Did you know: Joy is one of our six primary emotions, which are universally expressed around the world? And it’s only positive one?

While some may conflate joy with childishness and think we’re supposed to get more serious as we get older, research actually shows a clear link between our surroundings and our mental health.

Experts urge us to find calm by looking inward and muting the outside world, but what if we can access joy in the world around us?

In this episode, Ingrid Fetell Lee talks about joy—how to recognize it, where to find it and ways to create it.

Ingrid is the founder of The Aesthetics of Joy and empowers people to find more joy with design. She is the author of “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness” and her TED talk, “Where Joy Hides and How to Find It” has been viewed more than 17 million times.

Ingrid is a former design director at IDEO and has led design programs for Target, American Express and the U.S. government, among others.

Joy with Ingrid Fetell Lee

Show highlights include:

  • What is joy in relationship to happiness? Happiness is how you feel over time; joy is an intense momentary experience of positive emotion.
  • Benefits of joy: Improves physical/emotional health and performance/creativity.
  • Joy makes the world a better place; Ingrid empowers people to find joy through design, including tangible objects.
  • Joy is obvious, but people don’t pay attention to it or to what’s in their surroundings that could bring them joy.
  • Where joy hides: Don’t be silly! It’s time to get serious.  
  • Where to find joy: Universal triggers are bright colors, abundance and elevation. Things like: bubbles, treehouses, rainbows, fireworks, and ice cream with sprinkles.
  • Measure of urban health: If you dropped your wallet/purse, how likely do you think it is someone would return it to you?
  • Our daily space should represent aesthetics of joy as necessities, not luxuries.
  • Joyspotting: Notice and tune into your senses and surroundings.
  • Joyfinding: What things, activities, places, and people bring you a feeling of joy?

Joy Quote from Ingrid Fetell Lee of Aesthics of Joy

Good words from Ingrid Fetell Lee in this show:

“Happiness is about how good we feel over time. Sometimes, you have to reflect to understand your happiness.”

“Joy is much smaller and simpler. It’s an intense momentary experience of positive emotion. We really feel it in our bodies, as well as our minds.”

“We need a certain amount of sensory stimulation to sort of keep our brains young and plastic.”

Additional resources:

Download this episode wherever you get your podcasts. Connect with Ingrid Fetell Lee via The Aesthetics of Joy.  

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