In today’s video, I will share my top-5 daily habits for happiness that have made a big difference in my life.

Read or watch below to discover my top-5 daily habits for happiness.

Zachary Stockill: If you’ve been watching my channel for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about building new habits, and eliminating old habits that aren’t serving you. Building up different routines, and different habits you can incorporate into your life every day, that are going to give you the best shot at accomplishing your personal development goals, whether it’s related to losing weight, whether it’s related to overcoming retroactive jealousy or obsessive jealousy, and whether it’s related to being a happier human being in general. 

So, today, I’m going to share my top-5 daily habits for happiness.

The first thing that I try to do every single day, the first habit that I’ve incorporated into my life that has made me happier, is consuming the least amount of social media possible. And being extremely strategic about the way that I use social media. The big question that I bring to my social media consumption that’s made a big difference in my life is, 

Am I using this app? Or is this app using me. 

daily habits for happiness

And I think that’s a valuable framework to set the tone for your social media consumption, because as you know, with these apps, with Facebook, Instagram, and all the rest, you are the product, right? The app is trying to use you, and you’re constantly being sold to.

There are all these culture wars and stupid fights, and all these issues that really serve no purpose. I realized several years ago that I want to cut as much of that out of my life as possible. I also want to be strategic about which apps I use on a day-to-day basis, and which accounts I follow.

And I want to be strategic and careful about what information is going into my brain every day, and what I’m consuming, because all of that stuff has a huge impact on me. All this constant noise from the media every single day…

That stuff seeps into your subconscious, that stuff seeps into your day, that kind of energy seeps into your life.

And I want to keep as much of that out of my life as possible. So my solution has been unfollowing accounts. And I don’t care about blocking certain accounts, depending on the circumstances. If I get a nasty comment on my Instagram feed or whatever, that person is blocked, goodbye.

A lot of you probably won’t have to worry about that, because maybe you don’t have a publicly available Instagram account or Facebook account. The point is to be strategic about your consumption of these apps and these social media platforms because all of this stuff can really disrupt your day.

On a related note, I have learned to be strategic about my consumption of news, politics, and all that stuff. 

As I mentioned before, I have multiple degrees in history. I love history. And I think a lot of history junkies, like me, are also news junkies, because we’re living through history and yadda yadda yadda. We want to be updated on world events, politics, and all that stuff. To cite an example: there’s currently a war going on in Europe, the war in Ukraine. And I’ve been consuming a lot of news lately about what’s happening in Ukraine. But again, I’m being strategic about that. I’m not sitting in front of CNN for five hours a day. I’m reading articles in The New Yorker, and articles in The Atlantic, trying to read the news because I find that’s often a better way to consume it. 

The point is to not be sucked in by the daily endless 24-hour news cycle, and lose all kinds of energy and attention…

Focusing on things that you’re not really interested in. You start passively consuming all this information that has no real bearing on your life. 

Be strategic about your news consumption. Because again, all of this stuff, all of this noise can really seep into your life can seep into your subconscious, and take away valuable time, energy and attention.

The third habit that I do every day that makes me happier, is trying to get at least a bit of exercise. I mean, literally, if I’ve only got time for a half an hour swim or half an hour walk outside, or 45 minutes lifting weights at the gym, and that’s all I have time for, that’s certainly better than nothing. 

I’m not a fitness guru at all, and I don’t even play one on TV or on YouTube. Definitely not a fitness guru. But one thing that I have found in my own life in terms of exercise is it needs to be something I actually enjoy. I really enjoy lifting weights. For me, doing CrossFit for an hour a day would be absolute torture. So instead, I lift weights. I enjoy walking, I enjoy riding a bicycle, and I enjoy swimming. 

I think to make fitness sustainable, to make exercise sustainable, you have to find activities you actually like

daily habits for happiness

And that makes a huge difference in my life, just spending at least 30 to 45 minutes every single day, doing something physical, and getting some kind of exercise. It releases all kinds of feel-good chemicals in your brain and gets the oxygen pumping, and your mood is instantly better.

Another thing that I do every day, that makes me happier, I’m not sure if it’s the healthiest thing in the world… But I give myself a little treat at the end of every single workday. So for me, that usually involves either a gin and soda or a glass of red wine. I’m not advocating daily drinking. I’m not advocating drinking at all. The point is that I gave myself a little reward at the end of a long day. Because I worked very hard. I’m recording videos, I’m on coaching calls, I’m writing, I’m researching, I’m doing all kinds of things. I’m a pretty hard worker at this point in my life. 

So it’s nice to treat myself with something nice, something to look forward to. 

And for me, it’s just kind of a nice little reward, give myself a little treat. Obviously, you want to choose a little treat, a little reward that works for you. Maybe there’ll be a little piece of chocolate or something like that, or a fun show that you want to watch on YouTube or whatever. 

I think it’s useful if you’re working hard to give yourself a little reward to give yourself a little treat at the end of the day. Something nice, something to look forward to. 

And it really does make a difference and helps you get through some tougher periods of your workday.

I think I saved the most important habit for last. The final habit that I do every single day that makes a huge difference in my mood in my general level of energy and happiness is prioritizing sleep. There are various ways that I do this.

There are some people who seem to be able to function relatively well, on 5, 6, or 7 hours of sleep. I am not one of those people. I need at least eight, often eight and a half or nine. Just the way I’m wired. And for me, prioritizing sleep involves things like turning off my phone at least an hour before actually going to sleep. I’ll generally read for at least an hour before bedtime. 

Generally, something that’s not political, not personal development, not self-help, not something that’s going to get my brain going crazy, not something that is too captivating.

I also try to make my bedroom as dark as possible. I don’t usually drink alcohol after dinner because that can really disrupt your sleep. Just various sleep techniques and sleep hacks you can look up, I’m sure there are all kinds of them on the Internet. The point is to find a routine that works for you and then prioritize that routine; prioritize getting enough sleep. Because I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I pay for it the entire next day. I’m not functioning well, and I’m not sharp. I’m edgy.

Prioritize sleep. If you are interested in things like overcoming retroactive jealousy, overcoming obsessive jealousy, or any big goal in your life. If you take away nothing else from this video, I think this is the most important habit to really try to incorporate into your life: prioritizing getting a good night’s sleep.

Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.