So what is the secret? It depends on who you ask. Each person who lives a life of true and authentic happiness has their own idea of how they make it work.
Being happy does take a bit of effort at first if you're used to being negative, judgmental, or controlled by your ego... because each of those things need to be addressed in order to find true happiness.
It's difficult to feel good and joyful if you're busy judging other people or busy complaining about your circumstance. Happiness comes from finding true inner peace which can't be obtained in the presence of negativity.
Something else you may not know about happiness is that it is a choice.
As I said at the top of this page, if you ask anyone who is truly happy what their secret to happiness is, they'll have their own individualized answer.
I was once ruled by stress and negativity but I made the choice to overcome it. The one thing that made the biggest difference in my life is what I call "feeding your soul" or "following your passions".
By ignoring the passions you have in life... the things you feel you were "born" to do... you're inviting anxiety, depression, stress, and definitely un-happiness. Taking the time to remember what it is that you're passionate about can give you hope where there was none and can make you feel alive again.
"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."
~ Allan K. Chalmers