20 Quotes from Writers about Happiness

Today is International Day of Happiness, so we’ve compiled 20 of our favourite quotes from writers about happiness, joy, pleasure, and related emotions. We hope you enjoy them!

‘Happiness in the ordinary sense is not what one needs in life, though one is right to aim at it. The true satisfaction is to come through and see those whom one loves come through.’  – E. M. Forster

‘One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.’ – Jane Austen

‘What is there given by the gods more desirable than a happy hour?’ – Catullus

‘Happiness, to some elation; / Is to others, mere stagnation.’ – Amy Lowell

‘There may be Peace without Joy, and Joy without Peace, but the two combined make Happiness.’ – John Buchan

‘There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.’ – Samuel Johnson

‘The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.’ – Katherine Mansfield

‘Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.’ – Nathaniel Hawthorne

‘A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.’ – Helen Keller

‘It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.’ – Chuck Palahniuk

‘Happiness lies in the consciousness we have of it, and by no means in the way the future keeps its promises.’ – George Sand

‘Oh, frabjous day! Callooh. Callay! / He chortled in his joy.’ – Lewis Carroll

‘Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.’ – Virginia Woolf

‘The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.’ – George Gissing

‘If only we’d stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time.’ – Edith Wharton

‘Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.’ – Ernest Hemingway

‘One has to spend so many years in learning how to be happy. I am just beginning to make some progress in the science, and I hope to disprove Young’s theory that “as soon as we have found the key of life it opes the gates of death.” Every year strips us of at least one vain expectation, and teaches us to reckon some solid good in its stead. I never will believe that our youngest days are our happiest. What a miserable augury for the progress of the race and the destination of the individual if the more matured and enlightened state is the less happy one!’ – George Eliot

‘Hold him alone truly fortunate who has ended his life in happy well-being.’ – Aeschylus

‘Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.’ – Oscar Wilde

‘If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.’ – J. R. R. Tolkien

60 thoughts on “20 Quotes from Writers about Happiness”

  1. I didn’t know there was such a thing as International Day of Happiness. Just by coincidence, today I posted a review of a book called Happiness. I love these quotes!

  2. Ah a reason for a day of happiness, forgive me if I share one of my favourites :) It makes me think of you.
    “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”
    ― Aristotle
    Blessings, Susan x

  3. Happiness, happiness / The greatest gift that I possess. /
    I thank the Lord that I’ve been blessed / With more than my share of happiness.

    — as sung by Ken Dodd

  4. The cat is fabulous and makes me smile. What a wonderful face. All cats are perfect so it’s no surprise that I fell in love with this one, but s/he’s smiling so contentedly…adorable.

  5. “Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise.” – Charlotte Bronte, Villette

  6. “I certainly wasn’t happy. Happiness has to do with reason, and only reason earns it. What I was given was the thing you can’t earn, and can’t keep, and often don’t even recognize at the time; I mean joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness

  7. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.
    You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset.

    If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for your blog in exchange
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