I’ve been searching for a word, similar to melancholy, in that it is a deep inward feeling, but instead of sadness, a word that implies the same deep inward feelings - but of happiness.

So in context, imagine that a person is having an overwhelming moment of reflection on the wonderful things that happened today, simple things like having the truck you always wanted, or a daughter that married a man you loved adding to the family. A “good job, good health, good day” kind of a moment.

Words like “joy” don’t quite express it, just like sadness doesn’t quite capture melancholy.

I’ve searched, and I’m not sure there IS a happy equivalent to melancholy, but I’m posting here in hopes that you all can find one.

4 Answers 4


I'd say "contentment." Like "melancholy" you might want adjectives to describe the depth of feeling.


Lots of possible words for "deep contented happiness" have some spiritual connotations.

Too Happy?

bliss from Oxford Living dictionaries

1 Perfect happiness; great joy.

‘she gave a sigh of bliss’

1.1 A state of spiritual blessedness, typically that reached after death.

‘the bliss of heaven’

Blissful is the adjective form.

Too Religious?

blessed from Dictionary.com

3.0 divinely or supremely favored; fortunate: to be blessed with a strong, healthy body; blessed with an ability to find friends.

4.0 blissfully happy or contented.

6.0 bringing happiness and thankfulness:

the blessed assurance of a steady income

As a noun, it would be blessedness.

Note the omitted results have even heavier religious undertones, some particularly associated with the Catholic church.

Too Zen?

nirvana from Oxford English Dictionaries

1 (in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.

1.2 An ideal or idyllic state or place.

‘the days of socialist nirvana in Europe are over’

To use more as an adjective the idiom would be "in nirvana" or perhaps "approaching nirvana."

  • +1 for adding bliss. That's where I would have gone.
    – IchabodE
    Jun 15, 2018 at 22:52

serene TFD serenity

  1. Content or composed; untroubled:
  2. Unaffected by disturbance; calm or peaceful:
  • I'd go with this one . I think "at peace" ... also works closely as it's part of the definition
    – Tom22
    Jun 9, 2018 at 21:21

Upon reading your description in the question the words that came to mind were "gratitude," "contentment," and "bliss."

I think "gratitude" best describes the feeling of reflecting on good things, "contentment" describes inner peace, and "bliss" feels like a calmer version of the extreme joy described by a word like "euphoria."

  • "contentment" is pretty good too. If the OP wanted to make it more descriptive the idiom is "filled with contentment"
    – Tom22
    Jun 9, 2018 at 21:24

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