Strange Home Rituals That Can Actually Increase Your Happiness

Last Update: March 21, 2024

Marie Kondo’s New York Times bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, promises a happier, cleaner, clutter-free life. From the right way to fold jeans to thanking house plants for their oxygen-transforming duties, Kondo’s magical philosophy to organization is a little wacky—but it seems to work. And it’s become a cultural phenomenon with people all over the world folding their pants in perfect rectangles in order to create a happier home.

Want to infuse your home with a little happiness, without having to throw out half of your wardrobe or fold sweaters like oragami as per Kondo’s recommendation? There are a few mystical, albeit unusual ways to get the creative juices and the positive energy—and personal happiness—flowing through your house.


Smudging is a Native American form of clearing the energy in a space. Energy, good or bad, can become stagnant after a while, and some believe that bad luck or negative occurrences continue to transpire due to energy in the home (or around a person) getting metaphorically stuck. Smudging involves burning dried and fresh herbs like sage, cedar, lavender, and juniper and allowing the smoke to dissipate into the room and cleanse the energy of the space. Deeply rooted in ceremony, it’s important for the person who is clearing the space to have a positive and clear intention for how they’d like their life to change and what they would like to happen in their home post-smudging.

To try it, start with open doors and windows and a neat and tidy home. [Author’s note: Super important to open your windows and doors…or else you’ll set off your fire alarm. I may or may not be speaking from experience.] Light a bundle of the dried herbs of your choice with fire and let them burn a little until they smoke.

Blow out the flame, and then walk throughout the space, allowing the smoke to waft and billow around you and to infiltrate every nook and cranny of the house. The most important aspect of this ceremony is to meditate on the act of purifying the home–your positive energy will influence the energy in the space.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Ever walked into a yoga studio and immediately felt a sense of relief and focus? That’s probably due in part to the essential oils that many studios use to create a calming ambiance. Just like at the local yogi hangout, diffusing essential oils at home can purify the air, cleanse the energy of a room, and directly affect the mood of anyone in the space. Relatively inexpensive, especially when diffused, and these  natural, chemical-free fragrances can last a for months and leave a space feeling fresh and bright.

Use a diffuser at home and play around with different combinations of essential oils until you discover a recipe that you love; lavender is relaxing and great for clearing away negative energy; myrrh purifies the environment and energy; and eucalyptus may help cure winter blues and offer an emotional reset.

Crystal Energy Healing

Setting crystals throughout a space is also believed to affect the energy of a room and those who inhabit it. Sure, it might sound a little crazy to think that some shiny rocks can affect mood and personality, but proponents of crystal therapy believe in the beneficial effects of placing crystals in specific areas of the home that relate to topics like family, wealth, love, and abundance.

Crystal healers recommend trying hematite to protect the home from negative energy and black obsidian to absorb any negative vibes that others may bring in. Wanna bring those loving feelings straight to your door? Try sticking a rose quartz crystal in a common area where lots of people gather often–this light pink crystal brings feelings of love and joy wherever it is.

Feng Shui

The idea behind feng shui doesn’t have anything to do with mysticism, magic, or good juju—really, feng shui stems from how people interact with their environments, and the organization of a home, office, and personal space can deeply affect how one interacts with the world. Feng shui practitioners believe that the space one lives in mimics the energy of the individual–so if a space is disorganized, messy, cluttered, or closed off, the inhabitant’s personality could mirror just that.

For best results, start with a space that is cleared of junk and useless stuff. According to the tenets of feng shui, everything has energy, so surround yourself only with items that have positive associations, and organize furniture so that energy—and your guests—can flow freely through the home.

Believe it or not, changing the energy in a home can transform relationships, emotions, and vitality. Tried any of these mood-boosting home tips? Let us know in the comments below!

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

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Michelle Pellizzon

Certified health coach and endorphin enthusiast, Michelle is an expert in healthy living and eating. When she's not writing you can find her running trails, reading about nutrition, and eating lots of guacamole.

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