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What is Positive Psychology?

Simply stated, positive psychology provides insights and methods that help people to be happier.

Because we are standing on the shoulders of giants in this emerging field of study, I’ve put together some of my best positive psychology articles on this page. Start with What is Positive Psychology? to get the history and academic basis of positive psychology.If you’d like to know more about specific exercises to increase happiness that come from the Positive Psychology movement, you can read Positive Psychology Exercises.

There are probably thousands of articles that discuss various aspects of Positive Psychology. So as to not overwhelm you, I list some of my favorites, along with a brief description of what each is about.


  1. Finding Happiness
  2. Authentic Happiness
  3. Positive Psychology Center
  4. Psychology Today



1. Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman: This is considered the Bible of the movement. It is a good overview of the field, complete with practical suggestions and summaries of various findings.

2. Flourish by Martin Seligman: This book is an update of how the field has progressed recently, especially in terms of research findings in education and life-changing seminars.

3. Shortcuts to Bliss by Jonathan Robinson: This book provides 50 practical methods and exercises that can boost happiness and fulfillment.

4. Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert: Gilbert’s book is a fun romp through the research literature on happiness, with special emphasis on findings that are surprising or counterintuitive.

5. The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin: This bestselling book is an easy read that discusses one woman’s journey in attempting to put positive psychology methods to work in her own life.

6. The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky: This book offers a great overview of the scientific literature on improving happiness. Although it doesn’t go into how to implement the many ideas presented, it does give a lot of practical tips that are backed by numerous studies.



1. Dan Gilbert Ted Talk: In an entertaining manner, Gilbert discusses what leads to happiness, and what does not.

2. Get Service: This 4-minute video makes a powerful case for the importance of helping others to overcome our worst tendencies.

3. Gratitude Brother David Steindl-Rast: This 6-minute video beautifully guides viewers on a journey and exploration of the importance of gratitude.

4. Dan Gilbert Ted Talk: In another fun talk, Dan Gilbert discusses surprising things about what makes us happy, and how our interpretation of events can be the ultimate path to happiness or unhappiness.