- Reading about theoretical physics
- Writing a poem (but not necessarily reading poetry)
- Cooking (but not necessarily eating)
- Listening to (good) pop music
- Playing Balderdash
- Rewatching a favorite movie, the more times I've seen it the better
I think that's the end of the list. Not that other things don't make me happy, they just don't necessarily preclude unhappiness. The key seems to be distraction via a kind of passive, familiar involvement (a song or movie I know well, the rituals of preparing a meal, or the repetitive nature of hiking plus the added benefit of sidescrolling scenery) or intense engagement of the mind, as with physics (mathematically beyond my understanding, of course, but mindblowing anyway) or poetry (brief, elusive flow state). Distraction vs. concentration; one is not better, I need both, but it has to be truly engaging distraction.