The “happiest” DIY cure for eating your feelings (again)

Have you ever heard of “emotional eating?” Or perhaps you’re more familiar with the phrase “eating your feelings.” No matter what you call it, using unhealthy food as a coping device in emotional and stressful times has been ingrained into our society and pop culture for decades. Had a bad day at work? Comfort food will fix it. Picking up the pieces after a painful breakup? Yep, that includes picking up a pint of Ben & Jerry’s too. Down on yourself about life in general? Time for a trip to McDonald’s down the street. I think it’s fine once in a while to let emotional eating happen, because hello, everyone goes through crap from time to time (including me)! Some people have more self-control and willpower than others, but the reality is that emotional eating can become addictive and lead to a dangerous downward spiral of weight gain. The other reality is that there are ways to prevent ourselves from reaching that point! Hence, I present to you: the “happy list.”

Food is convenient and instantaneous in terms of bringing us joy, and I think that’s why we sometimes lose sight of the other things that have the same potential, but require a bit more thought. The “happy list” is essentially a list of people, places and things that make me happy. I use it as a tool to help me curb emotional eating and kill any negative vibes passing through my mind. When I’m feeling down or sad or bummed about something, I read through the list and choose something to inject my day with a little positivity or happiness. Sounds crazy, but it works! Spoiler alert, you will see food on here because I’m human (and I go through that time of the month too, ladies); the point is that food isn’t on every single line!

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.

It smells like cucumbers and works wonders for my face. Check it out here.

Comedy on Pandora and Spotify.

It’s a nice break from listening to music, and who doesn’t love to laugh? Chad Daniels, Nick Swardson and John Mulaney are my favorites— I actually met Chad at his show a few weeks ago!

Me and Chad Daniels at Gotham Comedy Club
Chad Daniels performed at Gotham Comedy Club (it was my first time there, and I highly recommend it!)

Watching “Good Morning America” or “Today” while getting ready for work.

The hosts are lighthearted and I feel in the know after getting a mix of local and national news. 

Moscow Mules.

Ahh, such a refreshing and simple cocktail (made with vodka, ginger beer and lime) served in a pretty copper cup.

Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones in Rose Gold.

Quality sound, sleek design and super long battery life (up to 40 hours).

Sitting on the couch with a dog on my lap
That’s my parents’ dog Finley (a.k.a. my favorite friend to see on FaceTime)

Starpop Fitness classes at Banana Skirt Dance Productions.

I always leave feeling confident (and sweaty), and I forget that I’m even working out! NYC and D.C. friends, you should sign up for a class!

Chips and queso.

Don’t hate me, but… I’m not a big fan of avocados or guac. Queso on the other hand? I’ll take six gallons, please.

Church on Sunday mornings at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

It’s surreal to be connected in faith with hundreds of people at the most beautiful, majestic cathedral I have ever seen.

St. Patrick's Cathedral interior
This place is just too beautiful for words.

Everything about airports.

I’m mostly fascinated by airplanes and where/why people are traveling. I have a major, chronic case of wanderlust and I wish my wallet could keep up :/

Dark chocolate.

It’s good for you and tastes way more decadent than milk chocolate IMO.

Being near the water.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a pool, lake, river, ocean or pond. That’s where I feel most content, creative and at peace. 

Me in a swimming pool
Nothing like a refreshing, clean pool when Hilton Head’s shoreline is filled with jellyfish!

Cinnamon Brown Sugar belVita breakfast biscuits.

With a cup of coffee, I could eat these every morning!

The library.

I’m constantly adding to my Google Doc of books I want to read. In general, I’m trying to spend more time reading actual stories than watching them (the IG and Snapchat kind) on my phone.


I especially love flavored varieties and try to buy from small, sustainable roasters as often as possible! I love coffee. I couldn’t live without it. No way.

Packages of Generous Coffee Co coffee, Starbucks vanilla coffee, Folger's and Silver Bridge Coffee
As you can tell, I like to bounce between different varieties

Trader Joe’s.

There’s a rainbow of happiness in every aisle.

Talking to a friend or family member on the phone.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer phone calls over texting. It’s easier, quicker and much more special when you can hear the other person’s voice.

My betta fish Kalua.

I’ve had Kalua since January 2017, so he came with me when I moved to New York City. Last Christmas I actually had to bring him on my flight home to Cleveland! Of course, I screenshotted beforehand the TSA policy allowing it and had a good laugh with the security guys 🙂

Fish tank and Cleveland ceramic square on a stand
Kalua dominates the little table in our front hallway

Mashups on YouTube.

You know how people get sucked in a black hole watching funny video after funny video on YouTube? That’s me, but with song mashups.


I am counting down the days until I can rescue one of my own! At least when I go for a walk in my neighborhood, I usually cross paths with someone walking his or her furry friend.


Self-explanatory. I specialized in creative writing (and nutrition) for my journalism major, so I geek out on those 300 writing prompt books at Target.

I hope now you’ll be inspired to put together your own happy list!

~Remember to follow Fit by the Fork on Instagram~

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