happyAre you happy?

The other day my mother asked me:” Are you happy?” and I thought:  What do you mean?  So after I logged out of skype I decided to surf the internet to see if it could help me.  I googled  the word ‘Happy’ and was amazed that there are over 605,000,000 web pages that I could look at to find out what happiness means.   As life is short, I thought, omg, I’m not surfing that many pages, I’ll look it up on Word Reference instead and this is what they say.

Happiness means to be in high spirits or to feel satisfied.  Easy enough!

However, it also gave me a lot of synonyms.  How many of these do you know?

To be over the moon, to be on cloud nine, blessedblissful, can’t complain, captivated, cheerful, chipper, chirpy, content, contented, delighted, ecstatic, elated, exultant, flying high, gay, glad, gleeful, gratified, jolly, joyful, joyous, jubilant, laughing, lively, merry, mirthful, overjoyed, peaceful, , perky, playful, pleasant, pleased, sparkling, sunny, thrilled, tickled, upbeat, walking on air,

So, it seems to me that I am definitely happy, at least, most of the time.

Is love happiness?

It is often said that happiness and love are strongly connected.  It has even been argued that love and happiness are synonyms, although not according Word Reference.  And, despite the fact that I get where these people are coming from, and agree with them up to a point, a large part of me wonders if this idea is just too ‘black and white’.  Is it realistic to think that love is happiness? Is it really possible to have love and happiness without feeling the opposites? Happiness : Sadness, Love: Hate.  Actually, I don’t know, but the brilliant Baz Lurhman production of Moulin Rouge discusses this very theme:

Do you think: ’All you need is love’?’   Personally, all I need is Leeds United.  My mother has often told me that this isn’t love or happiness, this is just pathetic! Where’s the love in that crushing comment?!

What makes your heart race and your endorphins chuckle?

What makes you happy?   When are you the happiest?  When do you feel over the moon?  Is it when you are hanging out on the couch with a loved one watching a movie and eating junk food, or is it when you are out clubbing with mates?  Maybe it’s when you are reading a book or listening to music?  Or it could be when you are helping others. What makes your heart race and your endorphins chuckle?

It has to be said that I’m a very simple woman and my top five are as follows:

  1. Watching Leeds United beat any other football team
  2. Hanging out with mates and drinking cheeky beers on a Sunday afternoon
  3. Playing pool
  4. Disco dancing
  5. Encouraging my nephews to go completely mental until their mother gives me the look which means –‘ keep going sister and you’ll be taking them home with you’


1: Reasons to be Happy:

Match the words to the phrases to find out what makes people happy.

what makes people happy




2: Relationships and Happiness:

Relationships with friends, family and partners are often cited as the top reason for making people happy.  Can you complete the following phrases?

Add the missing prepositions:  in, out , to, from, up, on, with
To get …..well  with someone To get .know someone To get…. like a house on fire
To chat someone…….. To do…with someone To finish …….. someone
To split… with someone To fall…………….love (with someone) To get engaged…….. someone
To be ….. love……someone To fancy…….someone To propose …….. someone
To ask someone….. To separate …… someone To be attracted to …… someone
To get married ….. someone To have a crush ….. someone To flirt ….. someone

3: Adjectives to describe other feelings:

Emotions and feelings are complex, and we have a lot of vocabulary to describe how we are feeling.  It is often difficult to remember new vocabulary so try to connect the words to situations that mean something to you.  We are more likely to remember things that are personal, than things that we can’t connect to our lives.

Don’t forget to learn verb preposition collocations.

feelings and prepositions

Do you want to know more vocabulary connected to feelings and emotions?

Ok, click here


Love is in the air1: Happiness and Love

‘On top of the world’, Valentine’s Day couple tie the knot on 86th floor of Empire State building.

For most romantic couples, Valentine’s Day involves candle lit dinners, a stroll in the park or a box of chocolates.

But for Air Force Captain Jon Wu and his blushing bride Stephanie Hull, this February 14 saw them take their love to new heights as they got married on top of the Empire State Building. As the Louisville, Kentucky couple exchanged vows, Captain Wu – no stranger to having his head in the clouds – said, ‘we can only go up from here.’ Miss Hull, who wore a strapless white gown, said she was, ‘on cloud nine’. Captain Wu proposed to Miss Hull by spelling out ‘will you marry me’ in Christmas lights on a lawn.

The couple are among 14 others from eight states exchanging vows at the landmark building. As grand prize winners they had a sunrise ceremony on the 86th floor observatory, before being whisked away to the Bahamas for a luxury honeymoon. The other ceremonies were held on the 61st floor with full views of New York City.

The Empire State Building has been a romantic destination since the 1957 movie classic, An Affair to Remember.

2: Happiness, Apple and the iPod Touch

Fall head over thumbsApple changed the common English expression: ‘To fall head over heels’, (which means to fall in love)to ‘Fall head over thumbs’ in order to market  their iPod touch product as the perfect Saint Valentine gift.  And I for one say, an iPod Touch is definitely boyfriend or girlfriend material.  The only thing it can’t do is wash up or make you dinner.  But, happiness and the feeling of joy are all possible 24/7.


bob marley1) Song: Bob Marley: Don’t worry be Happy

Don’t worry about a thing because every little thing is going to be all right….

If you don’t understand the lyrics, don’t worry, be happy!  You can check them out here:

Bhutan happiness2) Film Documentary: The Height of Happiness – A Journey through Bhutan

In a recent survey of Bhutanese 97% declared themselves to be happy. But why?  I don’t get it; they are ‘as poor as church mice’  Bhutan the height of happiness

socj3) Song: John Paul Young: Love is in the air

Often songs bring back happy and sad memories.  This song reminds me of a brilliant road trip my sister and I took in search of cheap campsites, even cheaper beer and foolish men.  I think our mother was very pleased that in the end there was no ‘love in the air’! Luckily, my sister and I still unconditionally love each other.

Love is in the air

desire4) Moulin Rouge: Roxanne

Is this PURE happiness?  ‘First there is desire, then, suspicion, jealousy, anger and  betrayal……

Certainly the road to happiness is not easy, however my money is on Roxanne


happy occassionsActivity One:  Describing Photographs

Can you describe these photographs, and then say why the people might be happy?

If you look closely, happiness, really is all around.

Activity Two:

Giving a Presentation:

Can you talk for 2 minutes about….?
1. The things that you think are important for happiness
2. The things that make you feel angry
3. Money is more important than happiness nowadays. Would you agree?
4. If you feel stressed what do you do to relax?

Useful phrases to help you say general and personal opinions and ideas:

It is said that……. I believe that..
It has been reported that… I think that…
My mother used to tell me that… From experience, I would argue that..
The majority of teenagers in Spain think that.. It seems to me that..
It is widely considered that….. From my point of view, I would suggest that..

Useful phrases to help you say more, and organize your ideas better:

Adding Information


Giving a Reason

Explaining a consequence

Ordering Information

In addition (to)




Firstly, secondly, thirdly



Due to





Owing to


To summarize

As well as


Due to the fact that

As a consequence

In conclusion


On the one hand, ..however on the other hand…..

As a result


On balance, I think


Despite the fact that

In spite of



Activity One:

This is part of a letter you receive from an English friend

How do you celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day in your country?

Do you do anything special? Did you when you were younger?  How are you going to celebrate next year?

Do you think it is important to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Now write a letter, answering your friend’s questions.

Activity Two:

ideal home

Activity Three:

Here are some products connected to happiness.  Write an advert to help market them to the general public.

For example:

keep perky

Happy Products

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