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 21 Ways to Become Happier

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This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Michael W. Fordyce, 12/14/44 - 01/24/11, whose pioneering work created the happiness movement we enjoy today.  Heaven and Earth are happier places because of you.  Thanks, and stay happy forever and ever.

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 This site averages over 200,000 visits per year 

 

HAPPINESS BY KNOWING FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION!

I explained how overcoming belief in free will can boost happiness on episode 7 Happiness and the Determinism vs. Free Will Question, 4-20-03, and 92 A Conversation about Happiness, Free Will and Determinism, 2-28-05

John Searle, the13th ranked post-1900 philosopher, says that our world overcoming the free will illusion "would be a bigger revolution in our thinking than Einstein, or Copernicus, or Newton, or Galileo, or Darwin -- it would alter our whole conception of our relation with the universe." 
 


Find out why at
my new show,
 Exploring the Illusion of Free Will

 

 

 

Who We Are
Watch for free our over 130 shows in Google Video, windows streaming media and mpeg

Watch for free our over 30 "producer's choice" shows

What is Happiness?

   Why is Happiness so Important?

World's Happiest Countries

Happiness Facts

Happiness Benefits

The APACHE Method (Positive Adjectives Technique and List)

The Ortega Happiness Method

Other Ways of Becoming Happier

Happiness Increase Experiments

Top Happiness Researchers and Promoters

Dr. M. Fordyce

George Ortega's Happiness Skills Theory (2 drafts)

Happiness Books, Papers and Articles

Start a Happiness Show

Happiness-Increase Research and the Artifacts Dilemma

Happiness Research Still Needed

Proposals for Further Refuting Hedonic Adaptation Predictions

The Hey Bill Gates, Start an International Happiness Corporation Campaign

Happiness Increase International

George's Happy World Songs

Humankind's Age of Happiness

Happiness Quotes

100 Happiness Self-Statements

Outlines to Early The Happiness Show Episodes

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Site Map


Key Happiness Facts
 

World's Happiest Countries:
 
1. Nigeria
 2. Mexico
 3. Venezuela
 4. El Salvador
 5. Puerto Rico
 (U.S. ranks 16th)

Countries with Highest Levels of Subjective Well-Being:
 
1. Puerto Rico
 2. Mexico
 3. Denmark
 4. Columbia
 5. Ireland

Click here for the complete ranking and more information

Americans consider happiness more important to them than money, moral goodness, and even going to Heaven.

Americans are, on average, only 69 percent happy.

The world population is, on average, less than 65 percent happy.

37 percent of the people on Forbes list of Wealthiest Americans are less happy than the average American.

At any given time, one forth of Americans are mildly depressed

14 percent of the nations on Earth are less than 50 percent happy.

Happiness Increase Experiments published in peer review journal have empirically demonstrated that individuals can be trained to be 25 percent happier through various training programs in from two to ten weeks.

All demographic variables combined, including age, sex, income, race, and education, are responsible for only 15 percent of the difference in happiness levels between individuals.

American Children feel happy 52 percent of the time, neutral 29 percent of the time, and unhappy 19 percent of the time.

Americans' personal income has increased more than 2 1/2 times over the last 50 years, but their happiness level has remained the same.

Americans earning more that $10 million annually are only slightly happier than average Americans.

(Click here for Citations and a Brief Paper on How our World Can Become Much Happier)



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Happiness Books and Papers

Key Happiness Books, Papers and Resources


Layard, Richard (2005) Happiness: Lessons from a new science, Penguin Press, New York

Written by one of Britain’s best known economists, and the founder of Europe’s leading economics research center, this book should encourage governments to appreciate the wisdom of measuring , and implementing policies that focus on, happiness.


Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K. M., & Schkade, D. (2004). Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable change. To appear in Review of General Psychology.

Sonja Lyubomirsky and Kennon Sheldon are the leaders of a major effort to seek out and refine happiness-increase techniques, and to demonstrate that individuals can and do become lastingly happier. Inspirational, important, and cutting edge, a “must read” paper.


Seligman, Martin, E. P. (2002) Authentic Happiness, The Free Press, New York

Although misleadingly titled, this book by a former president of The American Psychological Association who in 1998 founded Positive Psychology asserts to its growing number of adherents that happiness is the goal of his new field.


Argyle, Michael, (2001, Second Edition) The Psychology of Happiness, Taylor and Francis, New York.

This revised edition of a work first published in 1987 is the most up-to-date review of happiness research findings currently available in book format.


Kahneman, D., Diener, E., & Schwarz, N., eds. (1999) Wellbeing: The foundations of hedonic psychology. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 593 pages,

This book, edited by 2002 Nobel prize winner (economics), psychologist Daniel Kahneman and top happiness authority Ed Diener, is the most comprehensive and sophisticated collection of writings on happiness currently available.


Diener, Ed., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. E. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 276-302.

For those interested in “just the facts,” this review of happiness findings updates Dr. Diener’s classic 1984 review of the literature (published in Psychological Bulletin).


Myers, David. G. (1992) The Pursuit of Happiness. Who is happy and why?, Morrow, New York.

David Myers, who is also the author of the most popular college introductory psychology textbook, presents an excellent and highly readable review. While now somewhat outdated, most of the findings in this work are still valid.


Fordyce, Michael. W. Human Happiness; Its Nature and Its Attainment. (A two-volume set available for free online at - http://www.gethappy.net/freebook.htm

Michael Fordyce is the most progressive and influential happiness researcher, having conducted the world’s first compressive happiness-increase experiment in 1977. Fordyce does an excellent job describing what happiness is and why it is so important.


Fordyce, Michael. W. (1990) Michael Fordyce's Psychology of Happiness.  (A 14 episode, video TeleCourse) Fort Myers: Edison Community College Television Productions. (available for free online viewing at: http://www.gethappy.net/vdeo-intro.htm)

While some specific findings presented in this pioneering video series are now out of date, the episodes give an in depth, comprehensive, overview of happiness, and detail the information used for his pioneering 1977 and 1983 happiness-increase experiments.


Pliskin, Zelig (1984) Gateway to Happiness, Aish HaTora Publications, Jerusalem, Israel

Written by a rabbi for the orthodox Jewish community, this work is unquestionably the best how-to book about happiness, Rabbi Pliskin’s cognitive-behavioral approach, presented in simple, unscientific language, covers all of the major strategies and impediments to happiness.


Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95, 542-575

This classic paper reviews early research and theoretical approaches to happiness.



 

World Database of Happiness Papers and Book List

 http://www1.eur.nl/fsw/happiness/

This is the best collection of professional papers and books on happiness available on the internet

 

Lionel's The Happiness Club Book List

 http://www.happinessclub.com/pages/read.html

 

This is the most extensive collection of books on happiness available on the internet

 

George's Favorite Happiness Books

Dr. Michael W. Fordyce's Human Happiness; Its Nature and its Attainment

http://www.gethappy.net/freebook.htm 

 

This free on-line book is easily the most progressive and inspired professional book on happiness there is.  Written by the top happiness researcher in the world, who in 1977 published the world's first happiness-increase experiment, it comprehensively describes happiness, and forcefully explains why happiness is the most important aspect of human existence.  It then presents, in substantial detail, the most sophisticated empirically validated happiness-increase program published to date.

 

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin's Gateway to Happiness

http://www.judaism.com/display.asp?type=quicksearch&etn=DACAB

 

Written primarily for the orthodox Jewish community by a cognitive therapist and Rabbi, Gateway to Happiness is easily the best "how to" book about happiness that I am aware of

 
 

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness Papers on the Web

 

Happiness - General Topics   What Makes us Happy?   Happiness and Genetics   Measuring Happiness   Happiness and Public Policy   Happiness and Geography   Happiness and Marriage  Happiness and Religion   Happiness and Crime   Happiness and Money   Happiness and Age   Happiness and Race   Misc. and Magazine Articles

 


Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers
 

Happiness - General Topics

 

Recent Findings on Subjective Well-Being by Ed Diener, Eunkook Suh, and Shigehiro Oishi
http://www.psych.uiuc.edu/~ediener/hottopic/paper1.html
 

New Directions in Subjective Well-being by Diener and Robert  Biswas-Diener http://s.psych.uiuc.edu/~ediener/hottopic/NEW_DIRECTIONS.html

 

HAPPINESS: HAS SOCIAL SCIENCE A CLUE? by Richard Layard Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures 2002/3.  Delivered on 3, 4, 5 March 2003 at the London School of Economics http://cep.lse.ac.uk/events/lectures/layard/RL030303.pdf
 

What would make a happier society? by Richard Layard,  Lionel Robbins Memorial Lectures 2002/3.  Delivered on 3, 4, 5 March 2003 at the London School of Economics
http://cep.lse.ac.uk/events/lectures/layard/RL050303.pdf
 

Experienced Utility and Objective Happiness: A Moment-Based Approach by Daniel Kahneman, Princeton University, Chapter 37, pp. 673-692, in: D. Kahneman and A. Tversky (Eds.) Choices, Values and Frames, New York: Cambridge University Press and the Russell Sage Foundation, (2000)
http://www.international.ucla.edu/cms/files/Kahneman.pdf
 

HEDONISM AND HAPPINESS by Ruut Veenhoven In: Journal of Happiness Studies, 2003 vol. 4. (special issue on 'Art of living') pp. 437-457
http://www2.eur.nl/fsw/research/veenhoven/Pub2000s/2003c-full.pdf
 

Is Anybody Happy? http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/pdfs/3466.pdf

                     

 

Subjective Well-Being Is Desirable, But Not the Summum Bonum
Ed Diener, University of Illinois and the Gallup Organization
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~tiberius/workshop_papers/Diener.pdf
 

Building a Better Theory of Well-being by Richard A. Easterlin
University of Southern California
http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/economics/event/content/Easterlin_Bettertheory.pdf
 

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

What Makes us Happy?

 

HAPPINESS: THE EFFECTS OF HEALTH, WEALTH, CHILDREN
AND A STEADY RELATIONSHIP
  by Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Paul Frijters, published in the July 2004 Economic Journal.
http://www.res.org.uk/society/mediabriefings/pdfs/2004/july04/ferrer.pdf
 

 

The Determinants of Happiness: Some Migration Evidence by Evan Osborne, Wright State University and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research
http://www.wright.edu/~eosborne/research/migration.aej.pdf

 

Happiness, Hope, and Optimism by Patricia A. Dunavold, (spring 1997)
http://www.csun.edu/~vcpsy00h/students/happy.htm
 

Pets provide happiness, lower stress for elderly by Jennifer White, Kansas State Collegian, Tuesday September 15, 1998
http://www.vet.ksu.edu/studentorgs/petsnpeople/pdf/Pets.pdf
 

Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude and Thankfulness, Dimensions and Perspectives of Gratitude, Co-Investigators: Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis, (contact: raemmons@ucdavis.edu; 530.752.8844) Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami (contact: mikem@miami.edu; 305.284.8057)
http://www.psy.miami.edu/faculty/mmccullough/Gratitude-Related Stuff/highlights_fall_2003.pdf
 

Vengefulness: Relationships With Forgiveness, Rumination, Well-Being, and the Big Five by Michael E. McCullough, National Institute for Healthcare Research, C. Garth Bellah, Louisiana Tech University, Shelley Dean Kilpatrick, National Institute for Healthcare Research, Judith L. Johnson, Christopher Newport University
http://www.psy.miami.edu/faculty/mmccullough/Papers/McCullough.pdf
 

Maximizing Versus Satisficing: Happiness Is a Matter of Choice by Barry Schwartz and Andrew Ward, Swarthmore College, John Monterosso
University of Pennsylvania, Sonja Lyubomirsky, University of California, Riverside and Katherine White and Darrin R. Lehman, University of British Columbia
http://www.swarthmore.edu/SocSci/bschwar1/maximizing.pdf
 

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Genetics

 

The Heritability of Happiness by David T. Lykken, Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota
http://www.psych.umn.edu/psylabs/happness/hapindex.htm
 

Happiness Is a Stochastic Phenomenon by David Lykken and Auke Tellegen, University of Minnesota, Psychological Science Vol.7, No. 3, May 1996
http://www.psych.umn.edu/psylabs/happness/happy.htm
 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Measuring Happiness

 

Subjective Measures of Well-being by Ruut Veenhoven, April 2004
http://www.wider.unu.edu/publications/dps/dps2004/dp2004-007.pdf
 

Reexamining Adaptation and the Set Point Model of Happiness:
Reactions to Changes in Marital Status
by Richard E. Lucas
Michigan State University, Andrew E. Clark, De´partement et Laboratoire d’Economie The´orique et Applique´e Yannis Georgellis, Brunel University and Ed Diener University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
http://www.apa.org/journals/psp/press_releases/march_2003/psp843527.pdf

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Public Policy

 

SOCIAL SCIENCE, PUBLIC POLICY AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/sasi/publications/2003/dorling_and_ward_happiness.pdf
 

WHY SOCIAL POLICY NEEDS SUBJECTIVE INDICATORS by RUUT VEENHOVEN
http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/conferences/socialcapital/Happiness Readings/Veenhoven_2002.pdf
 

Assessing well being among traumatized children in foster care: The reality behind the numbers by Rosalind Folman, Ph.D
http://www.igpa.uiuc.edu/events/pdf/traumatizedChildren2.pdf
 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Geography

 

How Happy Hong Kong Are?  A Study on Happiness Index of Hong Kong People.  A research project jointly organized by the Department of Applied Social Studies of CityU and Radio One of RTHK, Principal Investigator: Dr. Dennis Wong, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
http://www.cityu.edu.hk/prj/YSNet/happiness/A Study on Happiness Index of Hong Kong People (Sep 2002).pdf
 

Are Scandinavians Happier than Asians? Issues in Comparing Nations on Subjective Well-Being by Ed Diener, University of Illinois and the Gallup Organization and Shigehiro Oishi University of Minnesota
http://www.psych.uiuc.edu/~ediener/hottopic/diener-oishi.pdf
 

Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA by David G. Blanchflower
Department of Economics, Dartmouth College and NBER
USA, blanchflower@dartmouth.edu, Andrew J. Oswald, Department of Economics, Warwick University, UK andrew.oswald@warwick.ac.uk
October 2000
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~blnchflr/papers/Wellbeingnew.pdf

 

Location, Location, Location: The Miss-prediction of Satisfaction in Housing Lotteries
http://www.people.virginia.edu/~tdw/dunn.location.pspb.2003.pdf-
 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Marriage

 

Marital Status and Happiness, 1972–1996 by Mary Margaret Adams
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-051299-225359/unrestricted/thesis.PDF
 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Religion

 

Church Attendance and Happiness Among Northern Irish Undergraduate Students: No Association by Christopher Alan Lewis
http://www.infm.ulst.ac.uk/~chris/70.pdf
 

The Relationship Between Religion and Happiness Among German Students by Leslie J. Francis, Hans-Georg Ziebertz, and Christopher Alan Lewis
http://www.infm.ulst.ac.uk/~chris/81.pdf

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Crime

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Money

 

WILL MONEY INCREASE SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING? A Literature Review and Guide to Needed Research by ED DIENER and ROBERT BISWAS-DIENER, (Accepted 14 September 2001)
http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/conferences/socialcapital/Happiness Readings/Diener_Biswas-Diener_2002.pdf
 

The Multidimensionality of Poverty: A Subjective Well-Being Approach by Mariano RojasDepartment of Economics, Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, Mexico, e-mail: mrojas@mail.udlap.mx
http://www.wider.unu.edu/conference/conference-2003-2/conference 2003-2-papers/papers-pdf/Rojas 150403.pdf
 

Work Orientation and the Contingency of Job Satisfaction and Subjective Well-Being on Annual Income: A Longitudinal Assessment by Ariel Malka and Jennifer A. Chatman, University of California, Berkeley
http://www.hbs.edu/research/facpubs/workingpapers/papers2/0102/02-090.pdf
 

A Non-Technical Introduction to the Economics of Happiness by
Andrew Oswald andrew.oswald@warwick.ac.uk December 1999
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/oswald/intro.pdf
 

Happiness, Wealth, and Corporate Social Responsibility by Tom Bateman, May 26, 2003
http://iintegra.infotech.sk/downloads/82_CSR-Happiness.pdf
 

Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study by David G. Blanchflower, Bruce V Rauner ’78 Professor of Economics
Dartmouth College and NBER USA, blanchflower@dartmouth.edu and Andrew J. Oswald, Professor of Economics, Warwick University, UK, andrew.oswald@warwick.ac.uk   http://www.dartmouth.edu/~blnchflr/papers/sentScanJEsexmoneyhappinessjune2003pdf

 

WHAT CAN ECONOMISTS LEARN FROM HAPPINESS
RESEARCH?
by BRUNO S. FREY and ALOIS STUTZER1
(final version dated 7 January 2002)
http://www.wcfia.harvard.edu/conferences/socialcapital/Happiness Readings/Frey_Stutzer_JEL.pdf
 

FRUSTRATED ACHIEVERS: WINNERS, LOSERS, AND SUBJECTIVE WELL BEING IN NEW MARKET ECONOMIES by Carol Graham and Stefano Pettinato*
http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/econ/Durlauf/networkweb1/London/frustratedachievers.pdf
 

The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness by Alois Stutzer, University of Zurich
http://www.iew.unizh.ch/home/stutzer/downloads/Stutzer_Aspiration.pdf
 

INCOME DISTRIBUTIONS VERSUS LOTTERIES: HAPPINESS, RESPONSE-MODE EFFECTS, AND PREFERENCE REVERSALS
Eva Camacho-Cuena*, Christian Seidl**, and Andrea Morone***
*Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Christian–Albrechts–Universität zu Kiel, Germany, and University Jaume I, Castellón, Spain, **Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Christian–Albrechts–Universität zu Kiel, Germany. ***Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Christian–Albrechts–Universität zu Kiel, Germany, and ESSE, University of Bari, Italy.
http://www.grid.ensam.estp.fr/furxi/abstracts/seidl_christian.pdf
 

EVOLUTIONARY EFFICIENCY AND MEAN REVERSION IN
HAPPINESS
by LUIS RAYO AND GARY S. BECKER
http://home.uchicago.edu/~gbecker/RayoBeckerLSE1.pdf
 

HAPPINESS RESEARCH: STATE AND PROSPECTS by Bruno S. Frey, Alois Stutzer*University of Zurich and CREMA- Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (31 May 2004).  Institute for Empirical Research in Economics, University of Zurich Working Paper Series ISSN 1424-0459, Working Paper No. 190 Happiness Research: State and Prospects Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer June 2004
http://www.iew.unizh.ch/wp/iewwp190.pdf
 

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Age

 

Does Subjective Well-Being Increase with Age? by Brian Scott Ehrlich and Derek M. Isaacowitz
http://bespin.stwing.upenn.edu/~upsych/Perspectives/2002/Ehrlich.pdf
 

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Happiness and Race

 

RELIGION, HEALTH, AND WELL-BEING AMONG AFRICAN AMERICANS by Christopher G. Ellison, Department of Sociology
University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-1088
http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/prba/perspectives/spring1998/cellison2.pdf
 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers

 

Misc. and Magazine Articles.

 

Gross National Happiness: an introductory editorial.
http://www.bhutanstudies.org.bt/publications/gnh/GNH_Editorial.pdf
 

Happiness skills curriculum: not an article
http://www.ca.uky.edu/fcs/possibilities/
 

NEW BOOK EXAMINES THE ECONOMICS OF HAPPINESS
http://nw08.american.edu/~hertz/fall2002/Graham talk.pdf
 

 

Can money buy happiness? UC Berkeley researchers find surprising answers
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/06/16_money.shtml
 

Partisan Social Happiness by Rafael Di Tella, Harvard Business School
and Robert MacCulloch, Princeton University
http://www.restud.org.uk/PDF/03_2004/Di_Tella_ Macculloch.pdf
 

 

Happiness Books    Top    Happiness Papers