Tag Archives: Sonja Lyubomirsky

The Happiness Experiment Bookshelf (Part 1)

At the end of 2013 I will compile a list of my Top 20 favourite books this year. Here’s a link to the books which made it on to my 2012 bookshelf. There are already some strong contenders for the 2013 Top 20 so I know it will be a difficult choice.  In this two-part blog post I am taking a look at the books I have enjoyed so far this year. Some of the books are newly published, some are just new to me. Please let me know if you would recommend any other books for this list.


1. The Book of Qualities

The Book of Qualities by J.Ruth Gendler was published in 1988 but I only discovered it this year.  It contains beautiful descriptions of human qualities and has lovely illustrations.  Possibly my favourite book of the year so far.

2. Mind over Medicine


This is a ground breaking book by a Dr Lissa Rankin who is trying to turn the healthcare system on its head. Dr Rankin’s book encourages doctors to really listen and spend time with their patients… Read the rest...

Happiness Inc.

This article by Elizabeth Weil about reluctant “happiness expert” Sonja Lyubomirsky was published in the NY Times on April 19th 2013.

If you would like to learn more about Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research you can check out her website by clicking here. If you are interested in trying out her theories she has devlopped an iPhone App called Live Happy™ in conjunction with the company Signal Patterns. You can find details of this App here. Sonja has written 2 interesting books on the subject of happiness: The How of Happiness and the more recent The Myths of Happiness.




Happiness Inc.

Andrew Rae
Article By ELIZABETH WEIL, Published: April 19, 2013 in NYTimes

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, you have a happiness set point. It’s partly encoded in your genes. If something good happens, your sense of happiness rises; if something bad happens, it falls.

Emily Berl for The New York Times

The author

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Happiness Experiment No 6: Acts of Kindness

“Thousands of candles can be lit from one single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha

When is the last time you helped someone? Whether it was a large gesture or something small that brightened another person’s day, how did it make you feel?

The psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky instructed participants in a study to to practice acts of kindness during each week either for people they knew personally or for strangers. The acts of kindness could be carried out either openly or secretly and could be either spontaneous or planned.  The study demonstrated that the participants enjoyed a significant increase in their well-being.  The participants who were asked to constantly vary their acts of kindness and to carry them out on one single day of the week rather than spreading them over the week benefitted the most.

Try out this happiness experiment for yourself:… Read the rest...

Can money buy happiness or steal it?

Continuing with our topic of whether money can buy happiness, I was interested to read this article from Sonja Lyubomirsky’s blog: The How of Happiness: The scientific pursuit of happiness. 

Sonja argues that maybe it is not money per se which adds to or subtracts from our levels of happiness, but the increased aspirations which go hand in hand with wealth and which can lead to disappointment if they are left unfulfilled.  Please read the article and decide for yourself.  I would also recommend Sonja’s book The How of Happiness which looks at actions you can take to get the life you want.

Can Money Buy Happiness or Steal From It?

New research reveals that money can impair savoring ability.

Published on August 30, 2010 by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. in How of Happiness

This is a pieceSonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. wrote for Scientific American‘s Mind Matters column:

Money can’t buy you love. Worshipping Mammon… Read the rest...

Is there a simple equation for happiness?

This interesting article by Jeremy McCarthy looks at a number of formulas which have been put forward by positive psychology researchers as a solution to finding happiness.  Jeremy argues that although the equations may appear over-simplified they do succeed in making a very valid point which is easy to understand.  It is important to realise that much more of our personal happiness is under our own control than you might think.  Read on to find out why.  What would your happiness equation consist of? It’s worth thinking about….

On Happiness Equations

In Martin Seligman’s book, Authentic Happiness, he uses a simple equation to describe where happiness comes from:

H = S + C + V

Where “H is your enduring level of happiness, S is your set range, C is the circumstances of your life, and V represents factors under your voluntary control.”

I hear Seligman take a lot of flack for this equation in scientific circles.  There

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Wish yourself a happy New Year at any time of the year

Like many people I started the year with many good intentions and quickly found that life got in the way.  I wrote this article at the beginning of 2012 with the aim of featuring it in my brand new blog about positive psychology, which I had great intentions of setting up in January. We are now in May and thanks to my decision to sign up for the Thirty Day Challenge with http://www.screwworkletsplay.com/  I have finally set up my blog The Happiness Experiment. It is never too late to have a happy New Year and it is never too soon to start your own journey to happiness.  This article shares some insight in to my own personal journey to happiness and future articles will share some more of the lessons I have learned along the way.  I continue to experiment daily with the lessons of positive psychology and would encourage you to try some experiments too. We are all responsible for our own happiness and like me you have the ability to significantly increase… Read the rest...