What are emotions and which emotions exist?


Emotions are complex. When you experience emotions, the experience can involve many different things. All kinds of theories have been written about this in recent decades. In a nutshell, an emotion is a specific state of mind. You can experience one or more emotions at the same time and each emotion causes a different reaction. Within Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), there are 5 emotions which are most commonly used: Happy, Angry, Scared, Sad and Ashamed. These emotions are relatively easy to identify and categorize. However, there are also more complex emotions that could fall under multiple categories, such as Jealousy.



With the NiceDay app, you can keep track of your emotions, for example by filling out a Thought Record. When you find yourself in a situation where you experience strong emotions, you can quickly and easily create a registration on the situation. By keeping track of these situations and the accompanying emotions, you will get more insight into your feelings and, thus, take the first step to making a change.

Overview of emotions:

The Delft Institute of Positive Design has researched and categorized positive and negative emotions. In the tables below, drawn up by Pieter Desmet for his research “General typology of 25 positive emotions”, you can see which emotions have been identified.

You can view the positive emotions here.

You can view the negative emotions here.


  • Research Gate
  • Yoon, Jay & Pohlmeyer, Anna & Desmet, Pieter. (2013). Embodied Typology of Positive Emotions: The Development of a Tool to Facilitate Emotional Granularity in Design.


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