Its only January, but Im declaring Happy the song of 2014.
By JENEÉ OSTERHELDT
The Kansas City Star
The infectious tune from the movie Despicable Me 2 didnt make it to the Golden Globes on Sunday, but Pharrell Williams, super producer and artist, is on to something with his spirit-lifting anthem. The video, released in late November, has been viewed more than 24 million times. The song broke onto the Billboard charts last week and is featured on Beats by Dre commercials.
2DopeBoyz.com, a premier hip-hop blog, tweeted: If you dont like Pharrells Happy, you probably have no soul. The made-for-TV version has been condensed to fit just one run-through of the song, but the video actually features 24 hours of dance-happy celebrities like Magic Johnson, Jamie Foxx, Kelly Osbourne, Pusha T and more grooving as the song plays over and over.
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth On 24hoursofhappy.com, you can toggle around the clock and share the joy via Facebook and Twitter.
Spreading the happy is big in 2014. Have you seen #100HappyDays in your timeline yet?
Its a social media movement dedicated to pushing people to focus on the good in life. Online, we get caught up in venting, and everyone joins in. But this goal is to do the opposite: Spread joy. At 100happydays.com you sign in and challenge yourself to share the things that make you smile every day. It could be as simple as your morning coffee or as engaging as your child laughing. You use the hashtag #100happydays or make your own. The purpose is to appreciate the moment.
Marilyn OHearne, a Kansas City leadership coach, says exercises like this can be instrumental in shaping our outlook on life.
Anytime that you are choosing to focus on what is positive, that is going to affect how you think and how you feel, says OHearne. People have choices on what they focus on. You can take yourself out of whats so bad and get in tune with whats good with a centering exercise.
A centering exercise can be the snapshots you take for #100happydays. It can be a gratitude journal, a joy jar, a prayer circle or a meditation like the one OHearne walked me through as I sat in my office chair. You can find it on her website, marilynoh.com.
For Tracy Hull, Jenny Neal and their friends, concentrating on the good stuff proved to be a life-changing. Last year, inspired by author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and her happiness jar, she and her girlfriends got together and created their own. Basically, each evening you grab a piece of scrap paper and write down the happiest moment of your day and put it in a mason jar.
The coolest thing about it was taking the time to acknowledge the good stuff and be in the moment of acknowledgment, living it and feeling it again, says Hull, a Kansas City massage therapist. Then at the end of the year, to see how much good there was? Positive nostalgia is good for the soul, the ego and the mood.
Hull is doing a new exercise this year. Each day, she fills in the blank to this sentence on her mirror: Today was awesome because
But Neal says its just as much about sharing the joy with others as it is about you.
It was a lot of fun to talk about all of our differing experiences, says Neal, a Raytown biology teacher. Some of us saved quotes or happy thoughts they we had written down. Some kept ticket stubs to events or trips they had taken. Others held onto sweet notes they had received. Remembering and acknowledging one anothers experiences helped remind me that I keep company with some pretty amazing individuals.
Thats right. Happiness is contagious. So smile. And pass it on.