Creativity · Happiness · Mental Health · Mindfulness

My Favourite Things Challenge

Last week I posted an image to my Instagram page, accompanied by the caption (and in my mind, singing voice of Julie Andrews playing Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music), “Droplets on branches after the rain, these are a few of my favourite things”. It got me thinking about how this iconic scene of the song My Favourite Things can be a really great exercise in gratitude. When things are going badly or we feel sad, what better way to cheer us up than remember all of the great things that are in our lives and create a song about it. So I have set myself a gratitude challenge, or should I say ‘creative exercise’, which I welcome you all to have a go at.

Week 1: Take photos/draw pictures of things that make you really happy and that you are grateful for. Make a collage of them, including one on your phone (you can use an app like Pic Collage or Layout) if you’re always carrying your phone with you. This will provide you with some positive visual memories that you can look back on.

My favourite things

Week 2: Write down some words associated with the images in your collage. These can be a mix of the objects in your photos or adjectives to describe them. This will solidify your positive thoughts and gratitude for the good things in your life. It will also form the basis of your song!

Week 3 (and more if necessary 🙂 ): Start writing your song. If you’re unfamiliar with songwriting, you can even set your words to the My Favourite Things tune to help create some rhythm and structure. Or if you’d prefer to write your own song but are new to it, try humming some spontaneous tunes/musical phrases that come into your head and fit your words to your tune. Remember, this song is for you so it should be something that you like the sound of and enjoy. The only ‘rule’ I set is that it should make you happy when you sing it. And for any musos (musicians) out there, just go do your thing – guitars/piano/drums/harmonium – whatever it is, own it 🙂

Week 4 (or beyond, depending on how much time you gifted to the last section): When you’re happy, why not amplify your happiness by singing your new song? When you’re feeling low, why not sing your song to remember all that you are grateful for?

I hope you enjoy your My Favourite Things rendition. I also hope that it brings you a fun activity to do this month and amplifies your gratitude and happiness for all the good in your life.


And in case you were wondering what my lyrics set to My Favourite Things would be, here’s a haphazard verse or two:

Word games and reading
By warm open fires,
Pot of tea brewing
And home-cooked fine dinners
Arts and crafts, blogging,
Music set to strings,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Healing bowls singing,
Cross-legged meditation,
Green leaves all dancing
In afforestation,
Bluebirds a’ whistling
Marking the Spring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

When the bills come,
When fun plans bomb,
When I’m stressed and mad,
I simply remember my favourite things, and then I don’t feel so bad.

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