Selection Of Happiness Images And Quotes And Why They Make You Feel Good

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated July 22, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

When we look at something that we find beautiful, it makes us feel good, sometimes even happy. We are hardwired this way and the reasons why seem to be varied.

Getty/Halfpoint Images
Still searching for happiness?

Beautiful people and happiness

A common explanation for the connection between beauty and happiness is that it’s an evolutionary adaptation. Someone who appears beautiful to us is associated with good health, which implies fertility. Thus, people viewed as attractive are also better at attracting mates. It’s important to note, though, that what is considered attractive differs from person to person.

Beauty is also commonly associated with prosperity, and we unconsciously equate these traits with survival. According to one study, good-looking people tend to make more money and are therefore somewhat happier than those living in poverty. Furthermore, happy people are viewed as being more well-rounded, well-adjusted, and more likely to be suitable mates or friends. We enjoy seeing happy people and beautiful things because it means that things are, well, good.

Beauty begets happiness and positive emotions. See for yourself…

Connotations and happiness images

Who can resist a child’s genuine, innocent smile? Or a smiley face? Most of us have happy memories made throughout our lives. These happy memories can be relived in the imagination through smells, sounds, and images. When we re-create these memories in our minds, we experience pleasant feelings.

However, feeling happy by just looking at certain images is also possible, even if the content is foreign to our experience. Look, for instance, at this picture of a girl with a lion. It is very likely that most of us have not had the privilege of seeing or hearing a massive, regal lion. Therefore, we have no memory from which to draw. Still, seeing this girl's evident pleasure is likely to evoke positive feelings.

Looking at smiling faces

Simply looking at images of happiness and joy can activate pleasure centers in the brain. Research demonstrated that when people looked at fear-inducing images, such as pictures of angry faces or spiders, it exacerbated their fear and stress responses. People with anxiety and depression experienced an elevated response to the images. Conversely, when people are shown faces of smiling and laughing people, the reverse takes place, and the pleasure centers are activated in the brain.

A selection of happiness quotes

Below, you will find some happiness quotes to complement the images above. 

Happy children and parents

“I am not a perfect mother, and I will never be. You are not a perfect daughter, and you will never be. But put us together, and we will be the best mother and daughter we will ever be.” - Zoraida Pesante

“Raising boys has made me a more generous woman than I am. Undoubtedly, there are other routes to learning the wishes and dreams of the presumably opposite sex, but I know of none more direct, or more highly motivating, than being the mother of sons.” - Mary Kay Blakely


Happy children

“There's no better feeling than making your little girls laugh.” - Jerry O'Connell

“There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a happy and smiling child. I always help in any way I can, even if it's just by signing an autograph. A child's smile is worth more than all the money in the world.” - Lionel Messi

Happy women

“There is nothing rarer, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.” - Steve Maraboli

Happy men 

“The happiest man is he who knows how to bring into relation the end and beginning of his life.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Happy relationships

“Love is always bestowed as a gift -freely, willingly, and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.” - Leo Buscaglia

Happy nature and animals

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” - Crowfoot

Happiness quotes & memes

So, you now have a whole selection of happy and beautiful images at hand! Here are a few quotes about happiness that you can use to create your own memes. 

  • “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”– Dr. Seuss
  • “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” - Robert A. Heinlein

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” - Mahatma Gandhi

  • “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your actions.” - Dalai Lama XIV
  • “They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” - Tom Bodett
  • “No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” - Gabriel García Márquez
  • “Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.” - Mark Twain
  • “Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” - P. Kinsella
  • “Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.” - Ayn Rand
  • “When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” - M. Barrie
  • “I'd far rather be happy than right any day.” - Douglas Adams
  • “Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and be happy.” - Guillaume Apollinaire
  • “Happiness is not the absence of problems; it's the ability to deal with them.” - Steve Maraboli
  • “True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” - Seneca

What if you’re not happy?

Still searching for happiness?

Sometimes, no matter what we do or how hard we try, we just cannot seem to maintain a lasting sense of happiness. That’s okay. Happiness is not a permanent, ultimate destination to be reached, but something that we must learn how to define for ourselves along the many branching paths of our life. It’s a bright, blooming purple aster along an autumn trail after the last leaves have fallen. We can choose to see the bare branches, the flower, or both. Many asters only bloom in the autumn, and so, too, must we learn to find happiness and beauty in our own metaphorical autumns. We make a conscious choice to find goodness and happiness even in the midst of pain, difficulty, and uncertainty.


“Jessica is amazing. She always makes me feel supported and like my feelings are valid, even when I'm spiraling and questioning everything--emotions included--around me. She helps me to find the ground when I feel like I'm lost in a sea of chaos and anxiety. I feel motivated and supported when it comes to working on my emotional health, my goals, and finding happiness following a session with her. Our sessions leave me feeling creatively energized and inspired.”

“She has been very helpful in my current time of need. I am so glad I was matched with her as my counselor. I am on the road to recovery and happiness thanks to her.”


If, however, you’re struggling to find your own happiness, know that you don't have to figure it out on your own. Regular counseling sessions with a qualified and trained therapist can help. You deserve to be happy, no matter who you are or what your circumstances are. 

Sometimes, a lack of happiness can cause us to withdraw from life. In these cases, reaching out to an in-person therapist can be challenging. You may prefer to just stay at home. That’s where online therapy comes in. With internet-based counseling, you can connect with a licensed mental health professional from the comfort of your home. 

Studies have found that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy, too. People with depression, in particular, experience an average 70% reduction in symptoms.

Online therapy also tends to be more cost-effective than in-person counseling, and you don’t have to pay for transportation to reach your appointment. Don’t wait for happiness to find you. 

Continue reading to see reviews of BetterHelp therapists by people learning how to find happiness.

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