A feeling of delight and contentment at life.

a.k.a. happiness

Brené Brown writes about “Foreboding Joy” — a joy that is mixed with dread about loss/disaster, and that can inhibit you from wanting or experiencing joy. She sees “gratitude” as a key to escaping this. Joy is distinct from happiness: joy is more of an attitude whereas happiness is an ephemeral emotional response to circumstances.

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • depression
  • joylessness

Virtues possibly in tension

How to acquire or strengthen it


Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere

Inspirational quotes

  • “The best piety is to enjoy—when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth’s character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates.” ―George Eliot (Middlemarch)
  • “True joy is a serene and sober motion, and they are miserably out that take ‘laughing’ for ‘rejoicing.’” ―Seneca
  • “Trust me, real joy is a serious thing. Do you think someone can, in the charming expression, blithely dismiss death with an easy disposition? Or swing open the door to poverty, keep pleasures in check, or meditate on the endurance of suffering? The one who is comfortable with turning these thoughts over is truly full of joy, but hardly cheerful. It’s exactly such a joy that I would wish for you to possess, for it will never run dry once you’ve laid claim to its source.” — Seneca, Moral Letters 23.4