6 Things Happy People Do Every Morning

6 things happy people do every morning. Can't wait to add some of these to my morning routine!Maybe it’s because I’m a bona fide morning person, but I believe the AM hours are some of the most important ones of the day. 

Why? Because what you choose to do during that time sets the tone for the rest of your day.

If you start off feeling calm, refreshed, and joyful, you’re more likely to sustain that positive vibe as the day goes on. On the other hand, if you wake up and immediately feel rushed or sluggish (or worse—both!), it can be tough to snap out of it even when you really need to.

Want to make sure you’re consistently waking up on the right side of the bed? Try incorporating one or more of these into your morning routine.

6 Things Happy People Do Every Morning 

1. Move.

Please notice I said “move,” not “exercise.”

While some people love to jog before the sun rises or go to a 6am spinning class, formal exercise isn’t the only way to benefit from morning movement.

Something as simple as a 10-minute stroll or even just some light stretches when you get out of bed will wake up your body, get your blood flowing, and help you feel more refreshed as you start your day. 

2. Pray or meditate.

A mere five minutes of quiet time spent talking to or listening for God, doing some deep breathing, writing in a gratitude journal, or anything else that requires you to be calm and present will then help you remain calm and present as the day progresses.

3. Hold off on checking their devices.

I will admit that oftentimes the first thing I do in the morning is reach over, grab my phone from my nightstand, and check my email. Sad, right?

Plugging in as soon as we wake up puts us in “go mode” way too early. Before our feet hit the floor our minds are already cluttered with messages we need to respond to and Facebook statuses we need to like—which almost guarantees our lives will feel cluttered the rest of the day.

Next time your 6am smartphone alarm beeps, try turning it off and putting it down without looking at it further, and see how it affects your morning.

4. Eat a satisfying breakfast.

Giving your body some proper fuel within a few hours of waking is key to feeling energized throughout the day. And no, a cup of coffee by itself does not count as proper fuel.

The ideal morning meal will make you feel full and satisfied but not weighed down. Additionally, when you eat healthy from the get-go it usually makes it easier to make good food choices the rest of the day.

I like to aim for a nourishing combination of protein and complex carbs. Some ideas: greek yogurt with fruit and wholegrain cereal, oatmeal with peanut butter and banana, or a veggie omelette with wholegrain toast on the side.

5. Plan for the day.

Happy and productive people intentionally take a few minutes in the morning to map out their days—that way they don’t end up fluttering around aimlessly from task to task, or procrastinating on the stuff that really needs to get done.

Keep in mind that this plan can and should go beyond your to-do list; it should also be a plan for your attitude. What challenges might you face today? What hurdles might you encounter? 

Making a plan includes adopting a daily resolution for how you want to react to whatever life throws your way.

6. Say “I love you.”

Happy people communicate their love and appreciation for those closest to them—partners, children, family, and friends—at the beginning of every day. Doing so strengthens the meaningful relationships in our lives, which in turn makes us happier, healthier, and able to thrive.

The key is to say those three little words intentionally, genuinely, and with feeling, so that they don’t lose their impact. When possible, throw in a hug too!

Does your morning routine include any of these?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it! Who knows, maybe you’ll make someone else’s day a little happier!


32 responses to “6 Things Happy People Do Every Morning”

  1. Love this. It looks very similar to my morning routine. I like how you say move not exercise. I used to exercise in the morning but I have moved it to the evening because that is what my body naturally wants to do. Mornings are for movement now.

  2. This dovetails so well with a 31 Days series that I’ve been reading called “31 Days to a Meaningful Morning.” I am not a morning person but I can appreciate getting up early and starting my morning on the right foot. Just don’t ask me to talk to anyone! =)

  3. Yes to all, but I have to be careful with movement. I have two that like to sleep in, so I am extra respectful with morning sounds and movement (our house is very open).

  4. I love every one of these! I’ve been working my way towards a few of these (I now wait at least an hour to check my device) but need to keep going for sure!

  5. Sadly, my morning routine does not include many of these. And I would like to change that. I certainly am guilty of checking my phone as soon as I wake up and it really is not that important. Thanks for these great tips! Sound advice here.

  6. My morning routine SHOULD include all of these, but it usually includes resentment and confusion that I’m not sleeping.
    Something to work on for sure. On non school days, I’m pretty great with the meditation and the big breakfast!

  7. YES!!!!! I swear taking the kids to school every day and praying with them and loving on them makes my day- EVERY DAY. And being prepared for the day (the night before) makes our morning rush so much easier.

    I’m a night person- so I usually get myself ‘ready’ mentally and spiritually the night before- I wake up ready to RUN!! (well- not literally- good Lord not that.)

  8. I just love that you used the word “move” and not “exercise.” I caught onto the power of the word “move” earlier this year. To me, that one word changes everything. Fabulous list, Katie!

  9. Katie,

    I really envy people who wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning! That’s definitely not me. But I really can agree to your tip about getting moving. I recently started attending fitness classes in the mornings (mostly because my gym offers free childcare!) and it’s made a huge difference in the way I feel.

    Delaying a bit before entering “go” mode is a great tip, I need to be better about that and I think it would be a much happier way to start the day.

    It’s great to be back here on your blog! Love it, as usual. I’ll make sure to pin this.


  10. I do all of these except like most, I am guilty of checking my phone too. Although I do wait till my morning cup of coffee is done before I check it so that has to count for something right?! I still want to get one of those cups that shows different levels or “ready-to-talk” based on how full the cup of coffee is!

  11. I move and I eat, and I say I love you to my kids. And I plan the night before, usually. I consider myself a happy person, so I guess I’m doing something right!

  12. I move, I eat a light breakfast, I spend at least 10 minutes of quiet time with my husband before he’s out the door for the day. I plan my week on Sundays, so I usually have an agenda for each day pre-set.

    For me, I’d add sunlight. I’ve noticed that since the permacloud has moved in to the PacNW (typical for October) I’ve been a little slower. I used to have no problem bouncing out of bed when I was living in Arizona.

  13. I reach for my phone FAR too often these days. I do, however, move, pray, plan for the day, and eat a good breakfast most days. I *think* I say I love you, but I’m not sure. I am planning to pay more attention to this one now:-).
    Great list!

  14. I wish I could say I do all these every morning but the truth is I don’t. I’ve never been a morning person and always need about 30 min of “nothing” before I can really start my day. Of course, having a daughter has changed that so I’m going to try doing all of these and see if it gets us to a better start. 🙂

  15. Yes, yes, yes. Being happy is all about intention in my opinion. Intention to set the tone. Intention to make a plan for the day and say ‘I love you.’ I going to admit though, I’m not great at staying away from my device. Darn, with blogging it’s so hard to stay offline 😉

  16. Oh yeah! I wake up, meditate, get ready, give everyone kisses and loves you and you know what? I’m a pretty damn happy person! But one thing I definitely try to do every morning is something for somebody else. When I do something for another person, like getting my boss a cinnamon roll on my way in, or letting a shitty driver in my lane, I feel good and ready to take on another day.

  17. my morning routine has most of it 🙂 and yeah, I really agree with you about not checking the phone in the morning. I did it before right after waking up and doing it cause me to be lying more on the bed.

    I usually cycle to school and it helps a lot in terms of fresh air and ‘movement’ you said 🙂

  18. These are wonderful tips! I need to get better at not checking my phone first thing when I open my eyes, it’s such a terrible habit. I also want to get better at creating to-do lists each day, because I get SO much more accomplished when I do.

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