We asked some of the happiest folks we know to tell us their secret.

Chris Koeppen | Wedding & Boudoir Photographer

I think like a lot of artists, the act of creating brings me happiness. I feel happy when I photograph something new, something I’ve never done before, or something I thought of in my head that turned out well. But happiness is fleeting for me. It’s there in the moment, but the self gratification of a creating fades quickly. I want to shoot, edit, post my work, and start the process again almost immediately so I can feel “happy.” There’s nothing wrong with this cycle and it keeps my photography at the forefront of my mind, but deep down, it’s not what keeps me going daily. Finding peace is what pushes me forward. Peace is different from happiness for me because it doesn’t stem from just myself and my accomplishments. I feel at peace when my wife comes home from a hair appointment, and is excited to show off a new color she tried out. Read more>>

Nathan Benedict | Songwriter for The Ateliers

Creating music makes me happy. I begin by exploring an instrument. Maybe it’s a guitar, piano, or something a little less common like a didgeridoo. At some point I’ll find a chord, chord progression, or groove that I like and then I’ll settle into it. At some point, I know longer have to think at all to play the tune, my body and my mind are in sync, and I am just there. It is a gift of a clear mind, contentment, and happiness. Read more>>

Reilly Jo Quevedo | Photographer & Artist

My happiness is in the mountains, out in the deserts, on the beach. My happiness is a place that makes me feel free and inspired- anywhere that gets me in the mood to make art. My happiness is also moments with myself- solitude is a good word. I like being alone time to time in order to recharge and reflect. I don’t think I’d be happy without these moments… in solitude and in nature. A lot of my happiness is also in just loving myself. I know that sounds cliche but it’s so much easier said than done! For me it was almost like I had to retrain my brain to think about myself in a more loving and forgiving way everyday. I’m really critical of myself… and that’s not self-love. We all have things that stunt our happiness sometimes, but I really enjoy working on those things. I think the motivation to self improve is what increases my overall satisfaction with life and brings about more happiness. 🙂 Read more>>

Ariana Page Russell | Visual Artist

The thing that makes me the most happy in regards to my artwork is when I hear from people that I’ve made a difference in their lives. Dermatographia affects about 5% of the population but a lot of people don’t know that’s what they have–they think their skin is just weird and they’re ashamed of it. When they see my work they realize it’s not such a bad thing, and there can actually be beauty found in the uniqueness of it. It really makes my heart full when I hear things like, “I want to thank you for shedding light on this condition. You teach people like us to love our skin no matter what and you inspire us with your confidence.” It is a true honor to help others feel more comfortable in their own skin. Read more>>