25 Positive Quotes to Start Your Day in a Good Way

A woman sits in a yellow armchair in the sunshine, reading a newspaper, with a cute dog.

A few words of encouragement have been scientifically proven to change your day.

Since you were a little kid you’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day: it provides you with nourishment and energy so you can keep going strong through classes, work, or anything the world throws at you. 

As it turns out, starting out with a little bit of positivity has the same effect!

Researchers have found that the better morning you have, the better day you are likely to have. 

A study from Penn State University revealed that it has mostly to do with stress anticipation. If you’re able to calm those worries early in the day, there’s a better chance that good mood will keep rolling. 

A good way to do that is to start with positive thoughts, according to journalist-turned-happiness-researcher Michelle Gielan, who left a national news anchoring job to study psychology.

“In the research we’re doing, we’re showing how positive messages can raise every single business and educational outcome that we know how to track. By making small shifts in the way we communicate, we can raise performance and profits in business. As parents, we’re able to transform the way kids view challenging situations on the playground,” she told the Washington Post. “All this research is really exciting. It validates what we intuitively know: When we’re exposed to negative messages, it transforms our view of the world.”

Gielan’s research found that a little bit of positive news first thing in the morning can result in an 88% chance of happier feelings up to eight hours later, while just three minutes of bad news can lead to a 27% increase in negative feelings throughout the rest of the day.

While that research focused solely on the difference between negative and “transformative” news — which Gielan describes as news that may start off seemingly negative but resolves itself into something not so negative — tons of research on positive reinforcement in marketing and business have shown mostly the same thing. Early positive thoughts are much more likely to remain positive.

Try treating your morning the same way. The first thoughts you put into your brain will set the tone for the rest of the day, whether it be a news story to set you off on the right foot or a positive quote to lift your spirits.

Aim for bringing your attention to something inspiring that will encourage you to be your best self that day. Maybe it’s something about changing the world or maybe it’s as simple as having the courage to accept what you cannot change and making the best of a difficult situation. 

Each day comes with new challenges and new possibilities, but there’s always some room to work in a little bit of positivity. 

  1. “You get in life what the courage you have to ask for.” – Oprah Winfrey
  2. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
  3. “I dwell in possibility.” —Emily Dickinson
  4. “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”—Roald Dahl
  5. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” —Aesop
  6. “The power of imagination makes us infinite.” —John Muir
  7. "I think the truth of the matter is, people who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love and it just so happens that they are the first to do it." — Condoleezza Rice
  8. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” —Chinese Proverb
  9.  “Always be a first-rate version of yourself,
 instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” —Judy Garland
  10. “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” — Willie Nelson
  11. “Whoever is happy will make others happy too.” — Anne Frank
  12. "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." — Robert Frost
  13. “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.” – Frida Kahlo
  14. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” — Barack Obama
  15.  “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” — Mother Teresa
  16. “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” — Kenji Miyazawa
  17. "I decided I can't pay a person to rewind time, so I may as well get over it." — Serena Williams
  18. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt.
  19.  “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  20.  “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” — Chuck Swindoll
  21.  “Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.” — Elie Weisel
  22.  “Man is fond of counting his troubles but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up, as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.” — Fyodor Dostoevsky
  23. “Difficult roads always lead to beautiful destinations.” — Zig Ziglar
  24. “Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.” – Democritus
  25. “Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy.” – Groucho Marx
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