Resources

Introducing Positive Psychology: A Practical Guide

Introducing Positive Psychology - A Practical Guide

Thursday 5th January 2012 sees the publication of my new book, Introducing Positive Psychology – A Practical Guide (Icon Books, £6.99). Based on the most up-to-date research, theories and science and covering over 20 of the key concepts within Positive Psychology in a clear, concise and easy-to-read style, this book gives you proven techniques to improve your well-being and put you on the path to a flourishing,  happy life.

Introducing Positive Psychology is a pocket-sized book packed with real-life examples, tips and exercises which are practical, fun and fast. Use them to coach yourself and others to greater happiness. Whether you want to develop your resilience, improve your motivation, become more optimistic or enjoy greater positivity, this book shows you how to make those small changes in your life which will make a difference, leaving you happier, more confident and more fulfilled.

The best “how to” of positive psychology that I have come across. To the point, easy to read, funny, yet highly intelligent, this book will be the one-stop shop for all positive psychology derived solutions for years to come”. Dr Ilona Boniwell, Programme Leader, Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, University of East London

‘Excellent – I couldn’t put it down … It is said that “good things come in small packages” and this is unequivocally demonstrated by ‘Positive Psychology: A Practical Guide’! It covers all the essential elements of positive psychology in practice, striking an excellent balance between an academic research evidence base and how to apply the techniques across a wide range of day-to-day situations. It is an easy to read, engaging, thought-provoking and comprehensive book which makes it an essential component of anyone’s well being and happiness toolkit!’ Susan Williamson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology & Programme Leader for MSc in Business Psychology, University of Wales.

“… a very accessible, practical and comprehensive guide to positive psychology … wonderfully straightforward while being hugely informative. Her expertise and knowledge of the subject shines through…this is a book that will be of great value to anyone who wants to know more about how to improve their life skills and develop their wellbeing and happiness.” Charlotte Style, author of Brilliant Positive Psychology

You can order Positive Psychology – A Practical Guide on Amazon in paperback format or as a Kindle edition. Please visit to ‘like’ the book and if you have already read it, to write a review.

Read the publisher’s press release forPositive Psychology – A Practical Guide.

Here’s the complete Reference Section for Positive Psychology – A Practical Guide

Read journalist Charlotte Shepherd’s article about Positive Psychology: A Practical Guide.

Happiness Equation front coverThe Happiness Equation

100 Factors that can add to or subtract from your happiness

Psychology has traditionally concerned itself with malfunctioning human emotions such as anger and depression. In the last decade, however, the focus has begun to shift: the emergence of ‘positive psychology’ and the science of happiness hold out the hope that we might be able to improve the lives of millions of ordinary people if we are able to understand the sources of their happiness. Progress has been rapid, and science is already beginning to unravel the secrets of a contented life.

The Happiness Equation is a distillation of the latest research into well-being and a guide to the tools and strategies most likely to make you happy. Part self-development book, part psychology primer, it features 100 pieces of advice on what will and will not lead to a life of contentment. The information it presents is scientifically rigorous, often startling but never preachy.

  • Interactive, ‘plus’ or ‘minus’ showing how each entry will add to, or detract from, your happiness quotient
  • Psychological and scientific facts presented in an accessible, practical way with the full colour illustrations, charts and diagrams
  • Written by leading experts on the psychology of happiness

About the Authors

Bridget Grenville-Cleave MBA FCCA has completed the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of East London, the first of its kind in Europe. She is a Charter Member of the International Positive Psychology Association, specialising in applying positive psychology to improve organisational performance. She also writes for the online journal, Positive Psychology News Daily.

Dr Ilona Boniwell is a Senior Lecturer in Positive Psychology at the University of East London. She founded and was the first Chair of the European Network of Positive Psychology. Dr Boniwell acted as the main consultant for the BBC2 series The Happiness Formula and is the author of Positive Psychology in a Nutshell.

“A friend gave me this book as a present and I really enjoyed it. Indeed,enough to buy several copies for friends this Christmas! I think its a perfect stocking filler gift as it makes a fun and easy-to-digest read. It’s a great read for anyone who likes to indulge in those personality questionnaires in magazines. If you are someone who is interested in a simple synopsis of the many factors that research has proved to make us happy, you will be in for some interesting surprises!”

 


Social Networking, Business and Positive Psychology:

The Facebook Manager front coverThe Facebook Manager

About the Authors

Bridget Grenville-Cleave MBA FCCA has completed the MSc in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of East London, the first of its kind in Europe. She is a Charter Member of the International Positive Psychology Association, specialising in applying positive psychology to improve organisational performance. She also writes for the online journal, Positive Psychology News Daily.

“Don’t be taken in by the title – this covers a broad spectrum of social networking tools including LinkedIn. There’s lots of useful tips on how to present and position You to the best effect. The power of this book is about making you think about you and your brand, why you want to use the various sites and what you want to get from doing this.
What I found especially useful (as a largely passive LinkedIn user, with a casually expanding collection of contacts and group memberships) was to open up the opportunities (some as simple as posting or answering a question) to move me, from just being another on-line CV, to thinking about my purpose and goals for being on-line and then building marketing strategies to achieve these.
What really makes the difference and positions The facebook Manager, from just being another “How to” book, is the psychological insights to behaviours and motivations and the positive and negative reactions to these of networking on-line.
Also enjoyable is the wry sense of humour the sneaks in when you are not expecting it. Nothing dry and academic about this! “


  • Fredrickson, B. (2009). Positivity. New York. Crown.
  • Czikszentmihalyi, M. (2002). Flow. London. Random House.
  • Peterson, C. & Seligman, M.E.P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Lopez, S.J. & Snyder, C.R. (Eds). (2006). Positive psychological assessment. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Ong, A.D. & Van Dulmen, M.H.M. (2007). Oxford handbook of methods in positive psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Aspinwall, L.G. & Staudinger, U.M. (2003). A psychology of human strengths: Fundamental questions and future directions for a positive psychology. Washington D.C.: American Psychological Association.
  • Snyder, C.R. & Lopez, S.J. (Eds). (2007). Positive psychology: the scientific and practical explorations of human strengths. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Open Access Well-being Research: The International Journal of Well-Being

The International Journal of Wellbeing was launched on 31st January 2011 in order to promote interdisciplinary research on wellbeing. The editorial team are dedicated to open access for academic research, and to making the journal’s content permanently free for all readers and authors.

This is a fabulous free  resource for anyone who takes their well-being research seriously. Issue 1 includes articles on trust, measuring well-being for public policy and savouring. Issue 2 focusses on ‘Felicitators’, i.e. the  people, places, ideas and institutions that have made and can make the world a happier place.

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10 Positive Psychology Research Papers

New positive psychology research is being published in journals all the time, however, only the International Journal of Well-Being (above) is open access, so unless you work in academia or can afford to pay an annual subscription you cannot read them. For copyright reasons we usually cannot publish them on this website.

But you can now download ten Dec 2009 papers from some of the best-known Positive Psychology researchers including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ed Diener, Antonella Della Fave and the UK’s Stephen Joseph. See the Table of Contents below. Thanks to Ingrid Brdar for the link.

Table of contents Download
Ingrid Brdar, Editorial
pp.201-201
pdf
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, The Promise of Positive Psychology
pp.203-211
pdf
Ed Diener & William Tow, Well-Being on Planet Earth
pp.213-219
pdf
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness Tool for Dealing with the ‘Data-Deluge’
pp.221-246
pdf
Randy Larsen, The Contributions of Positive and Negative Affect to Emotional Well-Being
pp.247-266
pdf
Kennon M. Sheldon, Providing the Scientific Backbone for Positive Psychology: A Multi-Level Conception of Human Thriving
pp.267-284
pdf
Antonella Delle Fave, Optimal Experience and Meaning: Which Relationship?
pp.285-302
pdf
Todd B. Kashdan &, Patrick E. McKnight, Origins of Purpose in Life: Refining our Understanding of a Life Well Lived
pp.303-313
pdf
Ingrid Brdar, Majda Rijavec & Dubravka Miljkovic, Life Goals and Well-Being: Are Extrinsic Aspirations Always Detrimental to Well-Being?
pp. 317-334p
pdf
Stephen Joseph, Growth Following Adversity: Positive Psychological Perspectives on Post-traumatic Stress
pp.335-344
pdf
Márta Fülöp, Happy and Unhappy Competitors: What Makes the Difference?
pp.345-367
pdf

In addition some positive psychology researchers and writers publish some of their articles on their websites, so we have collected a list of their links below –  you can also use them to find out more about their areas of expertise.

Where we have managed to find web links to journal articles which are not breaching copyright, we have included them too.

Happy reading!

Ilona Boniwell – Time perspectives

Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi – flow

Carol Dweck – mindsets

Barbara Fredrickson – the broaden and build theory of positive emotion

Jonathan (Jon) Haidt – moral elevation, admiration and awe

Stephen Joseph: post-traumatic growth

Alex Linley

Sonja Lyubomirsky: happiness, positive emotion, well-being

Jeanne Nakamura:

Chris Peterson

Martin Seligman: Authentic happiness  – University of Pennsylvania

Philip Zimbardo: Time perspectives