9 Ways to Make Your Home a Happier Place

Consider this your excuse to treat yourself to fresh flowers on the regular.

happy home items

Just because your home is stylish and clean doesn't mean you're living your happiest life. (Bummer, we know.) But according to science, these are the colors, scents, and accessories you should feature in your home to improve your chances for complete and utter happiness:

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1 Green or Yellow Walls

Back in January 1995, researchers from Vrije University in Amsterdam found that these two hues evoked the most feelings of happiness. But we get it: They're bold color choices for every wall in your home, so we recommend shooting for a few statement walls instead.

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2 Fresh Flowers

Even though there's nothing more sad than throwing out (and feeling like you wasted money on) dead flowers, consider these buds an investment in your happiness instead: An April 2005 study from Rutgers University found that the presence of flowers can trigger happy emotions and heighten feelings of life satisfaction. So go ahead, treat yourself to those peonies at the corner market.

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3 Sentimental Photos

If your nightstand is currently devoted to your latest read and a glass of water, you might want to swap both out for some family photos ASAP. A March 2013 study from the University of Portsmouth found that looking through old photos on Facebook results in positive feelings and a sense of calmness — and we're willing to bet the same applies to looking through old photos IRL.

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4 Vanilla Candles

There's a reason you always feel inclined to light up a candle after a stressful day at work — it's super relaxing. And apparently, the scent of your candle can have a major effect on your happiness, too. If you want to improve your mood, a January 2005 study published in Chemical Senses found that vanilla is super up-lifting.

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5 A Journal

Outlets such as exercise and therapy can be super rewarding. And apparently, writing in a journal contributes to not only your future mood, but also your future feelings. A September 2014 study published in Psychological Science found that re-reading past entries (even if they're as short as one sentence) can make you feel happier.

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6 Furry Friends

There's a reason dogs are nicknamed "man's best friend." A December 2011 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that pets provide meaningful support for owners, helping them combat feelings of social isolation and ultimately improving their lives.

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7 Floral Scents

The next time you pick out a new perfume or air freshener, might we recommend a rose bud scent? You see, scent receptors in your nose are linked to the part of your brain that determines your emotions, and according to a small May 2011 study from Rutgers University, floral scents can boost your feelings of happiness.

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8 A Made Bed

We're big believers in the power of making the bed every morning, simply because it helps us start our days on the right foot. And, in to a survey of 68,000 people by Hunch.com, 71 percent of people who made their beds considered themselves happy — and 62 percent of non-bed-makers said they were unhappy. And isn't spending an extra two minutes tucking in your comforter worth it to beat these odds?

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9 And Remember: Less Is More

According to UCLA's Center of Everyday Lives and Families, there's a link between high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in women and a "high density of household objects." This means that the more stuff a woman has, the more stress she might experience. So cut the clutter for a better chance at a calm and happy life.

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