Aug 2
The Science of Happiness – Tal Ben-Shahar

Last night I joined around 500 other people in the Camden Centre in London to hear a talk on The Science of Happiness by Dr Tal Ben-Shahar, organized by the UK’s leading happiness movement, Action for Happiness. As well as authoring several books, Tal Ben-Shahar lectured on positive psychology at Harvard University – in fact, […]

Sep 17
Should You Play to Your Signature Strengths or Not?

When I first came across the VIA Inventory of Character Strengths back in my 2007 MAPP class, I was curious to know whether all 24 strengths are the same in terms of their relationship to well-being. We’d read the 2005 research paper by Seligman and colleagues that suggests that using your strengths in new ways […]

Mar 3
Many Paths to (Un)Happiness

This is a great piece of bittersweet creativity from lizstless. Just click on it once to expand it, then click on the ‘+ all sizes’ link top LHS of the image to make it large enough to read. Thanks to Hearistic for the link. …

Aug 22
Developing trust through conversation: beyond small talk

Today I came across a fantastic idea called The Feast of Strangers, an afternoon of organised conversation at Regent’s Park, London, hosted by philosopher, historian and author, Professor Theodore Zeldin. The idea is that you turn up at the Park, get introduced to someone you don’t know, and are given a ‘Menu of Conversation’ – […]

Jun 25
Positive Psychology and Politics

A great article from The Guardian yesterday about the plans of Lord Layard, the so-called ‘Happiness Tsar’, to bring happiness to the UK masses. As an economist, his epiphany was the realisation that above a certain point, money and happiness aren’t correlated. Putting aside the argument about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and depression (which is one […]

May 26
Positive Psychology, Music and Song

In this month’s Positive Psychology News Daily article we explore the links between Positive Psychology, making music and singing in unison. Not only are they both good for your physical health, scientists like Professor Stephen Clift of the Sidney de Haan Centre for Arts and Health are now investigating the benefits for psychological well-being, including […]

Mar 13
Happiness Lessons in Schools

Here’s an interesting article from the Guardian about the argument for and against teaching happiness lessons in schools. You can see why Anthony Seldon, head of Wellington College (one of the most elite schools in the UK) is so keen that kids get something more than the National Curriculum, since it will hardly prepare them […]

Jan 5
The Benefit of Saying Thank You

Have you written your thank-you letters for all the gifts you received this Christmas? You might be interested to know that there’s been a great deal of research into the benefits of gratitude; grateful people, for example, report higher levels of life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and positive emotions, as well as lower levels of depression […]

Oct 17
The Paradox of Choice

In the developed world, choice is taken for granted, it’s generally considered to be A Good Thing. Naturally you might therefore assume that having more choice was A Better Thing, but would you be right? Next time you go supermarket shopping, take a few minutes to have a long hard look at the shelves in […]

Dec 15
The Socks of Happiness

I bought the book ‘Healing without Freud or Prozac’ earlier this year when I was looking into alternative treatments for depression, i.e. those which don’t involve drugs or therapy. I was fascinated by the chapters on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which the author, Dr David Servan-Schreiber, calls ‘the mind’s own healing mechanism’. It’s […]