The speedometer for joy ranges from 0-100: 0 being the least happy, 100 being the most. 

It describes the relative amount of joy a person has based on levels of chemicals within the body, including dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins.

Patients testing the Joy-O-Meter recorded their experiences when the meter reached intervals of 10. Below is the recording of one participant over the span of a month. Please note that the entries are not chronological; only the numbers on the meter are ordered.



010: There’s paint on my jacket. I notice this only under the flickering lights of the emergency room. 

020: I’m sipping on the Coke someone brought from the McDonald’s nearby. My straw resembles my toes after I’ve been in the bath for too long. It’s definitely been long enough here.

030: There’s still yellow under my fingernails. I don’t want to wash it out.

040: I’m out shopping. Someone complimented my jacket. 

050: It’s a Saturday. I’m taking a day off: a self-care day. The bubbles make me feel as young as the water makes me look old. The bath’s getting cold. I don’t have it in me to refill the tub.

060: My package came in the mail with my jacket. I didn’t think I was this materialistic but the number  spiked up as soon as I saw the box outside my door. It’s a very pleasant brown and perfect for the fall as it gets harsher.

070: I’m at Yulia’s house. We’re catching up on her balcony. It smells like the iced coffee we drink and the breeze of the afternoon. She was just telling me about a meet-up we might have with some old friends. Lena’s moving into a house and she thinks it’d be fun to paint it together.

080: Last to Lena’s, I’m excited to see my friends. I see the group gathered on the floor of her bare living room, already welcoming me in.  

090: We’re painting the walls of her house. The yellow paint is everywhere.

100: One thing led to another and our feet are yellow and we’re all laughing. I heard the ping of my meter and watched the hundred leave as quickly as it’d come.