Anxiety, Favorite Things, Humor, Life, Menopause, Music

Things That Make Me Feel Good


It’s my birthday week! You know what that means? You’re late in sending me my gift. Just kidding! Unless you really feel the need to, then who am I to stop you?

My birthday week means I spend each day doing something nice for me! Last year, I wrote about making birthday week a “thing”.

How you need to do little things for yourself in your birthday week (or month-you do you) because your birth was important, you are special and you deserve to be celebrated.

Last fall, I met a friend at a local coffee shop to help her get a blog off the ground (you can head here to read her words). Side note-I love it when people ask me for help getting into blogging because it makes me feel hopeful that blogging isn’t a dying medium.

Laura is an English instructor at two local colleges and wanted to create a blog for release but mainly because she loves to journal. Journaling is becoming a lost art as more and more people stop writing in books or diaries and write notes on their phones or on social media. Although, one could argue that even that is some form of journaling.

Hell, my blog is a journal for all to see.

If you are looking for therapy for anxiety or stress, blogging is definitely one to try. Did you realize that you can write a private blog? I did that for the first month I began blogging, just writing thoughts I wanted no one to see before realizing how amazingly therapeutic it was. I deleted those posts and started writing posts that I felt comfortable sharing and the rest is history.

A few months ago, one of Laura’s journal prompts was Things That Make Me Feel Good and I knew that was a prompt I could wrap myself around to tie in with my birthday week!

I could go dirty with that prompt, but I was a good girl and created a fun list of things that make me smile, coo, want to do a cart-wheel. Okay, maybe not cartwheels because have you tried doing one lately? HOLY SHIT.

This is a fun prompt for you beginning journalers, future bloggers, or someday writers to try.

Follow along and let me know the things that make you feel good. Unless it’s nasty, then I don’t want to know.


Brandi Carlile

I’ve loved Brandi Carlile since the moment I heard the song The Story.

All of these lines across my face

Tell you the story of who I am

So many stories of where I’ve been

And how I got to where I am

But these stories don’t mean anything

When you’ve got no one to tell them to

A few weeks ago I heard her latest song, The Joke, on the radio and I am now obsessed.

Don’t ever let them steal your joy

And your gentle ways, to keep ’em from running wild

They can kick dirt in your face

Dress you down, and tell you that your place

Is in the middle, when they hate the way you shine

I see you tugging on your shirt

Trying to hide inside of it, and hide how much it hurts

It’s a song for anyone who feels square in a round world. I did some research after listening to that song over and over, sobbing in the car, on the treadmill, in my room because of this song, HOLY BALLS THIS SONG.

I ended up Wiki’ing the shit out of Brandi Carlile while listening to The Joke with tears and snot running down my face.

She grew up in Washington state, she is one of those cool coffee shop musicians who doesn’t even realize she’s cool. I love people like that. She has two children with her wife, and she has ADHD.

When I find adults who have ADHD, I am immediately their biggest fan. For a lot of reasons but mostly because of my Ella and it gives me examples of greatness to show her in low times. We know she’s spectacular and ahead of her time, the world doesn’t yet.

I flock to the underdog, the quirky souls, the ones who show their truths without being afraid. I believe that is why God gave me my Ella. I can appreciate her on a level that no one in her world can.

This song, that artist, she has given me life.


Listen to the song.

Then share it with someone you know who needs it.



Brandi Carlile Channel on Pandora

So it should come as no surprise that I now listen to the Brandi Carlile Pandora channel every single day.

Random: I never thought I would be the type of person who loves Ray LaMontagne (who is one of many artists featured on her channel).  He seems almost too hip for me to listen to.

Think coffee house, people wearing stocking caps and the guy who does poetry slams? I appreciate these people but I am not one of these people. sadly.

Maybe if I listen to Ray long enough, I will.

If you are looking for a laid back playlist, something you could play at a dinner party or backyard BBQ, this is the one.


My friend Rosemary introduced me to this two weeks ago. Apparently, this isn’t a new thing so of course, it’s no surprise that I just found out about it. Essentially it is a spell check extension you can add to Google Chrome so that you have spell check everywhere. EVERYWHERE. If you type a word into a comment on Facebook? Grammarly is there to say HEY IDIOT! THERE’S AN APOSTROPHE THERE. If you are a troll and want to write YOUR AN ASSHOLE. Grammarly is there to say IT’S YOU’RE, DICKHEAD. It’s a great time to be alive.


The Song Pop app 

I love music and I am really good at music trivia but this app is simply music nerds playing against other music nerds to guess songs quickly enough. I have even met friends ON the app who want to make this into a game show with Gene Rayburn-style microphones. It’s okay if you don’t know that reference because I’m a nerd but so are my Song Pop freaks, so it’s all good.


Rain in April 

I love summer, I adore fall but THIS is my favorite time of year. It’s the beginning of better weather and when my anxiety is actually the best. I don’t do well with endings, or even middle’s for that matter. But beginnings are good. I do really well with beginnings.*

*Except for this year because of the snow which is NOT one of the things that make me feel good.


Writing at John Hughes’ grave three times a year

Some of my best writing comes when sitting at his grave site. It’s not anything about stalking, but rather a peaceful place. Sometimes I walk around the graves, sit on the bench that overlooks his headstone, or just talk aloud as I meander through the cemetery because no one there judges me. And since my loved ones are buried too far away to write at their graves, Mr. Hughes has become an amazing substitute.


Spending hours on Realtor.Com at bedtime looking for a house. In Alaska? 

Maybe not Alaska but I have looked at many other places because it’s fun to see homes in different areas of the country. I have looked at condos in Chicago, homes in Utah, adobes in Colorado, cottages in Florida, tiny studio apartments in California, Do you ever dream about living somewhere completely different than where you are right now?



Guilty pleasures. Happy places. Comfort items.

Lots of big words to describe things in our lives that just make us feel good.

What are yours?




28 thoughts on “Things That Make Me Feel Good”

  1. I love Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble.”
    I love listening to Korean pop music or Kpop. “Butterfly” by BTS is what got me hooked.
    Korean drama. It takes me far away from here. If you’re not a fan of a whole lot of sex and violence on TV then I highly recommend it. Of course they also have those types of shows but there are so many to choose from. Also, the fashion and the food!
    YouTube. I enjoy watching regular people from different countries living their everyday lives like going grocery shopping and doing grocery hauls. It’s fun!
    Daily vlogs is what they call it.
    I will give Brandi Carlile a listen!
    Happy Birthday week!


    1. That’s my favorite Ray song!
      You will love Brandi, I promise you.
      Thank you for opening my eyes to Korean culture. I love their music because it is so soothing; even the upbeat songs.

      I would find watching grocery shopping in different countries oddly satisfying. It might even help my anxiety. 🙂


  2. Happy birthday week!

    Let’s see. Currently my favorite things are, in no particular order:

    Music in general
    Road trips
    Planning travel
    Laughter with my husband
    Laughter with my kids
    Laughter with my friends
    Salon appointments
    Spring weather so good that I can open the sunroof in my car

    I could go on for hours…. 🙂


    1. Thank you!

      I love these types of posts because I adore hearing what makes everyone happy.
      Your list sounds very much like mine!

      If you think of more, you can write them here any time. 🙂


  3. Are you looking at homes near me?! I hope so! I hope April gets her act together and shows you the respect you deserve-you might have to extend your celebration (a snow date rather than the much preferred rain date)


    1. Maybe summer homes! Because when I become famous and junk, I will need to have several homes. At least I think that’s what famous people do. I’ll get homes close to all my favorite people. Starting to look at now…..


  4. I loved this and needed it so much this week 🙂 My soul has been on vacation the last couple of weeks (unfortunately NOT taking me with her) so if you just read that like I am saying I am currently a shell of a woman going through the motions… well, YES, yes I am! But I can find joy in others’ joy, and I am so glad you shared!!

    Also, I love, love, LOVED this line “I flock to the underdog, the quirky souls, the ones who show their truths without being afraid.” and yes, I just quoted you, to you. Is that pretentious? Flattery? Annoying? HA!

    Thank you again, for being YOU and I hope you have a truly wonderful amazing birthday week!!


    1. GIRL. I get you. My anxiety has been at DEFCON 5 for weeks for some reason. My birthday week came just in time to save my life.

      I love LOVE LOVE that you quoted me!! I feel all famous and writerly now!!

      Thank YOU for being you and just like that, I quoted you back. 🙂


  5. Happy birthday week!!!!! It’s funny you mentioned cartwheels because I loved turning cartwheels growing up and often when I’m outside I get the urge to just do it… and then I stop myself because I CAN YOU IMAGINE? I see ambulances with blinking lights when I think about it.


  6. I love so many things! I love Winter when you can see further in the woods because the leaves are off the trees, it’s cool and not swelteringly hot, the days are shorter, fire in the fireplace.
    I love it when it snows here, which isn’t very often.
    I love milkshakes.
    I love mashed potatoes, potato chips, and cherry pie.
    I love to listen to the Beatles’ music from the early 60’s when they were a sensation.
    I love dogs and cats.
    Happy Birthday Week Kari!


    1. I love mashed potatoes, chips and cherry pie too!
      I love listening to 60’s music in general, as that was what my parents listened to when I was growing up.
      Thank you for sharing these! This list makes me happy. 🙂
      Thank you!!


  7. Happy birthday week! I’m so on board birthday week. I’m making it a thing for me starting this year.

    I’m glad you were able to use one of my writing prompts for your blog. As we discussed when we met, writing can be so therapeutic. I remind my students of this all the time. Whether it’s blogging, journaling, or writing an essay, writing can do wonders. It’s one of the best ways to release the stuff we tend to hold on to. And, as you mentioned, it doesn’t have to be shared with others, but the mere fact of you getting it out of your mind, helps to release the stress and/or tension it causes our body for holding it in.

    I LOVE Grammarly as well. I use it all the time. I also use it to check all my students’ essays for plagiarism. It’s helped me out a number of times.

    Thank you for your blog. Keep on writing!!!


  8. Happy birthday week! I forgot this idea, but I totally need to steal it. Except, I can’t do it for my birthday because it’s at the most unwonderful time of the year (December). I’ve been thinking for a long time that I need to celebrate my HALF-birthdays, which would be in June.

    What makes me feel good? Hot baths, cold whiskey, thick books, dark chocolate, 75 degree sun, marine air, old friends, hope. I love Brandi Carlisle, too, and I especially love that she grew up not so far from where I did. I also love trolling Redfin and imagining all the lives I’m not going to live, but might have.

    I’m glad you have your Ella, and she you. That makes me feel good, too.


    1. Yes to half-birthdays!! Ella’s day is in January and she always wishes her birthday was in the summer, which is where her half-birthday would fall.
      I love all of the things on your list except I’ve never had whiskey. I KNOW. Need to try that I think. While listening to Brandi.


  9. Happiest of birthday weeks to you m’lady! We’ve been to John’s grave a few times and it is a lovely place to sit and just, I don’t know…be? I do the same thing on This is my favorite from Stowe VT that I’m waiting for money to fall out of the sky for:

    The thing that makes me happy lately is listening to a TON of Marlon Williams. Particularly Come to Me, Vampire Again, What’s Chasing You and I’m Lost Without You. In a day and age where crooners were practically extinct, it’s amazing to find this New Zealand treasure!


    1. THAT HOUSE. I NEED THAT HOUSE. Also, 925,000.

      I love crooners-my two favorites are Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett (we’ve even seen him live); so I will definitely check out Marlon Williams!


  10. Happy birthday week! I enjoyed seeing these little things that make you happy and I’ll definitely have to give Brandi a listen. FWIW, I love poetry slams and coffee shops and Ray L is “OK” but not someone I go out of my way to listen to. But yeah, the song Trouble is awesome. Oh – and I love the guilty pleasure of…especially when looking for a beach cottage in California or a southwestern type home in Taos, NM.

    My little things…listening to my Spotify playlist (esp when I’m home alone), puttering around the house, walking in the State Park, hanging out in a coffee shop, a trip to the library, visiting an independent bookstore, antiquing and thrifting…hmm, I’m sure there’s a lot more but this is just off the top of my head while not having enough coffee.


    1. I am loving reading all of these responses. They give me joy and also great suggestions!
      Somedays I have Trouble on autorepeat because it’s just one of those days. Also, he is on my “Anti-Anxiety” playlist. 🙂


  11. Kari happy late Birthday week. Brandi certainly has a beautiful voice. I’ll have to get into her. Right now I was listening to a 90’s grunge playlist… don’t ask. haha! I discovered Grammarly a year ago and love it so much because you know we do so much writing sometimes even while we are half asleep.

    Now for what makes me feel good.
    A good cup of coffee in the morning!
    A yummy dessert from my daughter’s hands!
    Seeing the kids moving forward one day at a time.
    Playing the Sims and building houses on there that I will never own. Actually I always wanted to be an architect but never pursued it. This is one way of fulfilling my dream.. Haha!
    And lastly music, always music, no matter what it is! Sometimes I’ll put You Tube on and let it take me where it will. One of the best things I’ve heard is the Hamilton soundtrack!!

    Ok I’ll keep it short. May we always find you here to break us out of the mold!


    1. I love good old 90’s grunge. Will have to look that up on Pandora.
      MUSIC! Yes!! Your list is very motivating to me for some reason. I may try that Sims game.
      And Hamilton!! My youngest daughter loves the soundtrack and hearing her singing it around the house has gotten us singing it too. 🙂


  12. Happy birthday week! And yes, birthday weeks absolutely should be a thing. I need to get grammarly. I’ve heard about it a lot, but I haven’t taken the plunge. For no good reason. I’m realizing that I avoid doing a lot of things for no good reason. Just another reason why therapy would probably be a good thing for me.

    I also love the idea of writing down what makes me feel good. I’ll need to tie that into my daily gratitude, that I haven’t done yet this month!

    Things that make me feel good are:
    – Hearing Gilmore Girls references outside of my own head, and yes I read your post about GG, and I love you even more for it. GG saved my life too.
    – Blog comments, and social media likes, make me super happy
    – Brownies and Biscuits, both of which I can’t make to save my life
    – California weather, cause it’s like wearing the most comfortable sweater, while actually wearing shorts and a tee shirt
    – Bullet journaling and the creativity it’s helped me rediscover!

    Also, no lie, this blog makes me feel good! I love reading your stuff, it’s always so damn good!


      So the brownie thing, I can’t find a good brownie mix to save my life. I used to love brownies but I think they took the chemicals out and now they aren’t as satisfying.

      YOUR blog makes me feel good, so never stop writing, journaling, hell you could even write a paragraph and I would feel better after having read it.


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