After more than a decade of depression, anxiety & discontent, I finally chose happy. Here's where you can read about my journey, and all the stuff I've learned along the way about the science and practice of happiness.

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-I'm thankful for every moment.-Al Green

How to feel more thankful on Thanksgiving with 4 practices.

Despite Thanksgiving’s cheery, optimistic moniker (which suggests it oughta revolve around thanks and giving), the holiday of food and family often turns into a panic attack waiting to happen. Whether it’s the massive job of cooking dinner for 25 people, or the loneliness that stems from having nowhere to spend the holiday, there are a whole host of factors that can leave you feeling less than thankful. And sometimes, close proximity to family members can create more crippling anxiety than warm, fuzzy memories. To address this all-too-common problem, I want to suggest some practices for Thanksgiving Day; practices designed to foster gratitude amongst everyone around the table (even […]

“If you had a person in your life

Self-loathing is the worst. Here’s how to beat it.

If there’s one habit that’s completely counterproductive and totally self-defeating, it’s hating ourselves. We weren’t put on this gorgeous green globe to be mean and nasty to the most important person in our lives — US. To live a happy, healthy existence, we MUST learn to be kind, gentle and compassionate, just as we would be to anyone else we love. That being said, it’s super-easy in our society to fall into the NOT GOOD ENOUGH trap. Consumerism basically survives because people believe they need to buy stuff to be better. But we can break these bad habits. We can […]


Everything that’s wrong with Facebook, according to science.

Facebook kinda sucks. Don’t get me wrong — it’s awesome for keeping in touch with long-lost friends and family members. Annnnnd that’s about the extent of its positive qualities (IMO). Like me, lots of you probably have a love-hate relationship with the social media megalodon. It makes you feel like crap, it wastes your time, it keeps you sitting at your computer when you should be out getting fresh air and vitamin D, and yet, you just CAN’T QUIT IT. I know, I know. But the Greater Good Science Center (who I just adore) offers a list of scientific findings that might […]


The Happy Wall wants to know what makes you happy.

We all know we should “follow our passion”, “pursue our dreams”, “do what we love”. These are familiar platitudes. But what if we’re not sure what our passions, dreams or loves are? That was me, once upon a time. I wanted to love something, to give my all to a cause, to feel like I had a calling! Now, I do. That cause is happiness. More specifically, helping people find happiness. I try to do that through this blog, through my other writings, through the way I live my life. But recently, I decided I wanted to do MORE. It’s great to […]

This is my simple religion. There is no

Happy world kindness day. Here are 6 easy ways to celebrate.

Today is World Kindness Day! As a girl who’s obsessed with the holidays AND the power of kindness, this morning marks a mashup between two of my fave things. And while every day should technically be World Kindness Day (we can never have enough of that positive juju going around), it’s nice to mark a special occasion with some extra acts of good karma. Taking the time to perform a few kind deeds today can have a ripple effect in the world at large — AND in your own life. Studies show that people who perform five random acts of kindness […]

-The pain caused by self-judgment, I

The three components of self-compassion, and how to live them.

Self-compassion sounds great, but how, exactly, are you supposed to practice such a warm, fuzzy concept? For those of us who’ve spent decades (or a lifetime) beating ourselves into shame and submission, it’s easier said than done to make nice with our inner demons. Researcher Kristin Neff (who I seriously want to be BFFs with) is an expert in the science of self-compassion. She’s spearheaded all kinds of research that suggests it has incredible power when it comes to helping humans be healthier, happier and more motivated. “The pain caused by self-judgment, I think in some ways that’s some of the worst pain all of us […]

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human

How gratitude can help you sleep better.

Sleep is important. So much more important than we give it credit for. I’ve written about its importance before — how it’s crucial for mental health and well being; how it’s not a “luxury”, but an absolute necessity. And if you want to get a good night’s sleep, in addition to a healthy lineup of rituals and preparations, there’s another, more unexpected way to get your zzzzzs on: gratitude. Research shows that gratitude can help you sleep better. In one major study, participants practicing gratitude reported getting more hours of sleep each night, spending less time awake before falling asleep and feeling more […]

“True happiness is to enjoy the present,

Satisificers v. maximizers: how to abandon expectations and get happier.

I’ve always been a girl of rather high expectations. This unfortunate personality trait has caused more disappointments than I can possibly recount. The holidays are a perfect example. I LOVE the holidays. Always have. Because I adore them so, I’ve spent countless hours constructing castles in the clouds that have almost always fallen short of my absurdly high expectations. My birthday, Christmas, Halloween — you name it, I’ve spent it in tears. These days, I try to enjoy what comes, no matter how low key or unassuming. I’ve made a conscious effort to let go of that Clark Griswold-esque obsession with perfection. Nothing is perfect, and sometimes it’s the […]


Sleep is not a luxury.

I didn’t get enough sleep last week. My current project, The Happy Wall, has wrested complete control over my waking hours. Plus work, the holidays, this blog — my brain is bouncing all over the place right now. It’s not bad stress, but it’s stress nonetheless. So I had trouble falling asleep almost all week, and kept having pesky middle-of-the-night wakeups that killed the possibility for a good night’s slumber. The lack of sleep took its toll. By yesterday, I was feeling cranky and bummed out — not normal for me these days. But last night I slept well, and I’m feeling […]

-I think I am 45 and that is where I

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston is my hero.

I believe age is a mindset. I believe our culture teaches us that aging = decrepitude, so we live out self-fulfilling prophecies involving nursing homes and senility. I believe it’s possible to lead youthful, healthy lives well into our “elderly” years. But the society we live in doesn’t make it easy, not when we’re bombarded with images of older people in denture and Depends commercials. My beliefs about aging are based on more than just opinion. Research by the likes of Ellen Langer and Mario Martinez supports the fact that our belief systems play a powerful role in the aging process. Langer’s research […]