Dear Positively Positive tribe, I just got home last night from Aruba and it was magic. Pure magic. I can’t wait to share with you all what I was creating there. I’ve been getting so many emails lately from people who are going through a rough time so I’ve been thinking about this question a lot: How do you feel good, or okay, or okay-ish, when life is giving you lemons? When nothing much is happening? When you are sick? When you’re stuck in really crappy traffic?

I don’t know.

I do know that life is a process, a never-ending list, and I know that finding joy for no reason is at the top of my list when it comes to feeling good.

So, when you feel like donkey dung, here are six ways to lift you up a bit.

Find joy for no reason. Does everything need a reason? In many ways we are taught that Yes, yes everything must be explainedunderstood, compartmentalized, but in reality, this “no reason” kind of joy is the best. Catching yourself off guard with your own happiness, your own inexplicable happiness. Waking yourself up in the morning because you are laughing? Yeah, that rocks. So look around. Allow yourself to find joy just by being alive, or looking up at the great big bruise of a sky, or a damn good cup of coffee. Find joy for the sake of it. Forgo reason!

Music. I am a huge fan of music (ironic since I am very hard of hearing and often can’t hear it, and have to make up the lyrics and I make them up VERY BADLY). Find music that makes you want to dance. Dance! Or music that makes you well up with emotion, in the best possible way. Find music that makes your heart skip a beat. Find music that reminds you of _____. You fill in the blank.

You get to do that: Fill in your own blanks. Then sing out loud.

Take notes. Literal or mental notes. What I’m saying is “pay attention.” Remember what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. Get a notebook if you need to and jot down words and phrases, and write about people you love and what their faces look like in the morning light, and memories and songs. Doodle in the margins. Spill coffee on it or stain it with pizza so you remember those moments every time you open your notebook.

Deliver on a promise. It can be a five year old promise—it doesn’t matter. It’ll make you feel as good as the person on the other end. Don’t believe me? Think of the last time someone followed through on something. Think of the last time you yourself did. One of my favorite expressions is Expect To Be Delighted, and when you deliver on a promise you most certainly bring that phrase to life. You also can begin to trust that you will be delighted more often! A win-win.

Touch. More than you think you do already. Hug. Get in contact with another human. Or a dog. Dogs are good too. Hug dogs. Or cats. Animal love, human love, love for the sake of love, just connect in some way. I’m not saying to run out and have sex with everyone but do indeed touch often. We need this nourishment. Imagine my hand is resting on your shoulder right now, in fact. Or, better yet, right there over your heart.

Say thank you. Be a human Thank You. (That’s one of the chapter in my new book actually, Girl Power: You Are Enough.) Thank others. Thank the moon and the stars and the sun and the internet, and whoever and whatever. Thank yourself for things. I know it can be hard to acknowledge our own selves but it’s imperative to our well-being to be grateful. Our lives depend on it.

Let those be the first words on your lips upon waking: “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” @JenPastiloff
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Say it in various languages! Sing it! Write it. Paint it. Let it be your first thought as you start your day. And then pay attention. Fiercely.


Love, Jen xox

I will see you in NYC July 25, Atlanta Aug 8 and Chicago Aug 22! Info here.

Join Jen in Tuscany!!

Jen leads retreats that are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this post to understand. Check out for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (NJ, Seattle, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Vancouver, NYC & London are next). She leads an annual invite only retreat to Tuscany. She is the founder of the popular The Manifest-Station website. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. You can also find her at