13 Everyday Habits That Secretly Sabotage Your Happiness

13 Everyday Habits That Secretly Sabotage Your Happiness

Ever have one of those days where you feel like a rain cloud is just following you around? Sometimes, it’s the little things we do without thinking that can take a toll on our mojo. We’ve all got these daily habits, routines we go through without a second thought, but guess what? Some of them might be the undercover culprits messing with our feel-good vibes. Let’s run through a few everyday habits you might not realize are secretly throwing sand in the gears of your happiness machine.

1. Hitting snooze over and over

Turning off an alarm clock

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Who doesn’t love the promise of just 10 more minutes under the covers? But let me tell you, that snooze button is a sneaky little happiness thief. You think it’s giving you a bit more rest, but really, it’s chopping up your sleep so much that you end up feeling like a zombie. Next thing you know, you’re downing that third cup of coffee before 10 a.m. just to feel human. How about we switch it up? Set that alarm for when you actually need to get up, and let’s start the day without hitting snooze. Your brain will thank you for not putting it through that morning mini rollercoaster.

2. Skipping breakfast

A beautiful young Hispanic woman enjoying a warm cup of coffee for breakfast. One mixed race female drinking tea while looking at the view from a window in her apartment

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We’ve all done the dash out the door with nothing but a coffee in hand. Who’s got time for breakfast, right? But here’s the thing: running on empty can make you grouchy and unfocused. It’s like trying to start a car with no gas. Sure, it’s tough to find the time for a full breakfast spread, but even grabbing a banana or a yogurt can kickstart your engine. Trust me, even a small morning meal can set the tone for a way happier day.

3. Relying on retail therapy for that dopamine boost

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Sure, shopping can give you a quick hit of happiness, but if ‘add to cart’ is your go-to mood booster, it’s a slippery slope. Before you know it, you’re drowning in stuff you didn’t really need and a bank balance that’s giving you the side-eye. Next time you feel the urge to splurge as a pick-me-up, try something that doesn’t involve a price tag. A walk in the park, a good workout, or diving into a new book can be just as uplifting — and way more wallet-friendly.

4. Drowning in Screen Time Before Bed

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Who doesn’t love a late-night scroll or one more episode before bed? But all that screen time is basically a disco for your brain when you should be winding down. That glow from your devices is tricking your mind into thinking it’s party time, not sleepy time. How about swapping the phone or TV with a good old-fashioned book or some chill music? It could be your ticket to better sleep and brighter mornings.

5. Living on Junk Food

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I get it, junk food is like that fun friend who’s always up for a good time but never helps you clean up the mess afterward. Sure, it tastes like a party in the moment, but that sugar crash later? It’s like the hangover from heck. All I’m saying is, mix in some veggies and a glass of water here and there. Balance is key, and your mood will stay steadier without those junk food highs and lows.

6. The Never-Ending To-Do List

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Ever look at your to-do list and just… sigh? When your list is longer than a CVS receipt, it’s a recipe for stress. Let’s try trimming it down. Knock out the biggies and give yourself a break on the rest. You’re one person, not a task-conquering robot. Doing a few things really well is way more satisfying than doing a million things halfway. Plus, crossing off those tasks feels so good when you know you’ve crushed them.

7. Keeping a checklist for potential partners

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So you’ve got this list in your head, right? The perfect partner checklist. But if that list is like, Nobel Prize-winner, part-time model, who cooks like Gordon Ramsay and has the charm of a Disney prince… might be time to scribble out a few lines. Having standards is one thing, but if nobody could tick all those boxes without being a fictional character, maybe it’s keeping you from meeting someone genuinely great. Let’s trim that list to the non-negotiables, and give real people a chance to surprise you. Because sometimes, the best things in life are the ones you didn’t see coming.

8. Avoiding going out unless it’s a date.

Beautiful latin couple talking and smiling looking happy while having a coffee date at a beautiful cafe

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Been treating your home like a fortress of solitude unless there’s a date on the cards? Hey, your couch is comfy, but there’s a whole world out there! Don’t wait for a date to get out and experience it. Solo adventures can be just as fun, if not more. Hit up that art exhibit, take yourself to the movies, or just go people-watch in the park. Being single means you can be spontaneous — no need to wait for someone else to sign off on your plans.

9. Dwelling on an ex

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We’ve all been down that road where we spend a little too much time in the rearview mirror, looking at an ex’s life. But here’s the deal — every minute you spend thinking about what’s behind you is a minute you’re not living in the now. Your ex’s life is no longer your business; it’s time to be the star of your own show. Let’s put that energy into something that moves you forward, not holds you back. The past is a great place to visit, but you definitely wouldn’t want to live there.

10. Feeling like you have to follow a specific timeline

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Who decided that life’s big milestones need a deadline anyway? There’s no universal schedule you’ve gotta keep up with. If you’re stressing because you think you should be married with kids by now, you’re putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. Life’s not a race, and everyone’s path is different. So let’s drop the timeline and just live. Things will happen when they happen, and that’s totally okay. Plus, without all that timeline pressure, you’re free to enjoy the ride a whole lot more.

11. Believing that being single means being lonely

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Alright, let’s squash this myth once and for all: being single does not automatically sign you up for the lonely hearts club. If you’re thinking that flying solo is the same as being lonely, you’re doing single life all wrong. Being on your own is a prime time to discover what makes you tick when no one else is around. It’s about getting in all the fun, growth, and adventures on your own terms. And hey, sometimes being alone can mean peace, quiet, and never having to fight for the remote. Embrace the solo ride — it’s as freeing as an open road.

12. Not valuing your own company

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Now, if the thought of spending an evening by yourself has you breaking out in a cold sweat, we need to talk. Getting cozy with your own company is key. I mean, if you don’t enjoy hanging with yourself, why would anyone else? Take yourself out on a date, treat yourself to that hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or just kick back and revel in doing your own thing. Learning to love your own company is like finding a secret superpower you never knew you had.

13. Overscheduling your social life

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Ever feel like you’re on a social merry-go-round, hopping from one hangout to another with no breaks in between? It’s great to have a buzzing social life, but if you’re booking yourself back-to-back because the thought of a night in makes you anxious, you might be overdoing it. Balance is the name of the game. It’s okay to have a night off to recharge — your friends will still be there, and you’ll have even more energy and stories to share when you do catch up.

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Originally from Australia, Emma Mills graduated from the University of Queensland with a dual degree in Philosophy and Applied Linguistics before moving to Los Angeles to become a professional matchmaker (a bit of a shift, obviously). Since 2015, she has helped more than 150 people find lasting love and remains passionate about bringing amazing singletons together.

Emma is also the author of the upcoming Hachette publication, "Off the Beaten Track: Finding Lasting Love in the Least Likely of Places," due out in January 2025.