Why You Have To CHOOSE A Happy Life


Two years ago I was working out my notice at LOOK online. I’d resigned with nothing lined up because it had got too much. I was miserable every day, my mental state was rapidly declining and my job role had become so far removed from what I’d set out to achieve as a digital journalist. And so, one day, I just Googled resignation letters and printed one off. It was rash, it wasn’t planned and I didn’t tell my parents for about six weeks.

I had London rent to pay, a cat to feed, and I was – soz about the loud swear – FUCKING terrified.

But I felt free and giddy and something in my gut just knew. It knew that I had made the right call, that I was destined for better, destined for a happier way of life, that everything would be OK in the end.

And even on my last day as I waved everyone off with a big ol’ mouthful of Prosecco, and people were like YOU LITERALLY HAVE NO WAY OF PAYING YOUR RENT? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ON MONDAY, JUST SIGN ON AT THE JOB CENTRE? I was just shrugging and like meh, I’ll be fine.

What happened next is that my blog blew up, I got a job at Metro – left six months later to move to Ipswich and take this blog full-time, and the rest is, as they say, history.

Don’t get me wrong, there was the month last year where I only earned Β£400 (HI, TO PUTTING ON A I’M NOT STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY FACE ON SOCIAL MEDIA), there were all the times I cried in the bath because of mean comments and there has been a shit ton of loneliness – but y’know what, life couldn’t – it couldn’t – have turned out better.

The point of my story is that you have to chase what you want in life. You have to take the reins and decide that you deserve more, that you want more and you gotta push on forward.

You can’t let fear and negativity hold you back and keep you trapped in a life you’re not happy with.

Because, and please give me a cute lil punch in the face when I say this, you only get one life – live it.

My ex-flatmate actually used that quote with me when I couldn’t decide whether I should go out for drinks in Shoreditch one Friday night in 2013 or not. I did. And I met a boy named Christopher Coleman. Just sayin’.

At school I had a reputation for being a cry baby – I was always on edge and anything and everything set me off. Getting told off for forgetting my PE kit could have me in tears until I looked like the victim of a medical trial gone wrong.

I had a lot going on, a lot I don’t talk about on the internet and it left me feeling constantly hard done by. I constantly questioned why my life wasn’t like my friends’. Why I’d pulled the short straw, why my life was so miserable and unpredictable.

But to live a woe-is-me-life is to die a woe-is-me-life. Bad things happen to good people every single day. We can’t control it, but what we can control is how we tackle life and the decisions we make.

I have spent most of my adult life chasing happiness like it’s some sort of distant destination I’ll one day arrive at, and at some point over the past year or two I did arrive.

I’m not sure if it was finally finding stability – a stable home, a stable boyfriend and a semi-stable bank balance – or if it was because I changed my outlook on life.

You cannot let your past and the bad things that have ever happened to you, weigh you down. Everyone has shitty baggage, some worse than others, but you’ve got to walk through life like you haven’t got any. Like you’re as light and free as a pretty little autumn leaf just drifting through the air.

I hope future generations have to study my poetic lines for GCSE English Literature in the future.

But what I’m basically trying to say is that life and your happiness is exactly as you make it and it’s absolutely A-OK to walk away from the things dragging you down.

You are the only person who can control how happy you feel and who can carve yourself a sparklier HOW IS THIS EVEN MY LIFE future. The sort of future that present-you would be squealing over.

So stop with the negativity and the self-pity, you better than that girl.

Pull on your sassy pants and go get the world, it’s yours.


(P.S. soz about the mega old photo, I couldn’t help myself…)

  • This post was needed today, I am currently in a job that I don’t like, I have been wanting to leave for the last 2 years but I’m so terrified of doing so, this has helped me realise I need to do this for me and stop thinking about the consequences for other people! Thanks Hannah! x

    • wowww,i am so happy i came across this post,I can so relate to this,I recently resigned from a Spa therapist role on a cruise ship 1 of the most amazing 2 months of my life in my twenties,unforgettable but I learned and experienced what I needed too and I said its time to move on to bigger and better things !

  • Clare

    Absolutely love this.
    Its the exact place I’m in now. Written my notice out multiple of times, but hopefully todays the day I actually hand it in! x

  • I so needed this! I’m still doing my ‘this will do till I find the job I really want’ job that I got when I graduated….5 years ago!! I’m handing my notice in with nothing to go to in the summer holidays (it’s a school) and this has just confirmed that, you know what, despite what my Mum might think (yes, I’m married, but somehow my Mum’s opinion still impacts on my life choices!) it’s ok! I’ll be ok, more than ok! Thank you x

  • Uh-ma-zing post, I was in the same situation this time last month. My job made me work over 50 hours a week, I was constantly worrying about work and I hated every moment being there. But I resigned and I wasn’t sure whether it was the right decision but like you, I just knew.

    Now, I’m much happier (even finishing work early on fridays RESULT) and started a blog.
    Even though I keep on doubting myself with my blog that’s another story but compared to the beginning of January I am MUCH MUCH happier.

    You go girl

    Charlotte xo

  • I honestly couldn’t have read this on a better day girl. I absolutely agree that we choose happiness. Shit happens but sometimes you gotta be an adult and OWN IT xxxxx

  • I love this! It is so so true! I went through a feeling sorry for myself stage recently and life is certainly too short for it!! xx


  • This has actually made my day. It’s true, you have to make the choice to be happy in life, but it is so easy to feel stuck. Well, I no longer feel stuck today, I feel a lot more optimistic after reading this. Thanks Hannah!

    P.s. I was also the cry baby in school, and I’ve only slightly improved in adult life! But apparently tears remove toxins from the body, so I’m not crying I’m Detoxing!


    • Love this crying analogy haha! Deffo be using that one! My mum went to a therapist who told her she didn’t cry enough – it’s good for you πŸ™‚

      • It releases some sort of stress hormone from your body apparently – I love the idea of that! x

  • This was just the Monday motivation I needed today!

    Sophie Cliff

  • Love this post… I’m a massive advocate that you should always take a chance because you just don’t know what might happen…

    Frankie x


  • I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone else’s comments too. Your twenties are such a strange lost transitional stage where it’s difficult to know what each step might be, but you’re right, sometimes taking the plunge and just going for it forces you to actually get your dream job or house or life. Starting the week with so much positivity! Alice xx


  • Just what I needed today!!!!


  • Great Monday post!! Thank you πŸ™‚ We all need a little reminding sometimes.

  • nueyork

    I really think being able to “think” yourself into being happy, even when things aren’t going your way, is an amazing skill to develop and a really big key in leading a happy life.


  • Harriet

    This couldn’t be more #MondayMotivation if it tried, and I LOVE it. I seriously needed to read this today to give myself a wee kick up the booty and crack on with life.

    Thanks Hannah you little cutie-patootie! Xx

  • Totally agree with this!! Nearly 4 years ago I handed my 4 week notice into a job I hated! I would cry almost every day because it was so awful… I was miserable (which timehop keeps reminding me of – cheers pal.) I also had rent to pay, a car to fuel and my tummy to feed… but literally the day after I handed my notice in I had an interview and I was offered the job that evening! (I was all alone at home and ran around screaming LOLZ). It was a stable office job in the city which I had always wished for and I have since been promoted within that same company and am doing great!

    Things definitely happen for a reason and as long as you stay positive and believe everything will be ok as well as being determined and proactive – 9 times out of 10 they will be! Xx

  • I loved this post Hannah! I think I’m finally getting to that point now. I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety for so long, and for the past few years I’ve definitely been that oh-woe-is-me person wanting to know why the stuff that’s happened has happened to me. I’m finally at a stage where I just think, yea, it has happened to me, but now it’s time to use those experiences to make me a better, stronger, happier person. I feel happier than I have in a long time right now, and I plan on using this feeling to keep on doing the things that make me happy and push to be the person I really want to be, and I know is inside of me somewhere xx

  • Great post – and one I definitely needed to read today! Thanks for starting the week off on a positive note!

  • I love this post! Sometimes I feel like I’m constantly trying to change things to make me happier. Trying to lose weight, looking for new jobs, deciding whether to move somewhere new… I really should just look at my life from a different perspective and realise that things aren’t that bad. You’ve given some really great advice here – especially ‘Pull on your sassy pants’!


  • I’m so glad you wrote this. I have to admit that I’ve sometimes found your posts filled with negativity (your older ones in particular), so reading this by you is so nice to see. Truth is we can never expect life to be perfect, but if we focus almost constantly on the negative aspects we’ll let the better things pass by unappreciated. I work as a language assistant and today I was super tired and the kids would (as usual) talk when I was talking. But now I have chocolate mousse. So it’s a win.

  • Youre a babe x

  • You’re a ledg. You really are. Keep being amazing πŸ™‚ xxxx

  • Lee

    Loved this post, Hannah! I recently took the plunge and moved to a new city with no job and within a month I was able to find a job at an organization I LOVE and really respect. Crazy how taking that jump can really make things worthwhile xx

    Lee – leethrifts.com

  • This is literally the position im in right now!
    I hope it works out as well as it did for you πŸ™‚



  • Awesome post! I really needed to read this today. I hate my current job, and just found out today that I didn’t get the job I had really wanted that I interviewed for last week. This post has just inspired my to stay positive though, and not feel sorry for myself.

  • I love this so much, it’s so inspiring. So glad I found your blog!

    Love, Maia

  • Really love this post! Just the positivity i need right now, thank you! x

  • Yes! Love this post so much! I am the worst for being the leader of my own pity party. Your are so inspiring and fab! x

    Emma | Reverie de Paris

  • I love this post! I did the exact same thing last year, I worked in a job I hated that had completely taken over my life. I couldn’t go on annual leave without being called up hundreds of times by my boss and I got calls from clients at stupid times in the morning. So I quit without anything lined up and it was the scariest thing I ever did. But now I’m in a job I love, a job I have dreamed of doing since I was tiny. There’s still things to work on but I haven’t regretted that decision for a single second (even in the month where I sent off hundreds of job applications and was convinced I’d never get one). Do it, no matter how scared you are because no one but you should be in control of your life! xx


  • Fiona

    I am just about to have “the chat” with my boss, and terrified that he will judge me for not renewing my contract with nothing lined up. Funemployment, here I come!

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  • I absolutely loved this post!! I’ve been in a similar situation with a job I absolutely hated and I felt so down for so long, handing in my notice was the best thing I did for myself in a long time and I feel so much better in myself now. I’m not 100% happy with where I am at the moment (is anyone ever?) however I’m getting there and it feels great! Happiness is definitely important and you should never settle for anything less.

  • I completely agree with this. I’ve read your blog for ages, and love reading the depression posts because I can relate so much. I was diagnosed years ago, but after deciding to choose happiness after my boyfriend broke up with me, I haven’t had a depressed day in four months!

    You even inspired me to write a post on it. I’m not even a blogger. But I wanted to get my story out there because if anyone has ever been in a similar situation to me, if it can provide them any comfort then it’s so worth it <3 thanks for sharing with us, you're so much more real and relate-able than so many other blogs that I read.


  • Kendall

    Preach, Hannah!! Definitely needed this pick me up. Ahem, thank you very much!

  • Hi Hannah,

    I love your posts, particularly the ones about life choices. I started reading your blog a few months ago and the first MH one was ‘and it all fell down’. I so admire your honesty and love how frank you are with your readers.

    I gave my notice on a job I have been working in for a decade, last month and leave on 31st August (it’s a school). I am terrified but KNOW it’s the right thing. Thank you for this post, you have utterly confirmed it’s the right move. So glad things are working out for you. You’re an inspiration x

  • LOVE this! Have you ever read feel the fear and do it anyway because you practically summed up the book in this post haha. But really, I’ve needed someone to remind me of this – my core belief is if you don’t want to do something, don’t do it. Not in a lazy way or selfish way but in the sense of if it’s making you fucking miserable what’s the point? It’s only getting you and everyone else around you in a shit mood so why bother? ahhh i’m so happy, i cant type my eeing and ahhing and wooing otherwise ill look a bit crazy but i am definitely making all of those noises right now

  • alk

    I agree that we are the only person who can control our life and we shall choose a happy one.


  • Jesus Hannah, I had so many ‘this is me’ moments whilst reading this. I’m so glad you’ve come out of your troubles with a better outlook. I feel like I’m half way through your story. I handed my notice in at the start of the year, but couldn’t risk freelancing. You’re much more brave than I am. I’m currently in a new role that is far beyond what what advertised – got to love marketing firms! Your post gave me so much hope. If one day I can be as level headed as you, I’ll know I’ve got somewhere.

    Thanks for this post, exactly what I needed!

  • Honestly, you couldn’t have posted this at a better time. From the age of 18 I’ve been in the same job, first a cashier then a shelf-stacker in the same company and store. I had some great colleagues, but it got to a point where I couldn’t do it any more. There were several reasons I wanted to leave, and my mental health was suffering. Weekend before last I put in for a job at a small, slower-paced retail store. One area manager, not a whole hierarchy, and a lovely, small group of girls to work with. It’s such a change and I was offered the job three days after my interview. Yesterday I posted my resignation into my old job and I had such a good day at my new job. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to do it forever, I probably wouldn’t even do it full time… But at least I’m away from that other place. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and hope it works out for the best! I was terrified about coming somewhere new after how my mental health has been the last handful of years but I reckon, so far, this has been a good decision!

  • A big ol’yes to this post Hannah, it’s so true that choosing to be happy and making a difference to a situation is in your control and totally reachable. I know that I can have moments like ‘oh woe’ but they don’t control me as it pushes me to do better, and that’s the difference between letting it rule you or motivate you.

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Beauty Wellbeing

  • Love this post!

  • The photo is totally fitting with the post. I really enjoyed reading this and 100% agree with you. It’s so important to not be the person who complains about a problem and makes no steps towards changing it. Yes, things aren’t easy but if all give up then they’ll never improve.

    It’s down to us to take our life in the best direction possible.

  • Kate

    This is me. Right now! Such a motivating post for a Thursday! Thank you!!!

    I’m 25, graphic design Grad, in an admin job that makes me pure miserable! I’m around people who have no passion or zest for life at all and who are just settling for a job because it’s money. It brings in a ‘decent’ amount a month but it doesn’t mean I’m happy. The job gives me anxiety as its high pressure and high responsibility and as a 25 year old I feel like I should be having more fun and less worry?

    I’m looking at applying at things part time so I can push my dream of working freelance whilst trying to be sensible and keep a ‘normal’ job whilst I’m working things out so theres Money as a back up.

    This post speaks to me so much.
    It’s funny how many people are in their twenties floating around in a job they hate just because they needed a job pronto after graduating or something…. yet loads of us are so unhappy and wasting our life working in a job they hate.
    I know I only want to work part time as I want more time to do things!!! Do things I like and see people and have time for life.. I think we become so involved in our jobs we forget to live our life.. We are only here once!

  • Carla

    Our lives sound identical except job part. I became disabled at a very young age and I just lost my con man boyfriend and I feel stuck and hopeless. I don’t know which way to go from here. Your story helped. Thank you.

  • Sanne

    I so agree! You have to choose at happy life – life is too short not to do so.. I recently quit my job – without having another, but the job totally drained me and made me feel stressed out and inadequate and sad. One morning I had it, and made my decision – life is really too short to feel like that. So I quit. Enough is enough..
    And now – I feel like I’m alive Again.. I can breathe free, laugh and smile again.
    People said to me “you are so brave!”.. Oh no, I am not brave – I just want to live a happy life – Life is too short and Life is a gift – dont spoil it. We all deserve happiness.
    I still didn’t find another job, but I don’t worry.. It will come – I’ve faith. Meanwhile – I enjoy every day – I feel like your Picture – so happy and free..
    Nice to read that others choose a happy life – and I hope more will do so.
    Hope I didn’t make too many spelling mistakes – I’m not English – I’m from Denmark. Take care everyone – Life is short. :o)

  • Hannah
    That was so inspirational and really well said. I’m in my 50s – and this ‘choosing’ to live a happy life is all still true at my great age!

  • Hi Hannah,

    What a great example of courage! Most people fail to realize they have a choice.
    They can choose life or death.
    When we stay stuck in a job or relationship we know we’re not happy with then we’re spiritually dead.
    Fear have paralyzed them to stay with what they are familiar with; mediocre.
    Thanks for the reminder,

  • This post was so much needed today!This post is exactly my thoughts and the description of my life at the moment!I have a job that i hate,i cry almost every day for this reason and a relationship which seems going to nowhere or at least this is what i can see at the moment!I think that i will say to my job today that i’m done!
    Thank you so much for sharing that post ^_^

  • Love this! πŸ’œ

  • Erika

    Thank you soooo much for this! I decided yesterday (Friday) that I’m handing in my note at work on Monday. So reading this now only makes me even more determined and sure of that I’m doing the right thing. I’ve noticed little signs all day telling me that I’m on the right track here (and that’s from a girl who usually don’t believe in signs telling me things πŸ˜‰)!

    And thanks to everyone commenting on this post – you too have made me stronger πŸ’•

  • Deborah

    I choose happiness! Yes! I don’t know a single soul who doesn’t have issues in their lives be it health, personal or job! We all go through ups and downs but I promise you, if you always choose happiness it will make a huge difference in how you handle these things. Choose to smile.

  • Thais Aux

    That was one of the most sincere posts I’ve read in a long time. Beautiful!!! Have a nice weekend <3

    • Deborah

      Aww thank you! I hope you have a nice weekend too! Regardless, we’ll be smiling right?

  • Gosh I loved this! It was so much of what I needed today! You’re incredible, girl! Loved this πŸ™‚ xx

  • Thank you for this inspiring post! We really only live once and it is very easy to become a victim of life instead of a victor. Thank you for this reminder to follow our dreams. πŸ™‚

  • I am currently on the midnight shift at my job while reading your article. I’ve been so unhappy for so many years that I don’t care to count anymore. I left a job that I had worked on for 181/2 years and stepped into another JOB that I simply can’t settle into. I’m pretty sure that my JOB days are over. This article is just another confirmation that I’ve got to create the life I want to live. Thank you so much for this timely piece. I appreciate you so much. It’s time to move and you’ve helped me to realize this fact.

    I choose a happy life!!

  • Love this post! I had to figure the same thing out for different reasons.

    I moved to a new country with my husband and baby, had all of these adventures and opportunities in front me, and an awesomingly flexible job. However, I still managed to be annoyed about the little things and stressed out every time we went away.

    I wondered why I wasn’t enjoying this like that I really wanted, and after some time, I realised it was my mindset that caused my feelings – not my situation. Anyways, thanks for sharing!

  • This post has inspired so many people, as you see. Me too. After being laid off in the fashion industry, I am learning to piece together more than one job, and it’s scary. But a friend reminded me, even after college, I ‘ve always had more than one job (a full-time & a part-time & volunteer work). I totally did not even see my life like that, it’s just how I lived. So now I will do all the above but with the intent of earning money to live well. Of course, will still do volunteer work but with same care and not equal time involvement as with earning work. Thank you, feel better already. And yes, attitude is everything!

  • Oh, how I love you! Just what I needed today… πŸ™‚

  • Joan

    You are so lucky to have just quit at your age. I waited until I was 58 years old and it still was the best move I’ve ever made. I chose happiness over corporate life. I felt like I had stayed at the party to long, but was so afraid of how I would pay the bills. All I know now is, I still have everything I need and am a nicer person.

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  • Great reminder, Hannah! Thanks so much!

    Diana | http://www.thechicdiary.com/blog

  • boomdog02

    So true, even for guys, like me. Here is something you’ll appreciate.


    β€œThe longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company . . . a church . . . a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past . . . we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude . . . I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you . . . we are in charge of our attitudes.”

  • This blog post literally made me cry.

    I could not have needed this more right now.

    Thank you so much.

  • Great post Hannan! I’m exactly in the same situation, with a job I hate that is dragging me down like nothing else… And I’m so tired of that…
    I used to have a blog, but when I started this job I had to let it go, because I didn’t have and still don’t have any free time to dedicate myself to it. I miss working on my blog and I want to go back to it, because it makes me happy! My dream is to turn it to a full time job… I know it’s not an easy path, but I have to try!
    Thank you again for your post, it was so inspiring!

  • Yes to how fucking amazing this blog post is! I am currently on such a journey of trying to find happiness and feel a bit more secure in my place in this world and I truly believe that if you want to be happy then you have to work so hard at it every single fucking day! I’m getting there. I’m glad it all worked out for you! You are rocking it!

    Sophie xx

  • Ah god, the way that you felt is the exact way I feel now. And it makes you so restless I find, especially as the job I am in now has veered so far away from what I planned to do.
    My thing is, I don’t really know how to work out where I will be happy or what I want to do? I’ve realised that the unsure feeling I get when I’ve been offered jobs in the past is always a sign that it’s not gonna be the one, but I don’t think I have found my thing yet and I’m not sure how on earth you do it!
    Such a lovely post though, and I agree with you completely. It’s actually really comforting reading all the comments here too πŸ™‚

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