Turn your grocery run into a pleasure trip
with these tips from happiness expert
Amy Spencer, author of Bright Side Up:
100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now.

woman shopping bag
Photography by Trunk Archive
| Credit: Photography by Trunk Archive

1. First Stop, Produce!

Studies have shown that seeing  green in nature—and even looking  at images of greenery—can bring  on feelings of well-being. Fill your  cart with healthy greens. Your  body and your mind will thank you.

2. Be Adventurous.

Researchers know that experiences (say, vacations or  dinners out) make us happier than  material things, so save room in  your cart for something you can't  wait to play with. Nab a new spice  to stir into your marinade, pick up a  fruit your family hasn't tried before,  or grab ingredients for your  favorite dessert and get excited  for it while you shop. Chocolate  cake, we're coming for you!

3. Go Ahead, Say Hi!

A 2013 study from the University of British Columbia found that  customers at a coffee shop who  chatted with their barista got a happiness bump and felt a  greater sense of belonging than the less social customers. So  while you're pushing your cart  around, comment on your favorite  seltzer flavor with a fellow  shopper. Or ask the cashier about  his weekend. Sort of like Cheers,  but at the grocery store.

4. Look Forward to the Line. No, Really.

Think about it: How often do you  get permission to just chill and  reflect for a minute? Of course, if  Zen contemplation isn't your style,  create a constructive distraction  for yourself by texting a friend  you haven't talked to in a while,  brainstorming a work idea, or  scrolling through a funny online  list—say, Bored Panda's "15+ People  Who Deeply Regret Shopping  Online." Just avoid Facebook,  which studies (and experience)  show may bum you out.

5. Shop to Your Own Beat.

Don't settle for a supermarket's  playlist when you can walk the  aisles listening to music that lifts  your mood. Research by Dutch  neuroscientist Jacob Jolij, Ph.D.,  found that the most feel-good  songs are in a major key and share  an average tempo of 140 to 150  beats per minute—and that two of the happiest tunes are Queen's  "Don't Stop Me Now" and Abba's  "Dancing Queen." Just be sure to  take your earbuds out and say hi  to your cashier!