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50 Steps to Simple Happiness

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Illustration by Jim Stoten  

16. “Eat one ounce of dark chocolate a day. It’s the new superfood.” —Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, Integrative Medicine and Nutrition

17. Socialize with the convivial, rosy-cheeked crowd at Dandelion Wine in Greenpoint. Come for Friday-night tastings or newly arrived wines (153 Franklin St., nr. India St., Greenpoint; 347-689-4563).

18. “Don’t be afraid to change up your style. Your hair is your best accessory. Besides, what are you afraid of? It will always grow back. And invest in a Mason Pearson brush, with a mixture of boar bristle and nylon tufts. It’s worth every penny.” —Sally Hershberger, Hairstylist

19. “Give the people pushing in the subway or rushing in the streets the benefit of the doubt by imagining that it is really important for them to get where they are going.” —Rabbi Irwin Kula, President, National Jewish Center for Learning And Leadership

20. Don’t even leave your apartment: Claire Mullen of Refresh Body, a favorite of the beauty-editor set, will take over your living room and put you through a 60-minute, $135 massage that’s one part excruciating and one part sublime (212-242-4379).

21.Forget the brown-rice sushi. The Japanese are some of the most long-lived people on the planet, and they only eat white rice.” —Dr. Oz Garcia, Nutritionist

22. Respect the nostrils: The pleasures of scent are undisputed. Aphrodisia Herb Shoppe owner Joann Pelletieri—who has assembled seemingly every herb known to man—will mix essential oils to treat whatever’s irking you ($8 to $20 for a third of an ounce; 264 Bleecker St., nr. Cornelia St.; 212-989-6440).

23. “When you’re in an elevator, put down the BlackBerry and engage in small talk. There is simply no social-networking site that can replace that connection.” —Faye Rogaski, Professor of Communications, NYU

24. If street noise keeps you awake, download Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön reading her book When Things Fall Apart. Her soothing voice will have you asleep in moments.

25. “Take two to three grams of fish oil per day for inflammation and at least 2,000 I.U.’s of vitamin D. We don’t get enough sun in the Northeast, and we need it in order to compensate.” —Dr. Alexander Kulick, Integrative Medicine

26. Work out while you work. “At your desk, take five minutes to do back exercises—scapula retractions. Put your arms straight out in front of you and pull your shoulder blades together to get blood flowing and reduce tightness. Do shoulder rolls back and forth to increase circulation.” —Robert Morea, Personal Trainer, Great Jones Studio

27. “Move your body for 45 minutes three times a week. Doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you’re doing. Just keep moving.” —Julie Rice, Co-Owner, Soulcycle Spinning Gym

28. Ratchet up the intensity at Clay’s newest class, fittingly called Sweat, launching January 18. The instructors switch from cardio to resistance to flexibility training, so students’ bodies can’t adapt to the routine (day pass $35; 25 W. 14th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-206-9200).

29. Acknowledge you have a short attention span and sign up for Exhale’s new Core Fusion Cardio classes, starting in February. The classes will keep you so busy with jump-backs, medicine-ball tossing, ab sculpting, and strength and flexibility work that you won’t have time to think anything but Where’s my water bottle?($35; 60–70 Spring St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-249-3000).

30. Enjoy the views at the new Soho location of 24 Hour Fitness, which has big windows overlooking the surrounding rooftops. Memberships are month to month, so you don’t have to commit to a year (136 Crosby St., nr. E. Houston St.; 212-918-9811).

31.“Collect visual memories of moments when you were incredibly happy, and close your eyes and picture them when you need a boost. The mind needs images to access feelings.” —Edwige Gilbert, Wellness And Stress-Management Coach

32. “Carry yourself more erect. Poor posture is a self-fulfilling prophecy of gloom. You can improve your outlook and confidence simply by improving your posture.” —Eva Pelegrin, Founder, Attune Holistic Fitness

33.“Start an old-fashioned correspondence with a friend. Handwriting a letter forces you to express yourself in a totally different way.” —Jonathan Arnold,General Manager, Dempsey & Carroll Stationery Engravers

34. “Diversify your cognitive portfolio: Museum Mondays, Tennis Tuesdays, Writing Wednesdays, Tango Thursdays, Learn-to-Frittata Fridays, Socializing Saturdays, Socrates Sundays. We need to rotate activities weekly to fire up different brain regions.” —Dr. Gayatri Devi, Neurology and Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine

35. Download In C Remixed,the new tribute album to Terry Riley’s Minimalist stoner classic conceived on a San Francisco bus in 1964 and still your brain’s best chill-out soundtrack.

36. Put back a complimentary Colt 45 while you sketch a nude model’s contours at the Wednesday-night Drink-N-Draw events at Williamsburg’s 3rd Ward (BYO drawing tools). The open sessions are emceed by artist Adam Collison, who plays everything from old-school hip-hop to hair metal ($15, $10 if you bring a friend; 195 Morgan Ave., nr. Stagg St., East Williamsburg; 718-715-4961).


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