Happiness & SWB

Here you will find articles about happiness as a branch of positive psychology as well as important research findings about happiness and subjective well-being.

Subjective Well-Being: Why Is It Important and How Can We Measure It

Do you believe well-being means the same thing to different people? If we all enjoy and value different things, then how is it possible to understand happiness? Doesn’t that make “measuring happiness” extremely difficult? Positive psychology is profoundly concerned with how people can do well, be well, feel well, and […]

What is Hope in Psychology + 7 Exercises & Worksheets

While hope is an undoubtedly personal experience and one that can be challenging to define, the value and positive impact hope can have on human life is widely recognized and difficult to ignore. People often speak about hope strengthening their resolve and accompanying them even in their darkest hour; guiding […]

4 Scales to Measure Satisfaction with Life (SWLS)

Reflecting on our sense of happiness in different key areas of life can be difficult, especially if our life is seemingly all going well. Sometimes feelings of unhappiness or dissatisfaction just seem to find us and it’s up to us to take the time to explore why this might be. […]

6 Benefits of Happiness According to the Research

There are very few people who would say they wouldn’t like to be happier, and it’s easy to see why. The feeling of happiness is a wonderful experience, emotionally and mentally, and it makes sense that we’d want to create more of that in our lives. An entire industry has […]

Unhealthy Happiness: Its Underlit Dark Side & Negative Effects

One of Aesop’s most quoted lines goes, “It is possible to have too much of a good thing.” Another version of this line states “too much of a good thing is a bad thing”. We have all used these lines at one point in our lives. We also know how […]

How to Measure Happiness With Tests and Surveys (+ Quizzes)

Happiness continues to gain more and more attention as topics such as well-being and mental health become more popular. Companies all over the globe have started investing in workshops and learning sessions to help their employees become happier. Despite its increasing popularity, we still often find ourselves asking “what exactly […]

100+ Happiness Activities, Exercises, and Tools for Groups and Adults

Happiness: what would it look like if it was easy? While a booming self-help industry has overwhelmed us with an abundance of well-intentioned advice on how to become happier instantaneously, lack of systematic approach and empirical basis in many of the methods used to improve well-being has proven to be […]

19 Cliché Happiness Quotes & The (Lack Of) Science Behind Them

You don’t have to look very far to find some of the many, many quotes on happiness that exist. But do you ever wonder how these quotes hold up when you consider the evidence? There’s nothing wrong with getting a quick mood boost from a quote—no matter how “accurate” it […]

How to be Happy: Is There a Secret Key to Finding True Happiness?

Are you happy? It’s kind of a jarring question at first. Because if you are happy then does it mean you are never not happy? Or if there is somewhere you can put yourself to always be happy, how do you get yourself there? The Search for Happiness is a […]

Is Happiness Genetic and What Causes It?

The study of happiness in science is relatively new on the scene. Concentrating scientific research on what is right with humans, rather than what is wrong has given vast amounts of new insight into well-being. While it is not a hard science, the past decades have had major advances in […]

What Is Happiness and Why Is It Important?

What is happiness? It seems like an odd question, but is it? Do you know how to define happiness? Do you think happiness is the same thing to you as it is to others? What’s the point of it all? Does it even make a difference in our lives? In […]

The Psychology, Theory, and Science of Happiness (+ 16 Best Articles)

I will admit that when I learned that I was to write an article on the psychology, theory, and science of happiness, I thought “easy!”. Little did I know the overwhelming depth of this topic! I found myself asking questions – can science explain happiness? Can happiness be measured? What […]

Success Versus Happiness – What is More Important?

What is more important to you, happiness or success? According to psychologist Daniel Gilbert, who is a psychology professor at Harvard, happiness is the ultimate goal of virtually all the decisions we make in life (Gilbert, 2010). Gilbert suggests that the measure of a good decision depends on whether that […]

15 Best Happiness Books and Are They Worth Your Time?

There is a wealth of material out there about happiness. Perhaps your ‘taste-buds’ have been tempted by reading about happiness – either on this website, in your practice, or forming research. You would have found that there are some fantastic books on what is a very broad topic. But it […]

Happiness at Work: 10 Tips for How to be Happy at Work

How often do you consider quitting your job and feel that you are not getting paid enough for the dedication and service you offer your organization? Happiness and satisfaction are subjective concepts - while for some of us monetary benefits can be equated with job satisfaction, some might strive for […]

How to Find Inner Peace and Happiness (Incl. Mantras + Quotes)

Inner peace is closely related to happiness. From Buddhist philosophy to Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, they have all been strong proponents of inner peace. “The pursuit of inner peace is more important than the search for happiness or success." - Chris Shea If you want to find inner peace […]

The Philosophy of Happiness in Life (+ Aristotle’s View)

Happiness. It is a term we throw about without much thought these days… my guess is that, actually, you think you know what is meant by saying someone is happy. We all hope to be happy and live a ‘good life’– whatever that means! Do you wonder, what does it […]

Life Satisfaction Theory and 4 Contributing Factors

If you’re a bit confused about the many, many terms being thrown around related to happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction, you’re not alone!  There are so many ways to talk about this topic in positive psychology that it’s easy to get bogged down in ambiguity. For laymen and those not involved […]

10 Psychological Predictors of Happiness Across the Lifespan

Why do people age differently? Why do some people grow better and happier with age, constantly improving like a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, while other people simply decay with age? Can we find predictors of happiness? The only way to discover the secrets of a long and happy life would be […]

Pollyanna Principle: The Psychology of Positivity Bias

When you think of “bias” you probably think of it in terms of something negative. For example, you might think of being biased against a group of people and link it to racism, or you may think of the theory of confirmation bias, which states that we often ignore all […]

Why You Should Have Never Had Kids (If You Want To Be Happy, That Is)

Update September 2019: Wow. It's been two years since I published this post and the comments are still pouring in. Reading these comments will teach you more about human nature than the article will because of the strength of human biases (especially cognitive dissonance reduction and confirmation bias) that is […]

The PERMA Model: Your Scientific Theory of Happiness

Everyone seems to be in the pursuit of happiness nowadays, but what if we had a model—like the PERMA model—to help guide us? There are many ways to reach happiness, including training your mind for happiness, spending money on others, and following the guidelines presented here for well-being and happiness. What are […]

The Science of Happiness in Positive Psychology 101

Happiness has been a human pursuit for as long as we can remember, and positive psychology has taken this concept into the realm of scientific research in hopes of gaining a better understanding of global well-being and meaningful living.  Whether on a global or an individual level, the pursuit of […]

The Hedonic Treadmill – Are We Forever Chasing Rainbows?

Can you remember the last time you were dreaming of buying a new car, getting a promotion at work, moving into a nicer house or finding a partner to share life with? Do you remember fantasizing about how happy you would be if you attained those things? If you finally […]

What Is the "Good Life?" How Positive Psychology Can Create Meaning

A lot has been said and written about the “good life,” and with some 7.3 billion people on this planet, there are quite possibly just as many opinions on what it constitutes. If I have learned one thing in 36 years, it is the fact that “good” is a very […]