Action for Happiness calendar January 2021
Recovery and Well-being

Action for Happiness: More Than Just “Choose Happiness”

Action for Happiness I'm definitely not a fan of the whole toxic positivity business, and no, happiness is not a choice (or at least not always). But a while back I stumbled across the Action for Happiness website, and I like their style. I was looking through my journal and came across the 8 pillars… Continue reading Action for Happiness: More Than Just “Choose Happiness”

Should you avoid negative people? - "Good vibes only" painted in watercolours
Our Social World

“Should” You Avoid Negative People?

Along the lines of "choose happiness," you may have seen the message "good vibes only," or something along the lines of getting rid of negative people from your life. But where do people who aren't well fit into this? To be clear, I'm not talking about people who are negative about you. If someone is… Continue reading “Should” You Avoid Negative People?

Happiness is not a choice – group of emojis with happy face marked unavailable
Emotions & Cognition

Happiness Is Not a Choice

"Happiness is a choice." It's a message that you probably come across fairly often. While it's probably meant to be motivational and positive most of the time, if you start to poke at it a bit, it has some fundamental flaws. I believe that happiness is not a choice, at least not when something like… Continue reading Happiness Is Not a Choice

You don't need to be positive - there's room for other emotions too
Emotions & Cognition

You Don’t Need to Be Positive

Toxic positivity is essentially the idea that happy and positive is the only right way to be, and therefore, people need to cheer up, look on the bright side, think positive, choose happiness, allow good vibes only, etc. It also shows up in the "it could be worse" guilt trip mentality. You're not in ICU… Continue reading You Don’t Need to Be Positive

Mental Health & Illness

How Well Does Positive Psychology Apply to Mental Illness?

The basic idea of positive psychology is a good one.  Who doesn't want to feel happier and the other positive emotions that go along with that? The essentials of positive psychology According to, positive psychology focuses on the positive aspects of life, including: "Positive experiences (like happiness, joy, inspiration, and love)" "Positive states and… Continue reading How Well Does Positive Psychology Apply to Mental Illness?

The Happiness Diary by Barbara Kipfer book cover
MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: The Happiness Diary

The Happiness Diary: Practice Living Joyfully by Barbara A. Kipfer guides you through various self-reflection exercises and prompts to connect with the potential for happiness that already exists in your life. It's designed to be used as a notebook and written in, and each page is beautifully illustrated. I'm always a tad wary of happiness-promoting… Continue reading Book Review: The Happiness Diary

stacks of coins growing
Recovery and Well-being

Can Money Facilitate Happiness?

We've all heard that money can't buy happiness. But is there some sort of relationship between money and happiness? And if so, what does that look like, and can money facilitate happiness? Meeting basic needs Clearly, it takes money to meet our most basic needs like food and shelter. When those basic needs are on… Continue reading Can Money Facilitate Happiness?

Depression and emotions: decreased positive affect and increased negative affect
MH@H Depression

Depression & Emotions: Positive & Negative Affect

There are many different ways to experience depression; people may have very different symptoms and still have the same depression diagnosis. When it comes to the impact of depression on emotions, psychopharmacology guru Dr. Stephen Stahl identified two categories of mood symptoms in his book Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology (affiliate link): decreased positive affect and increased… Continue reading Depression & Emotions: Positive & Negative Affect

TED Talks logo
Recovery and Well-being

TED Talks on Mental Wellbeing

Here are some of my favourite TED Talks that relate to mental wellbeing. The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage (Susan David) I recently reviewed Susan David's book Emotional Agility, and this talk covered similar subject matter. She points out how problematic it is to avoid emotions that are considered negative or illegitimate. She… Continue reading TED Talks on Mental Wellbeing

Mental Health @ Home book reviews: The Book Of Joy
MH@H Book Reviews

Book Review: The Book of Joy

The Book of Joy: Finding Happiness in a Changing World is the product of a week-long series of discussions between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The meetings were held at the Dalai Lama’s residence-in-exile in Dharamsala, India. Much of the book is presented as a dialogue between the Dalai Lama and… Continue reading Book Review: The Book of Joy