A few years ago, several of my friends started a gratitude list. It's just an email chain with 8 or so of us on it, and once every day we "reply all" with a list of 10 or so things we're grateful for, like coke zero, health insurance and having arms. This makes my life better.
See, 4 or 5 years ago, I was working for an education publishing company that kind of sucked to work for and knew it, so they were always trying to make us feel better about our soul-draining jobs by doing nice things for us like Ice Cream Fridays. And one day they sent around a company-wide memo announcing that they were going to bus us all the beach for a day of fun in the sun.
My co-workers and I were total assholes about it. We were on deadline, we were tired, we hated our lives, we didn't have the time or desire to go to the effing beach damnit gawd! We bitched about it all week. Perhaps needless to say, the day came, the buses were taken and it was pretty much the awesomest, most delightful day ever as paid beach trips tend to be. If I had looked at beach day with eyes of gratitude instead of assholery, I would have seen that all along.
And it works for stuff way less awesome than beaches. Lost your job? Grateful to be getting severance. Dumped by your boyfriend? Grateful to have realized things weren't working before he was your husband. Feeling sad? Grateful that feelings pass.
It's dorky, but happiness and contentment are pretty much about choosing to feel that way, and writing down the good stuff every day just sweetens your perspective. Plus I get to keep in daily touch with some amazing women.
What are you grateful for today?