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The 10 Best Happiness Quotes

Quotes about happiness that the science supports.

Famous happiness quotes often lack validity. What they espouse frequently isn't consistent with the scientific research about being happy.


Here are ten of my favorite happiness quotes that are (broadly) consistent with sound happiness science. These are followed by five quotes about happiness that lack validity.

1. Happiness is not a's a by-product of a life well lived. - Eleanor Roosevelt

2. I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives - Dalai Lama

3. It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy - Lucille Ball

4. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. - Marcus Aurelius

5. Act the way you want to feel. - Gretchen Rubin

6. Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it. - Andy Rooney

7. The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely. - Louisa May Alcott

8. Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have. - Doris Mortman

9. When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. - Alexander Graham Bell

10. Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. - William James

Five Famous Happiness Quotes that Lack Validity

1. Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination. - Mark Twain

2. Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. - Ernest Hemingway

3. The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it's all that matters. - Audrey Hepburn (It's the "all" that's the problem in this happiness quote.)

4. A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of - Jane Austen.

5. To be stupid, and selfish, and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness. Julian Barnes, Flaubert's parrot.

What are you favorite quotes about happiness? Are there any philosophies of happiness that you focus on too much? Are there any you focus on too little? Have you been sucked in to believing any philosophies of happiness that lack validity or where there is another side to the coin?

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photo credits: Pink Sherbet Photography (1st and 2nd), thephotographymuse (3rd) photos via photopin cc