The Happiness Journal

Ellie Spinks

Welcome to The Happiness Journal.

Ellie is a super good friend of mine, I mean, we’re practically sisters, so I was super excited when she said she’d join me at The Happiness Journal to talk all about what happiness means to her, and I’m even more excited to share it with you all!

Hey Els, introduce yourself. 

Hi there, my name is Ellie and I’m a third year Cardiff university student studying Mathematics. Although I go to Cardiff I am from the beautiful New Forest and I absolutely love it!

What food makes you smile?

Chicken nuggets, straight up! I know its cliché and everyone says they like them but put a 6 nugget McDonald’s box in front of me and I’ll be a very happy bunny (filled with the nugs of course!)

When are you at your happiest?

I am definitely at my happiest when I am surrounded by the people I love. My family never fail to put a smile on my face, they are bonkers! Hanging out with my family is like hanging out with a bunch of my friends. My dad cracks a good old joke which makes my mum laugh until she cries which sets me and my sisters off, it’s a vicious circle.

How do you feel when you see blue skies?

Blue skies make everything better and easier. Getting out of bed when the skies are blue is actually not too bad (I say not too bad because I am definitely not a morning person!). Everyone just automatically seems happier when the sun is out!

Tell me about a time you really belly laughed?

Anytime my mum laughs she honestly cries. It is so funny and me and my sisters can’t help but laugh as well. She is going to kill me for saying this but she sounds like a seagull when she laughs and me and my sisters are in fits when she gets to that stay; my stomach always hurts the next day from using my laughing muscles!

If you were an animal, what animal would you be, and why?

I think I would definitely be (this is very specific) a cocker spaniel! I am a very bubbly and lively person who loves being around people, I am definitely an extrovert!!

What gets you up in the morning?

The one thing that can never ever fail to wake me up in the best mood is my nephew! Whether it’s 3am, 6am or 10am, if he wakes me up I am awake in the best mood. He has so much energy all day every day and as his ‘auntie lellie’ I have to match that, so I have no choice but to be running round the room moments after my eyes have open and I love it.

What’s your feel good song or movie?

My feel good movie is definitely Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging. My (not-so) little sister, Annie, will completely agree with me on this one! If we are doing work, that film goes on, if we are just chilling, that film goes on, anytime that film goes on! I think I need to get a new one now, I’m getting a bit old for it!

Do you have something your really treasure? Tell me about it.

My best friend, Molly. I treasure her so much; I could not have done uni without her! She is the main reason I am still at uni! She has helped me through some tough times and turned my tears into laughs. I’m pretty sure she is one of the only people on this planet that could take my weirdness, you know they’re a keeper when you can be as weird as you want with them! I will treasure her and her friendship forever.

What’s your favourite childhood memory?

My favourite childhood memories are definitely family holidays to caravan parks. If you’ve been to a caravan park I feel like you will just get this. Haven holidays were just the best! That moment when, Rory the Tiger came on stage were just the best when I was a little one. Getting the stuffed Anxious the Elephant toy (so me!) was like Christmas came early and collecting all my pennies to spend in the arcade for hours on end were the best memories.

Tell me about a person who means a lot to you?

I’m going to cheat and name two people that mean a lot to me, my mum and dad. My whole life they have been my rocks. They have made me the strong character I am today and I will forever be grateful for that. I went through a lot of years of anxiety and panic attacks and I would hate to think of where I would be without them. They would drive from home to Cardiff at silly o’clock whenever I needed to come and get me after a bad panic attack and that hug when they first got there would always make me feel so much better. I will never be able to tell them how much they mean to me.

What is that one special thing, event or experience that makes you happy when you think about it?

Dancing! I was a dancer for around 14 years and I miss it every single day. I had some of the best days at dance competitions; playing on Pictochat on my brand new DS I got for Christmas and joining with other dancers from across the room to the car ride home with my besties singing as loud as we could. No matter what, if I think of it, I smile instantly.

What has been the happiest moment of your life to date?

This goes back to dancing again, but in 2013 I won the Latin National Finals and I will never forget that day. When they called out my name, I honestly didn’t believe it so I didn’t get up but when I saw my dance teacher waving me to get up my heart sank, in a good way. When I made it to collect my medal without falling over with excitement, I had to keep my legs locked. If I had slightly bend them I am sure I would have fallen over! I never knew that happiness could make your body like that!

What’s your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is definitely YouTube. I love watching daily vlogs of people! I am so nosey so I love seeing what others get up to on a day to day basis. It really takes my mind off anything else and I get really into watching YouTuber’s and keeping up to date with them.

Do you have a happy place? Where is it and why?

My happy place is definitely my bath at home. I’m telling you now, run yourself a bath, stick some candles on, lavender-scented bath bomb and a glass of wine you will instantly feel great! I love bringing my laptop in and catching up with my latest series I’m watching, it’s the best.

What does happiness mean to you?

Happiness is just everything to me. If I see the people who I love happy then I am happy and that is all I need in life. I enjoy doing things to make others happy as well as doing things to make myself happy. My whole life works around it and I love it that way.

Show me a photo that makes you smile.

Tell me about a time that someone did something for you that really made you smile.

I was having a down few days recently and my best friend came round with a full on hamper for me! It had my favourite sweets in, my favourite drink, all the bath bits I love and of course a Sudoku book (which I’m obsessed with, I’m a Maths student!). This meant so much to me, I couldn’t even put it into words. It was so thoughtful and made me smile for days.

What’s your favourite quote about happiness?

My favourite quote (so much so I have thought about getting it tattooed) is ‘It’s okay to be a glow stick; sometimes we need to break before we shine’. Never heard anything so true.

And before you leave, if you had to give any advice to someone about achieving happiness, what would it be?

I love to talk to people about happiness. Going through such a tough, dark time with my anxiety has taught me a lot. I would never change having my anxiety because the lessons I have learnt have made me the smiley happy person I am today. I would say to anyone that ‘you’ time is so important. It is good to be selfless and help others when they need it but never forget yourself. You are so important and should get put first sometimes. Know what makes you happy and when you need it treat yourself, run that bath, spend time with those people who make you smile or eat those chicken nuggets! Whatever makes you happy, do more of it.


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One Comment

  • Lauren

    Wow the Latin national dance champ! Also Angus thongs is a great movie! I love Cardiff. I went for 2 days a couple of a years back but it just rained continuously so we didn’t see a lot. Would love to return! X

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