grass make life so much more wonderful. 

Your Favorite Scent

We all have a scent that makes us go weak in the knees. Particularly, I love the smell of chlorinated indoor pools (my favorite!), lavender, glossy textbooks and paper. I also like the smells of bleach, roses and American dollar bills (strange, I know). Just a dab of my favorite floral perfume brings an extra added dose of joy and pleasure to my everyday. It’s a little thing, but it really makes a difference.

Tactile Objects

Even the tactile feel of things can be a simple joy! In our modern world where screens are always at our fingertips, whisking us away into the tech abyss, sometimes simply connecting with an actual object – a book, a magazine, a papercraft, tools, – can be so pleasurable! I thoroughly enjoy the feel of stationery like notebooks, paper, the crisp pages or the crackly spine of a beloved book. Working with tools and making my own jewelry, writing a letter with a feather quill and a pot of ink and watercolor painting are all hobbies that connect me to the simple joys. 

Clean Drinking Water

Having clean drinking water that replenishes and hydrates our body is so essential to our well-being, but so many places in the world don’t have it. Why don’t we take a brief pause, a moment, to appreciate clean drinking water before we take a sip? Water is vital. It flushes out our toxins and gives energy in even the hardest of mornings. Instead of drinking coffee, I drink a quart of water first thing every morning and upon finishing my glass, my body is energized and ready to tackle the day. Water is absolutely an essential simple joy; let’s treat it as such. 

Your 5 Senses

So often we take our five senses for granted. Too often do we forget that we have the ability to walk on two feet, smell delightful smells, taste delicious flavors or even breathe! So often do we forget what to feels like to hug and to hold someone. The easiest simple joy we can recognize every day, take notice of your ability to live. 

Your Favorite Outfit

Our outfits that we put-together every morning, our fashion taste and style are a great reflection of who we are deep down. While fashion is not something I specifically love, I find that wearing colors that make me smile (yellow, pastel blue, and coral) is a great way to add a simple joy to your everyday. I have a truly beloved bright yellow J. Crew trench and a bright yellow bag that I take with me everywhere. I am a serious minimalist in terms of my wardrobe and would rather have a few quality but more expensive items in my closet than a lot of cheaply made outfits. Having a few quality pieces that bring me immense giddiness and that are essential and helpful to my everyday life is a total win-win!

Funny Memes

I remember when fears of World War III were creeping up at the beginning of 2020 and how panicked everyone was. And then there was Black Twitter. Twitter users across the United States were sharing the most hilarious memes and gifs online, and it brought so much fun and laughter to our household. I vividly remember my husband and I cracking up for hours on the couch. We could’ve spent the evening in immense fear and panic. But it was because of the light-filled Twitter users who created these memes that circulated the internet that made people laugh and brought joy to their day. In even the darkest of times, you can always count on funny memes to bring relief.

Inhale and Exhale of your Breath

If there is one simple joy to always express appreciation for, it is our breath – our ability to inhale and exhale. Powerful beyond measure. With each breath, we can exhale our thoughts and worries. With each intentional breath, we can start anew. When we place our focus on our breathing, we are able to practice mindfulness. Where our attention goes, energy flows. 

Freshly Cleaned Laundry and a Freshly Cleaned Home

There is nothing that gets me happier than fresh laundry, a new dish sponge (I’m looking at you, curved brush wand!) and clean home. While I personally enjoy the act of cleaning, scrubbing and organizing, there is something quite joyful and comforting about controlling the things you can control in life.…like cleaning your home! I  love washing dishes by hand – slowly and deliberately, by being present and giving all of my attention to the one simple task. Also, I just find the warm water and soap to be a natural pick-me-up for myself personally. There is so much out of our hands in life, but keeping your home tidy and sparkling is a rather freeing feeling! Indulging in my simple routines and enjoying the mundanity of life always brings a smile to my face. 

A few other of my favorite everyday “simple joys” to keep a lookout for everyday

A Cozy Blanket

Singing Birds

Daydreaming

Your Favorite Music

A Warm Shower or Bath

The Taste of Your Favorite Food

A Happy Dog, Cat, or Animal

Human Connection

Colorful Sunsets

Spontaneity & Whimsy 

If you’d like to continue feelin’ all these cozy, appreciative feels, read my 10 easy and practical tips to feeling gratitude – even when it’s hard!

Subscribe to the “Simple Joys” Youtube Channel

If you’d like to see me explain more of finding the simple joys everyday in video format, be sure to check out and subscribe to my youtube channel dedicated to exploring the slow, simple joys of everyday life. Life’s happiness really is all in the little details. 🙂

xoxo Helena

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20 Simple Joys To Look Out For Everyday

March 16, 2020

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical, emotionally honest family and children's portraiture. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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