How To Remain Happy When the Financial World Crumbles

Sometimes I think our country has gone nuts.  We have collapsing financial markets, unprecedented housing foreclosures, $4 gas, and an emperor without any clothes on perambulating in the midst of an incredibly critical presidential election.  But despite everything, many people (myself included) have a remarkable capacity to maintain optimism and confidence and even some cheer – about ourselves and the world around us.

Can Anything in Life Ever Surpass Winning 14 Gold Medals?

As I was watching Michael Phelps receive his 14th gold medal—what a week!—this is what I was thinking: “How could anything in this 23-year old swimmer’s life ever top this?” And: “After he comes down from the high, will he ultimately end up less happy than the rest of us mere mortals?”

Happiness Breeds Success…and Money!

I had a rather interesting experience this week appearing on the CNBC show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. The theme was that being happy will bring you cash.

Happiness and Religion, Happiness as Religion

I begin with a bit of self-disclosure. I don’t have a religious or spiritual bone in my body. (Yes, maybe even less than Richard Dawkins.) But this doesn’t mean that I’m not open-minded about research on happiness and religion. As I write in my book, The How of Happiness, just because (most) religious beliefs cannot be empirically tested or falsified doesn’t mean that the consequences of having religious faith, participating in religious life, or searching for the sacred cannot be studied. Indeed, a growing body of psychological science is suggesting that religious folks are happier, healthier, and recover better after traumas than nonreligious ones.

Why Good Feelings May Not Last as Long as We Want

Singapore Airlines announced recently that it will begin flying all-business-class flights across the Pacific – Newark to Singapore started in May and Los Angeles to Singapore will start in September.

How Much Confidence and Optimism Is Good For World Leaders and How Much Is Too Much?

As an experimental social psychologist, my job is not to analyze anyone’s personality, let alone an individual whom I’ve never seen larger than in a 42-inch image. However, Robert Draper’s and Scott McClellan’s characterizations of George W. Bush as a staunch optimist lead me to ask, “How much optimism and confidence is good for world leaders and how much is too much?”

No, Middle-Aged People Are Not Less Happy

Why a new study does not show that older adults are less happy than others.

Is "the Secret" Just a Giant Placebo Effect?

I’ve been traveling so much lately that I’ve started to play a little game by guessing what reading material people tend to bring on airplanes. The most frequently sighted book? The Secret.

What Influences Our Happiness the Most?

Is it our genes? Is it where, how, and with whom we live? Or is it entirely something else?I have two friends, Seth and Michael, and one of them is a lot happier than the other...