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50 Steps to Simple Happiness

Illustration by Jim Stoten  

37. “Eat strained Greek yogurt with blueberries, almonds, and a teaspoon of agave nectar. You will lose an average of twelve pounds at the end of the year.” —Dr. David Colbert, Dermatologist

38. Zero in on the typical trouble zones—stomach and butt—at Soho Sanctuary’s new Bootcamp Spa series, which aims to lift and tone using a combination of lymphatic drainage, glycolic peels, algae masks, and pumice scrubs (starts Feb.; $125 for 60 minutes; 119 Mercer St., nr. Prince St., third fl.; 212-334-5550).

39. Spend some time with animals; pet the felines in the “cat loft” at BARC, a no-kill animal shelter in Williamsburg. Or volunteer to walk one of the 40 or so dogs ( for details).

40. Embrace insomnia with a 3 a.m. soak in one of the warm, ginseng-infused baths at Juvenex, the city’s best all-night spa ($65 for three hours; 25 W. 32nd St., nr. Fifth Ave., fifth fl.; 646-733-1330).

41. “Never clean your plate at a restaurant. New Yorkers eat out more than anyone, but they can choose to eat less.” —David Kirchhoff, CEO, Weight Watchers

42. Take a long lunch on a Tuesday and go to the free hour-long performance by Juilliard musicians (Tuesdays at 12:30 at 180 Maiden Ln., nr. Front St.; 212-769-7406).

43. “Consider using a bright light box at breakfast; it’s a springtime light boost that can last through evening.” —Dr. Michael Terman, Director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms, Columbia University Medical Center

44. “Think like a shark, act like a 5-year-old. Our bodies are meant to be in motion. Don’t stay in the same position for more than 30 minutes at a time.” —Dr. Jeffrey Gross, Rehabilitation Medicine, NYU School Of Medicine

45. Find a spare seat on the mostly tourist-freeleft side of the Main Reading Room at the New York Public Library, and read—not from a mobile electronic device or a newspaper or even a magazine. Read an actual book (Fifth Ave. at 42nd St.; 212-340-0908).

46. Score the pampering trifecta: manicure, pedicure, and bubbly. The boudoirlike Back Room Hand & Foot Spa is newly offering manicures, pedicures, Champagne, and strawberries for a mere $25 (24 W. 125th St., nr. Lenox Ave.; 212-828-6717; through January 24).

47. “Paint your walls yellow, a color associated with cheerfulness and sunlight—not a bad thing in the dreary days of winter.” —Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director, Pantone Color Institute

48. “Surround yourself with things that smell like green apple or cucumber, two scents that have been proved to reduce anxiety and boost mood. Candles, shampoo, lotion—anything.” —Dr. Alan Hirsch, Neurological Director, The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation

49. “Pause. Allow your neck to relax, your nose to slowly lower, and the crown of your head to rise. Release your whole spine into length. Notice extra tension and release it. Breathe fully and slowly; smile. Begin your morning with this, end with it, use it as many times during the day as possible.” —Mark Josefsberg, Alexander Technique Teacher

50.Take a very different kind of yoga class: one accompanied by a live multipiece dream-jazz ensemble at new Yoga Vida NYC Vinyasa studio (99 University Pl., at 12th St., sixth fl.; 212-995-5553).

Reporting by Molly Bennet, Sarah Bernard, Aja Mangum, and Beth Shapouri.