Dear LeslieBeth,
I’m a successful, single business woman in my late thirties. My trusted friends told me I seem unhappy. I think my friends are right. I’m not unhappy about anything specific, and I don’t feel any more stress than usual. I searched the Internet for tips, but some of the tips are for more specific problems such as marital or health problems. Could you give me a general checklist of things to do so I can feel better about my life?
Thank you,

Dear Confused,
Oh, I wish there were a magic formula for happiness. But here is a list that came from my five-year research with thousands of women about their love, life and work.

1. Find your passion and purpose.
Think about what you would like on your tombstone. (Yes—I’m serious.) Do you want something like: Here lies… a good friend, family member and role model who inspired us to make a difference and to conquer fear. Or, do you want: Here lies a coward.
Get involved in charity. You will meet new people–and feel better about helping others in need. Make a list of issues that move you. Do more than just send money.
Make a Life Wish List of what you would like to do or complete or places you’d like to go. After each item, write what holds you back—and how you can overcome it. If you stall, ask trusted people to listen and brainstorm with you. Or, have a Life Wish List party where you all help each other.
Accept fear—but don’t let it lead you. Make a Fear List. Often, this list comes from behavior and values from your parents. What stops you from letting go of this legacy?
On your birthday and one other holiday that is not near your birthday review your commitment and pleasure at your job. Ask yourself: What still makes me happy? What am I longing to drop or modify?

2. Stay open and available to love.
You don’t have to have a life partner. You are fine and healthy and whole without one. However, what is not healthy is to volunteer to close your heart to the possibility of love. Avoiding men and love keeps you pessimistic about you and life—and it makes you rusty in reading people and your feeling to them.
If you have a partner, use Ask and Tell to communicate: ASK your partner “what’s wrong” when you sense something is. TELL your partner when something bothers you. Don’t use criticism or avoidance—they are kisses of death to love.

Take charge of your health.
Exercise. (Oh you DO have time!) Exercise increases you energy, strengthens your immune system and gives you a positive outlook. Do it first thing in the morning or in front of one of your favorite television shows. Or, get a buddy to go with you to the gym.
Eat wisely. Don’t eat too late or too much—especially “comfort food” that does not comfort for long. When you feel the urge to splurge, call your buddy. Create a rewards system: Instead of eating, add money to your Wish List Fund.
Make yearly appointments with your physicians.
Seek professional counseling if you cannot make changes on your own.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. LeslieBeth (LB) Wish is a nationally recognized clinical psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker LCSW #7132 FL, honored for her pioneering work with women and couples’ issues in love, life, work, and happiness. The National Association of Social Workers has named her on their list of the Fifty who has contributed to the profession. She is the subject of biographical entry in many Marquis’ Who’s Who publications, and is a frequent expert for websites, and radio shows. Her latest self-help, research-based books are Smart Relationships and The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie, the cartoon companion book. Do you have a story to tell about when you followed or didn’t follow your intuition? Your story could be featured in her next book about intuition! To receive gifts and tell your story, go to and sign up on the right side or click on Intuition Stories on the upper right tab.