Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project" and "Happier at Home" told me about an unexpected activity that makes most people happier almost instantly when she joined me on Mondays With Marlo. It's fast and easy -- and studies prove that it works!

For more fantastic advice on lifting your mood, see Gretchen Rubin's tips on happiness:

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  • Change An Unhappy Routine

    If you feel like you want to change your routine and others are unwilling to help, figure out what you can change without their cooperation.

  • Show Love

    Every time someone comes or goes, give them a proper greeting and a proper farewell. Give family members a kiss in the morning and a kiss goodnight. These acknowledgements of someone's presence will make you and those around you happier.

  • Tackle Big Projects Slowly

    Suffer for 15 minutes: Force yourself to work on a project that's intimidating for 15 minutes each day. This will eliminate your sense of dread, and help you regain momentum and control.

  • Notice What's Making You Unhappy

    A year from now, if something changed in your life, what would you want it to be? Find out what this thing is, and throw your energy into making it happen.

  • Insulate Yourself From Other People's Bad Moods

    When dealing with someone who is upset, imagine that you're observing the person like a reporter, or as a character in a play, so you get a sense of detachment. Some people don't want to be cheered up. They're not your responsibility. Treat others with kindness and consideration, but don't try to change their moods dramatically if they are unresponsive when you console them.

  • Get Moving

    Exercise! Even a 15 or 20 minute walk outside in the sunlight really gives you a big boost of energy and cheer.

  • Choose Happiness

    Instead of aiming to achieve total happiness right away, make short term goals. The road to happiness will feel much more manageable if you take small steps towards your goal.

  • Stay Happy

    Make the best of your current circumstances. Then, give yourself the emotional wherewithal to meet a challenging situation.

  • Don't Nag

    Just don't bring it up. Don't do it yourself, but mention it one time, and then don't do it. Let it go undone. They'll eventually do it.

  • Sufficient Sleep

    Getting enough sleep is crucial to improving your mood. Most people need at least seven hours, so make sure to get enough shut-eye.

  • Show Appreciation

    When someone asks, "Can you do me a favor?," say "Sure," instead of saying "What is it?" Kissing, touching and giving someone a heartfelt "Hello" are other ways of showing your appreciation.

  • Define Your Own Success

    Do something you love. If you're doing work that you don't feel is right for you, you'll measure your success on what other people think. If you're doing work that you love, then the work itself is its own reward.

  • Be Happier At Home

    Home is really the foundation of our happiness -- it's marriage, time, parenthood, possessions, physical space and neighborhood. You want to be in a place that's comforting, but also energizing and fills you with a zest for life.

  • Go For Your Dreams

    We tend to overestimate what we can do in an afternoon and underestimate what we can do over the long term. You should do a little bit consistently. Resolve to wake up slightly earlier in the morning to work on a special project, or cut out one unhealthy thing you eat each day.

  • The One Minute Rule

    Little chores can build up, so beat procrastination and follow the one minute rule. Anything you can do in less than one minute, do without delay.

  • The Key To Happiness

    Self-knowledge and strong relationships with other people form a strong basis for a happy life.

  • A Quick Clean Up

    Every night before bed, do a twenty minute tidy-up. This is one way to slowly stay on top of household chores.

  • Beginning To Be Happier

    If you really think to yourself, "Am I happy?" and "How could I be happier?," you'll start seeing opportunities to make little changes in your life. Just thinking about what will make you happier can really make a difference.

  • A Simple Way To Achieve Happiness

    Make your bed -- literally. In doing so, you're getting something done, no matter how minor it is. Once the bed is made, your room will look much more orderly, inviting and peaceful.

  • Balance The Moment With Consequences

    Take pleasure in the moment, but also think about the future and the implications of your actions for the future. If you only live in the present, you probably aren't going to make decisions that make you happy in the long run.

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