We asked some of our favorite folks what makes them happy and why?

Melanie Klein | Empowerment Coach, Author & Professor of Sociology and Gender Women’s Studies

Happiness or joy has always been one of my biggest sources of personal fuel and in recent years, it’s taken on new meaning and renewed importance. Unabashed laughter truly is medicine for me and science backs that. From releasing endorphins to stress release to a bonding mechanism, laughter plays a vital role in thriving. Through graduate school, building my career and overall “adulting,” I lost my everyday connection to joy and laughter. These days I prioritize joy as much as I do the “more serious” aspects of my career, parenting responsibilities and social justice advocacy. It allows me to keep going, to keep creating and taking action toward a world re-imagined. Being fully present in the “everyday” moments bring me the most joy. Read more>>

Deborah Caporosso | Creator of Myfreedombelt.com

What makes me happy is Freedom. “Letting Go Gives Us Freedom, and Freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possession – we cannot be free.” I created the hands free Freedom Belt. made of soft leather which holds your Iphone, money, horse treats, lipsticks or passports. Two small loops which holds your sunglasses as you gallop into the night or walk along the ocean. Freedom has played a huge part of my existence. It is also what encourages me to take risks and grow. Without the freedom to take those risks life would be just existence. My ultimate freedom is riding my horse and feeling the connection wit this powerful, gentle soul that I love so much. Read more>>

Mike Harriel | Photographer

What truly makes me happy is when I have the opportunity to take an excursion; a journey to explore this amazing world we live in. I do all types of photography; portraits, events, corporate, editorial, but I do landscapes for me. It’s my happy place. We live in an extremely beautiful world. I love traveling and seeking out landscapes that show the beauty and have an impact on people who see them. Landscapes don’t belong tucked in your phone, on a hard drive or on a screen saver; I believe in printing them out, large and vivid, usually on metal or acrylic. Landscapes are about light and patience. You have to wait for the light to do what it’s going to do. Read more>>

Natsuki Miya | Dancer, Choreographer & Teacher

I think that dance, activities, traveling, art, fashion, nature, the ocean, music and “things” like these simply make me happy. It is true, there are things that make me happier, but I realized I’ve never really asked myself and dug down enough to the core to find the source of my happiness until this pandemic and lock down hit L.A. I consider myself a very happy person. I smile, I laugh. I seek love and positivity. People who know me know how consistent I am on that part. Since the lock down began, it has been a blessing for me to be forced to have this much time that I’ve never really had for myself. During this tough time for all of us, I wanted to remain happy and positive even with these limitations. This awakening and answer might be from an artistic point of view, but that is who I am. Read more>>

JJAN | Artist & Educator

Good food See my children grow, thrive Conversation with good friends/ family Watching TV with my husband Complete art that I am satisfied with Meeting enthusiastic and respectful students See my students improve in artistic skill Being in nature. Read more>>