How to live a happier life: Wear Sunscreen!


Have you noticed how the background noise has decreased since lockdown? How life has somehow slowed down in many ways?  

It brings to mind The Sunscreen song by Baz Luhrmann, which was, in reality, a spoken essay originally written by Mary Schmich for the Chicago Tribune in 1997. It gave advice on how to live a happier life and how to avoid the everyday frustrations that we’re faced with. 

If you haven’t heard it, then I would recommend listening to it right away, and then including it on your playlists so that you listen to it regularly. It has guided me for the past 23 years!  

My top ten favourite extracts from the essay are: 

  1. “Sing.”
  2. “Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.”
  3. “Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance; so are everybody else’s.”
  4. “Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.”
  5. “Do not read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly.”
  6. “Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.”
  7. “Stretch.”
  8. “Get to know your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good.”
  9. “Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts; don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.”
  10. “Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.”

If you can follow these guidelines, then whatever happens in life, it will be okay… if not right now, then maybe tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that…  

You can see the essay in full here.

And a link to the song is here.

Keep on singing!