I put this one first for a reason, and that reason is that comfort food is one of the most basic components of being a happy, well-adjusted human. There is no meeting so soul-suckingly boring that a little pizza won’t make you go out of your way to attend it. There is no emotional wound that cannot be at least temporarily patched up with some hot, crispy chicken nuggets and fries with ranch and honey mustard sauce.
2. Clean sheets.
Man, you just feel gross as shit when you’re on grimy sheets. You feel like a sentient ball of pond scum, temporarily inhabiting a vaguely moist hell that used to resemble your bedroom. It feels like your whole life is falling apart, and the second you change them to those fresh, fluffy, cool-and-warm-at-the-same-time new sheets, everything is back where it should be. You sleep like an angel on a cloud of success.
3. A breeze.
If there is one state of affairs that reminds us just how completely our overall dispositions depend on our atmospheric surroundings, it is being trapped somewhere that is hot as hell and getting nary a breeze to cool your fevered brow.
4. A hot shower.
Hot showers, especially when you’re achy or dirty, feel like getting kissed all over your body by a thousand tiny Ryan Goslings. It’s being baptised by the Cleanliness Gods in your own home , and it is an irreplaceable necessity to happiness.
5. Alone time.
All of the thrilling social activities in the world mean absolutely nothing if you can’t punctuate them with some nice time to just unwind, watch your weird-ass “me time” videos on YouTube, and be a total slob in your underwear.
6. Someone who remembers with you.
You need at least one person to discuss your memories, your experiences, and the person you used to be with. If you don’t have anyone who also remembers certain periods in your life, it can start to feel as though they never happened at all (or that they don’t count). But when you start wandering down memory lane hand-in-hand with someone, it is the emotional equivalent of someone bringing out a surprise ice cream cake and two enormous spoons. You get to just feel all the warm fuzzies, and make each other remember stuff, and giggle over inside jokes. It’s the best.
7. A nice wake-up.
For some of us, including myself, mornings will never be that nice. But if you don’t at least get a few minutes to groggily look at your phone, put something resembling food in your body, and get a little coffee or tea, your day is doomed. When you wake up in an incoherent panic and you have to run out the door wearing the first thing that wasn’t stained with the blood of your enemies, you know that you are just going to feel a little bit like shit all day long.
8. Good internet.
Having something to do on the internet and watching in agony as each page takes a full 30 seconds to load is amongst the most visceral frustrations we can experience. It’s the kind of thing to make you rip your laptop off its cord and throw it against the wall because you would rather do all of your communication by carrier pigeon from now on.
9. Purchases that are just for you.
Come on, you need to get something for yourself every now and again. If you don’t occasionally treat yourself to a bag of bulk sweets, or a new asos dress that appears to be made out of clin film and recycled cardboard, or a movie for one in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, what is life about?
10. A comfy sweater.
There is no feeling that makes you feel more safe, more comfortable, more deliciously warm and cosy than pulling a sweater around you, over your palms and up onto your neck, until you are less a human being and more an anthropomorphic ball of wool. It’s like being hugged by your clothes.
11. At least one person who just gets it.
Whether it’s the friend who doesn’t need any social issues explained to them (and who will never make horribly oppressive jokes because they don’t believe in being “PC”), or the person who is just as obsessed with that one book/show/movie/band as you are and does not matter one bit if you want to talk about it for an entire five-hour hangout session, we all need the person who “gets it.” You don’t need a group of them, you just need the one, and your sanity will be intact. Without them, you will begin to slowly question whether or not your entire reality is a figment of your imagination. Your happiness is always reinforced by their existence.
What keeps you happy?