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Description: A lot of people are not doing very well these days, and this was true even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. We can certainly see that the levels of stress, anxiety and uncertainty in the general population and among young, emerging adults in particular are sky high. Given this I do not imagine that you think it would help to start telling people to just cheer up. However, it may seem like that is what is being suggested when we turn for advice to Laurie Santos at Yale University researcher who studies Happiness and ask her for advice. The study of happiness, however, is not fluffy, cheer up, stuff but is, instead, one of the centerpieces of the rapidly expanding research area known as Positive Psychology. What Laurie Santos has to say about her own and other research can be very helpful these days and, if the interview linked below is not enough then use the link down in the Referenced – Read Further section that you can use to access and take her Yale online course on the subject, for free, a well proceed and timely opportunity.

Source: Laurie Santos: Can we learn how to be happy? Interview with Stephen Sackur,

Date: January 30, 2021

Photo Credit:  Image by 5688709 from Pixabay

Article Link: Scroll down to the Feb 3 video image and click to play audio interview

Happiness science is a central part of Positive Psychology and the research it has produced over the past 30 years is quite informative and in increasingly offering a lot that we can think about and try as ways of pushing back against the stress, anxiety and uncertainties of life these days. Interested? Check out the course!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What good might come of being somewhat grumpy or somewhat angry more of the time?
  2. What might some of the limitations of all the time positivity be?
  3. What might a balance of positivity and grumpiness look like? How might we manage the balance (and know how to make adjustments to it)?

References (Read Further):

The Science of Wellbeing (The course with Laurie Santos)

Helliwell, J. F., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2012). World happiness report [2012]. Link

Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2005). Happiness research: State and prospects. Review of social economy, 63(2), 207-228. Link

Oishi, S., & Gilbert, E. A. (2016). Current and future directions in culture and happiness research. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, 54-58. Link

Frawley, A. (2015). Happiness research: A review of critiques. Sociology Compass, 9(1), 62-77. Link

Brockmann, H., & Delhey, J. (2010). Introduction: The dynamics of happiness and the dynamics of happiness research. Social Indicators Research, 97(1), 1-5. Link