Pursuit-of-Happiness.org strives to empower individuals with the scientific knowledge and life-skills needed to build happy and meaningful lives.
Pursuit-of-Happiness.org is a volunteer-driven 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of well-being and depression prevention.
Our team follows the Science of Happiness as it unfolds, in the peer-reviewed work of scientists around the world.
Recent scientific discoveries show that specific life skills, such as practicing acts of kindness, active listening, and mixed exercise, have a powerful impact on our mood.
The Pursuit of Happiness is an essential human right. Both Confucius and Socrates insisted that well-being and personal growth were a major purpose of life, and a central goal of education. Thomas Jefferson and the founders of U.S. government recognized this.
More than two hundred years later, our schools and universities are still neglecting these goals. We are so busy pursuing intellectual skills that we have neglected the pursuit of happiness. We have forgotten Aristotle’s warning: Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
Thanks to the recent emergence of Positive Psychology and the new “Science of Happiness” a wealth of scientific information on psychological well-being is being generated. Science took us to the moon and back. Thanks to science the whole world is linked by a worldwide web. Now science is revealing surprising secrets about our well-being.
Now that a perfect storm of challenges, including the impact of rapid modernization, are sweeping the world, depression and self-harm have taken on still more urgency.
The Inner Pandemic:
Is it Unstoppable?
A staggering 44% of teenagers in the US are presently experiencing disabling episodes of depression or anxiety. Traditional approaches are failing to make a dent in what has become a new NCD (noncommunicable disease) pandemic. We urgently need innovative solutions that are both evidence-based and scalable. Thanks to a flood of new and surprising studies on the impact of life-style on mood and neuroplasticity, evidence is accumulating that the “inner pandemic” may largely be a side-effect of rapid modernization, in both psychosocial and biological realms. We need to focus on prevention and mitigation through life-style modification.
UK Parliament Recognizes the Power of Peer Support
On 21 March 2022, UK Parliament recognized the peer support initiative, “Hear to Listen,” launched by the Student Union of the University of Strathclyde, in collaboration with the Pursuit of Happiness team. Combined with life skills education, peer support is a powerful, eminently scaleable way of promoting well-being on campuses around the world.
Who We Are
We are a group of scientists and educators dedicated to the advancement of scientific knowledge about happiness and depression prevention. We manage a multimedia educational platform (this website), as well as various hybrid, online, and onsite educational programs, focused on new discoveries related to happiness and psychological well-being. Thanks to the heartfelt dedication of numerous volunteers and a generous in-kind marketing grant from Google Inc., about 12 million visitors, including faculty and students from 1,500 secondary schools, 2,500 universities, as well as governmental organizations from around the globe, have accessed our educational resources.
What We Do
- Provide science-based information on the life skills and habits needed to enhance well-being, build resilience against depression and anxiety, and pursue a meaningful life.
- Draw attention to the remarkable links between ancient wisdom and the new science of happiness.
- Promote the pursuit of happiness through educational programs designed around the resulting knowledge base. We have collaborated with educational authorities in the U.S., China, and Europe to integrate the teaching of life skills related to psychological wellbeing with current curricula.
How We Do It
- Identify, analyze, and review the rapidly expanding body of scientific studies on happiness and psychological well-being The resulting information includes three grades of complexity:
- Bibliographies of studies on depression and psychological well-being.
- Discussions of the most scientifically rigorous studies organized into distinct categories (key correlates of well-being, ie. “the Habits of Happy People,” such as human relationships, physical well-being, flow, strengths, positive emotions etc.
- Reviews of the key studies related to each of the Habits that are easily understood by the general public and have actionable guidelines.
- Make the resulting information freely accessible via our website. Pursuit-of-Happiness.org (PoH) uses a broad variety of media to bring historical and scientific views on happiness to life.
- Train educators (through online courses and onsite workshops) who can integrate the new science of happiness and well-being into school curricula and other institutions.