I’ve discussed topics like collecting cozy memories, the importance of living in the moment, and how it can be so difficult to find contentment when you’re waiting. At the center of all these ideas are a grouping of songs, scenarios, and items that never fail to make me feel comfy and cozy in everyday moments. These are just a few of my absolute favorite ways to bring cozy feelings into my life, and some tips for brainstorming your go-to cozy list.
Why You Should Make a Go-To Cozy List
Sometimes life throws a curveball. Sometimes we find ourselves in a cycle of stress, anxiety, loneliness, or sadness. In those moments, days, weeks, even years, it is incredibly beneficial to have a “cozy list” of ways to bring yourself some needed comfort and warmth.
My cozy list is like my own personal hearth to curl up on when I need a rest, and having these go-to ways to bring some joy into my heart helps to give my brain the reset it so often needs. I’ll share just a few things off my cozy list to get you started on putting together your own:
Cozy Home Items:
This category is a bit of a catch-all for the products and home items that make me feel cozy and comfortable in that space. I don’t need these items, but whether it’s the sentiment of who gave it to me, or the sheer effect it has on me, these make my life feel cozy and I love them.
A Big Warm Blanket: When we imagine a cozy situation, I feel like it’s pretty common to imagine a snuggly blanket. However, the key to my cozy blanket is that it is big enough to cover me from head to toe, and even has room for another person. The perfect cozy blanket is soft without being so fuzzy that it makes me sweat, and big enough to keep me from ever having to fight for space underneath.
Big Train Spiced Chai Tea: I’ve had a lot of chai tea in my life. It’s my go-to order at the coffee shop, and a staple in my pantry. This powdered tea mixture is made like hot chocolate, by mixing the powder into hot water — so it’s not really a traditional chai tea bag. However, this creamy, cozy, spiced drink is so delicious on a cold winter night. It’s a treat, so I don’t drink it incredibly often, but when I need to add some positive, cozy feelings to my day, this does the trick. Seriously, try it out.
Pictures of Family & Friends: This is pretty simple, but for me it’s part of what makes my apartment feel like a home. I look forward to having more space for pictures of my favorite people in a house someday, but for now the few frames and pictures we have around are enough to keep me happy. Images of our siblings, parents, grandparents, friends, nieces, and nephews are on display around our home and serve as a cozy and fun reminder of how lucky we are. My home is a cozy one because I have people to share it with, and the pictures help to give me perspective on tough days.
Lamps & Warm Light: If there is one thing that takes the cozy out of any space for me, it’s fluorescent lighting. I lived in a dorm for 3+ years, and right now I live in an apartment with a fluorescent light in the kitchen. I can tell you that those lights, however energy efficient, are rarely used. When it’s not sunny enough to light my space using the windows, I switch to the warm and cozy light from lamps and leave the fluorescent lights turned off. Warmer lighting helps to make most spaces feel more homey — and this is certainly true in our little apartment.
Books to Read: For me, this is my hardcover set of Harry Potter books and a shelf full of “coffee table books” that are perfect for a quick browse whenever I have a few moments to spare. I would love to have more books in the future, but with limited space, I am choosy about how many we can have out. My Harry Potter book set was a gift from my husband before we were married and is always treated with care. The other books are mostly gifts from friends and family and span a variety of topics. I try to make a conscious effort to browse through a book instead of my Facebook news-feed when I get the chance. Books feel cozy and reliable, and I enjoy sharing my love for reading with the people around me.
Some places and events feel really cozy and familiar to us, and these are just a few of my absolute favorite places to be at specific times:
My Living Room Sofa at Christmas Time: This is the top of the chart for me, and it’s because I just love Christmas time. I love having a twinkling Christmas tree with gifts for my family underneath. I love our Fontanini manger scene (one of my favorite wedding gifts) and Christmas movies on the TV. I love the music playing while my husband and I drink eggnog and play cards. I love being completely present in those moments that I get to sit and enjoy my living room couch at Christmas time.
At a Cottage Up North on a Summer Day: My aunt and uncle own the prettiest little cottage on a lake a five hour drive from where I grew up. Once or twice a summer, my family would pack up the car for a long weekend and make the drive. That place holds so many memories of pretty lakeside mornings with a book and some coffee, and sunny days of tubing, fishing, and swimming. It was where I wanted to be when the summer weather finally hit, and is still one of my favorite cozy places to go when I need to get away.
In a Car on the Way to Anywhere: I love driving with my husband, and I especially love the drive on our way to the airport for our next adventure. There’s excitement in the air on those drives, whether we’re taking a trip or flying to visit family, and I love those moments almost as much as the trips themselves. We have great conversations, listen to music, and laugh together when we are in the car. There are fewer distractions and there seems to be more time to really listen to what the other has to say. Cozy for me is a good conversation with someone I love.
Sunday Brunch: I love going out to eat almost any time, but there’s something really cozy about brunch after church on Sundays. My husband and I get a chance to talk about what we heard at church, plan out some of the things we’re excited about in the upcoming week, and to connect and have a good conversation over a meal before the hustle and bustle of the work week begins. It doesn’t matter whether we’re sitting at an Ihop, Perkins, or a cute local cafe, the conversation and the quality time are what make this scenario truly cozy for me.
Okay, before I go ahead and share these, I have to highlight the fact that these are only a few of my coziest choices in music. This is in no way the full breadth of my favorites. They’re just a few of my go-to cozy tunes. Please feel free to share some of your favorite cozy songs in the comments below!
My mom loves James Taylor, and I spent a lot of my childhood hearing James Taylor playing in the background. Sweet Baby James has always been one of my favorites, and it still gives me cozy feelings of nostalgia and reminds me of my mom.
I discovered this song later in life, but it has become one of my go-to songs when I need something to sing along with. This calm-but-happy-sounding song never fails to make me feel dreamy and cozy, especially on a rainy day!
I’ve always loved The Beach Boys, but this song became one of my favorites as I got older. I liked it so much that my husband and I chose our “first dance” song at our wedding to be one inspired by this song. (How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding) It’s such an excellent combination of words and a melancholy sound. Really gives me cozy feels.
Window to the Past – John Williams (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
I listen to music from a lot of movies, but my love for Harry Potter means that those film scores in particular appeal to my heart and soul. This specific score feels a little melancholy, but is really beautiful and seems to fit right into most of my life’s cozy moments. Not to mention, it was composed by John Williams, who is one of the most well-known and appreciated composers out there.
Under Construction – Jerry Martin (The Sims)
Nerd alert: The Sims is very dear to me, and I listen to a lot of the scores from all four iterations of that game, but The Sims 1, the original, is what really strikes my cozy cord. The songs aren’t particularly gorgeous, and they may just sound like elevator music to anyone who didn’t spend hours scrolling through the buy and build modes in The Sims 1, but I know every note. And I can’t help but feel cozy and comfortable whenever I hear something so familiar.
Concerning Hobbits – Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring)
I love happy music, and this score is certainly a happy one. It feels like sunshine and adventure. The Lord of the Rings film created an image of The Shire, the place where the main protagonist (Frodo) is from, that is as cozy and warm as this score sounds.
What’s on Your Cozy List?
As we take a look at our cozy list items, it’s interesting to see how different songs, scenarios, and objects are related to some of our coziest memories. Whether it’s a blanket that you snuggle under when watching your favorite movies, or a seat around the family bonfire pit, your cozy list is a great way to look back on times when you felt present and content.
I am actively working on changing my “need more” mindset in life to include intentional contentment and healthy life goals. If you’d like to learn more about how I practice contentment in my life, check out my other blog post: Coaching Yourself to Contentment: 7 Ways to Refocus Your Goals