Why the Internet Makes Me Happy. Also Drives Me Crazy, But Makes Me Happy

People talk a lot about the happiness risks of the internet, such as how online shopping or celebrity news can suck away our time, or how Facebook can foster comparison with other people.

Tips for Handling Criticism

I have a very tough time being criticized, corrected, or accused—of even the smallest mistakes—and I react very angrily. I’ve wrestled this instinct under control in a professional context, more or less, but I have more trouble with it at home.

Happiness Is…a Good Book. So, a New Feature! A Book Club!

My favorite thing to do is to read. In fact, reading and writing are practically the only activities I truly love. Which is a bit sad, but true. Because I love reading so much, nothing makes me happier than recommending terrific books—so I’m starting a book club.

Try Not To Talk in a Mean Voice. Try Again. And Again

So much of my Happiness Project is aimed at helping me curb my very strong tendency to “talk in a mean voice” or “make a mean face” (which is how my daughters refer to this behavior). In a flash of irritation or anger, I snarl at my sweet daughters or my good-natured husband.

4 Important Ways to Show Love, Identified by Divorced People

Recently, the Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece by Elizabeth Bernstein on The Divorce’s Guide to Marriage.

Be Wary of the Goal of “Moderation,” Plus a Cocktail-Party Trick

Assay: I’ve been thinking a lot about moderation lately.

What Resolution (Successfully Kept) Would Make You Happiest?

On Fridays, I usually suggest a resolution for you to consider for your own happiness project–something like Make your bed or Imitate a spiritual master or Cultivate good smells.

7 Tips to Boost Your Energy Fast

A feeling of energy is a key to feeling happy. Studies show that when you feel energetic, you feel much better about yourself. On the other hand, when you feel exhausted, tasks that would ordinarily make you happy—like putting up holiday decorations, getting ready to go to a party, or planning a trip—make you feel overwhelmed and blue.

A Surprising Happiness Booster? Cleaning My Office

One of my favorite Secrets of Adulthood: Outer order contributes to inner calm. Clutter seems like a trivial matter, but I always find that I feel more serene and cheerful if my apartment and office aren’t too messy.

Want To Have More Fun? Go On a Mission

Writer Jean Stafford scoffed, “Happy people don’t need to have fun,” but in fact, studies show that the absence of feeling bad isn’t enough to make you feel good; you must strive to find sources of feeling good.

My TEDxNew Haven Talk: Five Half-Truths About Happiness.

A few months ago, I gave a talk at the TEDxNewHaven on “Five Half-Truths About Happiness.”

Want a Great Meal? Try One of These Three Combinations for “Perfection”

Even though I don’t like to cook, and I’m no foodie, I nevertheless enjoy the food writing of M.F.K. Fisher. Several of her classic books are collected in The Art of Eating, which includes the essay “From A to Z: The Perfect Dinner,” from An Alphabet for Gourmets.

Is Your World Filled With People Who Are “Radiators” or “Drains”?

The novel’s narrator made an observation that has stuck with me.

For 25 Hours Each Week: No Email. No Phone. I Don't Make Anything

I became intrigued with Josh Foer’s bestselling book, Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything, because it’s a kind of “memory project.”

Watch Out For the “I’m Right, You’re Wrong” Conversation

I thought I’d identified some obscure, rare pattern of human interaction, but it turns out that lots of people had already identified this kind of interaction.

Pigeon of Discontent: Cell Phones Make Me Crazy

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by those small but pesky Pigeons of Discontent.

Dreading a Task? 5 Tips for Getting Yourself To Tackle It

How many times each day do you try to work yourself up to tackle some undesirable task? If you’re like me–several.

Ever Been Stuck in an “I’m Right; You’re Wrong” Conversation?

I’m always looking for patterns in people’s actions and temperament. You know that old joke? “The world is divided into two groups: people who divide the world into two groups, and people who don’t.” I’m definitely in the first category.

Now I Focus on Fewer Things to a Higher Degree

Happiness interview: Dan Ariely.

Ever Feel Awkward About Making or Getting a Request to “Add Friend”?

I’m in the middle of a very interesting book by Paul Adams, called Grouped. It’s about how friends and networks work in an online environment.

Pigeon of Discontent: I Want an Uncluttered Life (With Less Shopping)

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by those small but pesky Pigeons of Discontent.

Trick Question: Can One Coin Make a Person Rich?

I’m struck, when I reflect back on my education–years in grade school, high school, college, law school–by the things I remember. From all those years of study, what do I retain?

Want To Know Yourself Better? Ask Yourself These Questions

A key–perhaps the key–to a happy life is self-knowledge, because as the Fifth Splendid Truth holds, I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.

Is Pay the Most Important Thing About Work to You? To Others?

Over the weekend, I re-read a fascinating book, Alfie Kohn’s Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes.

“When I Compare Myself With Others, My Happiness Takes a Shot in the Back”

Writer and photographer Kelle Hampton has a longtime blog, Enjoying the Small Things, where she writes about the simple things, with gorgeous photos alongside.

Do You Fall Into This Happiness Trap? The False Choice

It’s very easy to fall into the happiness trap of false choices–of thinking you can either do X or Y, and that’s the choice you have to make.

Pigeon of Discontent: “I Envy My Friends"

Each week, I post a video about some Pigeon of Discontent raised by a reader. Because, as much as we try to find the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by the Pigeons of Discontent.

Do You Love Paradoxes? Embrace Happiness Paradoxes

I’ve always loved paradoxes and koans, and was very struck by an observation by physicist Niels Bohr: “There are trivial truths and great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true.”

A Perfect Evening Involves Dorky Friends and Ridiculous Hijinks

Liza Palmer is a bestselling writer with a new novel, More Like Her. One element of the novel is our assumption that we understand the realities of other people’s lives–but really, we often don’t.

7 Tips I Use to Spark My Creativity

I've read a lot of advice about how to spark creativity. Everyone's creativity takes a different form, however, so the advice that works varies from person to person.

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