YouTube star Nikki Phillippi says five years ago, she would never have imagined the life she’d be leading today.
But you only need to watch one of her YouTube videos to know that this is the job she was made for.
The 28-year-old can do it all: dance, sing, act– you name it. So, it should be no surprise that she now has over one million subscribers on her YouTube channel where she posts videos on a variety of topics, from fashion, to cooking, beauty and so much more.
She filmed the moment she reached one million subscribers on a recent trip to New York City. “I am stunned. I am literally stunned. That’s crazy,” she said, as she seemed genuinely lost for words.
Nikki’s positive energy is infectious, and is why her list of subscribers continues to grow. I had the chance to talk to Nikki about her annual #HowToBeHappyJanuary initiative, and what inspires her to help others discover what makes them happy.
You first launched #HowToBeHappyJanuary back in 2013 and you’re bringing it back for 2016. Can you tell me a little bit about your goal for this video series?
Nikki Phillippi: I am SO excited to be bringing back #HowToBeHappyJanuary because I think the general topic of happiness is something we’re all interesting in exploring… especially around the New Year!
My goal for the series this year (and every year, honestly) is to discuss practical ways to cultivate “happiness,” but also to hopefully come to the realization as a group that happiness is actually a very fleeting emotion. It’s natural for it to come and go… and that’s okay. Happiness really isn’t the goal, AND I believe that there can be such a thing as TOO much happiness! Just like Pixar addressed in the movie Inside Out, sadness goes hand-in-hand with happiness, and I think its important to recognize that… and something I have to remind myself of all the time. It’s okay to be sad. Mostly, I want to help people feel less alone and have a holistic conversation about happiness. =)
What inspired you to want to teach people how to be happy?
NP: This may surprise some people (or it may not depending on your perspective lol) but I’m a pretty moody person! I actually struggle with anxiety pretty hardcore, and just like most people, I go through seasons of depression.
I was thinking about New Years resolutions and WHY we make resolutions, and I came to the conclusion that it was because we want to be happier. We want to BE and DO better that year. SO, I thought it would be really cool to have a conversation around happiness, and make it a REAL conversation.
The conversation naturally changes every year because I’m the one leading it and I learn new stuff and go through big changes each year, but the heart of the conversation is supposed to be honest and practical.
What are some examples of ways to up your level of happiness in 2016?
NP: If you’re wanting to up your levels of happiness, I’d say these are my top 3 tips:
1. Know that sometimes you WON’T be happy, and thats okay. Happiness is a fleeting emotion, and if you beat yourself up for not always feeling happy, you’re setting yourself up to feel like crap! Lol. It’s okay to feel sad sometimes and confused… often times, the confusion and sadness can be what launches you to look for and make a change in your life that can be really positive AND make you more happy!
2. If you don’t have a physical fitness routine in place, GET ONE! I can’t even emphasize how much physical activity can impact your mood! Not only does it make your body release endorphins which can chemically make you happier, but you also feel stronger, more in control of your life, and like you can tackle anything! SERIOUSLY, getting your body moving consistently can and WILL change your life and your moods!
3. Commit to GROWTH and SHARING! Have you ever heard the saying, “If its not growing, its dying”? This statement is so true! As people, we HAVE to continue to grow and learn as we move forward in life. Don’t fool yourself… if you’re not continuing to expand your skill sets and grow in knowledge (whatever knowledge that may be) you won’t feel good about yourself!
The other component that goes hand-in-hand with that is SHARING what you learn, and helping other people. The knowledge you learn is not just for you. Look for people to mentor, share your knowledge with, and help! This will give you such a feeling of purpose and accomplishment… and BONUS, it will it make you feel happier. 😉
A photo posted by Nikki Phillippi (@nikkiphillippi) on
Congrats on reaching one million subscribers! What are some of your goals for your channel, and how do you see it growing in the years to come?
NP: THANKS! Haha. My goal for my channel this year is to make content that brings value to people’s lives and that is aesthetically pleasing as well. =) I’m not sure how it’s going to grow in years to come, because five years ago I wouldn’t have been able to imagine that I’d be here! CRAZY.
Any exciting projects on the horizon that you can tell us about?
NP:The Gang is probably the most exciting thing I’m working on right now! The Gang Magazine is my blog that we are relaunching in January for #HowToBeHappyJanuary. It’s not only an extension of my videos and a conversation around the monthly themes, (I have INCREDIBLE contributing writers on the site) but it is also a cause-based website around fighting human trafficking.
It is hard to believe that slavery is still so prevalent today in our modern world, but there are so many people (20.9 million at any given time) that are caught in this horrendous archaic situation. I want The Gang to grow to be a comity that is a force for fighting human trafficking! That is my goal for the year.