CULTURE & ARTS
10/02/2015 12:43 pm ET

Illustrator Draws 100 Happy Things To Get Over A Breakup

A little art therapy can go a long way.
Rinee Shah

Just when Rinee Shah switched to working as a full-time freelance illustrator, another big change happened in her life: she was confronted with the always-trying tumult of a breakup.

"I suddenly had a lot of free time without the structure of my usual routine," she told HuffPost in an email. "I knew I wanted to start a new illustration project and, instead of doing it on a random topic, I thought it made sense to make something relevant to the life shift I was going through."

So, as a way of easing her own unhappiness, she began a project for which she drew 100 happy things, mostly submitted by friends and fans of her work. Submissions ranged from the universally enjoyable (pie, warm socks) to those specific joys only some of us quietly share (the way Neil deGrasse Tyson says "water").

"It sounds a little cheesy, but I hope this project makes viewers smile and think of their own happy thing," Shah said. "Going through a breakup can feel like such a solitary experience, but I've gotten several emails from both friends and strangers telling me that they're going through a breakup right now, too, and seeing the site helped cheer them up."

Shah acknowledges that she feels fortunate to have an outlet. The project, she says, has been extremely therapeutic.

"This project is my way to grab control of the situation and focus on something really positive. Drawing out the happy things has been a way to really hold onto them," Shah says. "I feel like I'm collecting happy things for myself but also anyone who comes to the site. Also, I like the community aspect of drawing things that people submit instead of just thinking of my own."

View a few of Shah's 100 happy things below, or on her blog

  • Pie
    Rinee Shah
    Pie
  • Really bad puns
    Rinee Shah
    Really bad puns
  • Dangling valuables over bridges
    Rinee Shah
    Dangling valuables over bridges
  • Homemade halloween costumes
    Rinee Shah
    Homemade halloween costumes
  • Warm socks right out of the dryer
    Rinee Shah
    Warm socks right out of the dryer
  • When you actually put on eyeliner perfectly
    Rinee Shah
    When you actually put on eyeliner perfectly
  • When you get all green lights on the way home from work
    Rinee Shah
    When you get all green lights on the way home from work
  • Dogs wearing goggles
    Rinee Shah
    Dogs wearing goggles
  • The way Neil deGrasse Tyson says "water"
    Rinee Shah
    The way Neil deGrasse Tyson says "water"
  • The cold side of the pillow
    Rinee Shah
    The cold side of the pillow
  • The part in R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It' when Michael Stipe yells, "Leonard Bernstein!'
    Rinee Shah
    The part in R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World as We Know It' when Michael Stipe yells, "Leonard Bernstein!'
  • When a dog initiates a high-five
    Rinee Shah
    When a dog initiates a high-five

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