The nation have revealed the top 50 ‘simple pleasures’ in life

Researchers polled 2,000 adults to determine all the little things that bring people joy – including hearing nothing but birds tweeting, a cup of coffee in bed – and having dinner made for you.

Sleeping in a big comfy bed, receiving a compliment from a stranger, and having a good hair day all feature in the list.

Other favourites include a roaring fire, getting a cuddle from your children and sitting in a pub’s beer garden.

Life's simple pleasures

The research was commissioned by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which also commissioned poet Laurie Bolger to come-up with a piece on life’s simple pleasures.

The wordsmith said: “I wanted my poem to remind people about the feeling you get when you are able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

“But on the other hand, I also wanted to highlight that the reason some of these things are so enjoyable is because they are a break from the norm.

“Feeling the sun on my face is definitely one of my favourite simple pleasures in life, and I’m glad the survey reflected that – and that we’re starting to see brighter weather too.”

The study also found more than three in 10 adults simply named ‘cake’ as one of their favourite simple pleasures, while a quarter love a gossip with friends.

Sixteen per cent enjoy seeing older couples holding hands, and just under one in five enjoy exercise enough to put it on their list.

Going on a bike ride, meeting new people – and wearing a new pair of socks for the first time all appeared in the top 50.

Six pleasures a week

But Brits only enjoy an average of six moments of simple pleasure each week – not quite one a day.

And the satisfaction of a moment’s pleasure can last for upwards of 22 minutes on average, although a tenth get a glow for up to an hour.

However, half of those polled, via OnePoll, believe they don’t get to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures often enough for their liking.

While 37 per cent don’t have enough time in their day-to-day to take advantage as much as they should.

One in four put this down to work commitments taking up most of their time, while 17 per cent think being a parent has left them with less time to enjoy simple pleasures, although they also appreciate it more when they do.

Richard Hyde, managing director, Small Luxury Hotels of the World said: “Our list found many of life’s pleasures are ones often found on holiday, such as seeing a stunning view, waking up to sunshine, taking long walks and discovering new places.

"It’s on our travels that we’re able to experience an abundance of life’s simple pleasures which have a longer lasting effect on us.

"Now that it looks as though coronavirus restrictions are starting to slowly lift, we’re hoping people will be able to enjoy some of these pleasures at home and abroad before too much longer.”

TOP 50 SIMPLE PLEASURES IN LIFE1. Feeling of sun on your face2. Sleeping in a freshly made bed3. Stunning views4. Waking up to sun5. A nice dinner6. Being in the countryside7. Seeing flowers and trees blossom8. Listening to your favourite songs9. Making someone smile or laugh10. Long walks11. Going to the beach12. Dining out13. Hearing nothing but birds tweeting14. Cake15. Sleeping in a big incredibly comfy bed16. Finding money in a purse/wallet you had forgotten about17. Sitting in a pub beer garden18. Having dinner made for you19. A roaring fire20. Getting a delivery in the post21. Finishing a really good book22. Watching your favourite movie23. Discovering new places24. Payday25. Home cooking26. Having a gossip or catch up with friends27. Seeing a butterfly28. Laughing out loud at a film29. Wearing an outfit that makes you feel good30. Receiving a compliment from a stranger31. Sound of rain on the window32. Getting a cuddle from your children33. Having a picnic34. Sunbathing35. Not having to set the alarm at the weekend or on a day off36. People watching37. Someone making you a cup of tea38. Having a good hair day39. Having a coffee/tea in bed40. Staying in bed on a Sunday morning41. Doing exercise42. Discovering new food43. Hearing the wind blow through the trees44. Smell of toast in the morning45. Seeing old people hold hands46. Discovering new music47. Buying fresh local food produce48. Spotting a species of bird you’ve never seen before49. Swimming outside50. Donating to charity


Do you remember?When every part of usLonged to wander –

Born moversWe know life isn’t long enoughTo stay in the same place.

Science has proved our lust for adventureIs built in –So why not surrender to it?

Seeking a placeWith arms outstretched –Learning each brick by nameDiscovering new spaces with heart –

Those simple things that pull us in each timeBreathing outDrinking in.

Do you remember when we chatted into the nightThen so in awe of the lightsWe couldn’t say anything –

Do you remember wanderingWhen it was more than we imagined –Full of life and sky and taking our time

Do you rememberWhen our stories weren’t box shapedHow it all tasted. When we decided to be inspired –

When it was more than an artificial cocktail.A lukewarm pool. Remember whenThe small never seemed more beautiful.

Remember when we realised we could have it all –All those little bits we’ve missed.

When we took life’s ever-changing invitationPicked up our feetSaid come onLet’s do itLet’s run.