20 Quotes to Lighten Up Your Day

I don’t know about you all, but I have a a tendency to take things a little too seriously sometimes. I can obsess over tiny details and think everything in the universe hinges on what color I choose for a brand board…. and if things aren’t perfect I can get totally stressed out. I’ve gotten better over the years but it’s definitely still a work-in-progress. The perils of being a perfectionist…

So what’s often the antidote for this rigidity? I’ve found the best thing that breaks up the forcing and obsessing is having a sense of humor. Instead of getting annoyed at myself if I don’t totally nail a musical passage when I’m practicing, I’ve been trying to laugh at myself when things get a bit unhinged. And in all honesty, it really is pretty funny when you’re going along and you can start feeling things getting out of control. Instead of getting mad, I just laugh and it feels so much better. I’m trying to incorporate playful moments like this into my daily life in order to unlock myself a little bit, and in the process I’ve found that both my mindset and any tension I have in my voice begins to lighten up. These moments give me a sense of perspective that dissolves obsession and rigidity and they create a safe and light-hearted environment for me to experiment and take risks. Who would’ve thought — approaching things with lightness produces lightness.

Below, I have complied 20 quotes on the importance of having a sense of humor to hopefully help lighten up your day. Can you find some element of humor in a situation that’s driving you crazy? Give it a try this week — it might feel good.

“The first step towards true enlightenment is to lighten up on yourself.”


Humor is a reminder that no matter how high the throne one sits on, one sits on one’s bottom.”


There is little success where there is little laughter.” 

–Andrew Carnegie

“It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.”

–Oscar Wilde

“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.”

–Langston Hughes

“View yourself through the lens of humor, and you will learn what is important by seeing what is not.” 

–Greg Henry Quinn

“Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.”

–Grenville Kleiser

“Handling the little things is often best accomplished with humor. The ability to laugh at things that make you the most riled up can ease your reaction when they occur.” 

–A. E. Dean

“If you’re going to make every game a matter of life or death, you’re going to have a lot of problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.”

–Dean Smith

“If you can dance and be free and not be embarrassed, you can rule the world.”

–Amy Poehler

“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.”

–Ernest Hemingway

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations, and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”

–Mark Twain

“Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”


“A sense of humor is a major defense against minor troubles.”

–Mignon McLaughlin

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

–Charlie Chaplin

“Man, unlike the animal, has never learned that the sole purpose of life is to enjoy it.”

–Samuel Butler

“I can’t tell if you’re serious or not,’ said the driver.

‘I won’t know myself until I find out if life is serious or not,’ said Trout. ‘It’s dangerous, I know, and it can hurt a lot. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s serious, too.”

–Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”

–Charles Bukowski

“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”

–Amy Poehler

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

–Guillaume Apollinaire

Of course, there are situations where a sense of humor might not be the best idea. However, if you can learn to tap into it when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, it can lighten the load a little bit and provide perspective.

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