Resources & References

Online course:
Psychology of Happiness

General Resources

  • Buettne, D. (2017). The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons From the World’s Happiest People; also see National Geographic November 2017 cover story article on World Happiness. New York: National Geographic Society.
  • Buettner, Dan. (2008). The blue zones: Lessons for living longer from the people who’ve lived the longest. Buettner traveled to countries with the highest longevity rates and interviewed seniors there and longevity experts.
  • Cederstrom, Carl, & Spicer, Andre. (2015). The wellness syndrome. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity.
  • Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper & Row. The book focuses on what flow states are and how they relate to happiness.
  • Davies, William. (2015). The happiness industry: How the government and big business sold us well-being. Brooklyn, NY: Verso.
  • Friedman, Howard, & Martin, Leslie. (2011). The Longevity Project. New York: Penguin. Building on the Terman study started in 1921, Friedman and Martin report on this premier longitudinal study and identifies factors that support happiness.
  • Gallup Healthways®. (2008-present). Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index®. The website presents data on their daily administration of 56 item questionnaire about Americans “health and well-being.” The data are since 2008. The site includes a description of their methodology. The data have lots of applications to behavioral science research, political science, and government planning.
  • Gilbert, Dan. (2007). Stumbling on happiness. New York: Vintage.
  • Hanson, Rick. (2013). Hardwiring happiness: The new brain science of contentment, calm, and confidence. New York: Harmony.
  • Helliwell, John., Layard, Richard, & Sachs, Jeffrey. (2015). World Happiness Report 2016 Volume 1. Copenhagen, Denmark: Happiness Research Institute.
  • Kushner, Harold. (1981). When bad things happen to good people. New York: Avon Books. Rabbi Kushner addresses an issue that is often a stumbling block to happiness—making sense of why bad things happen to good people and how to respond.
  • Lombardo, Elizabeth. (2009). A happy you: Your ultimate prescription for happiness. New York: Morgan James Publishing.
  • Lyubomirksi, Sonja. (2008). The how of happiness. New York: Penguin Books.
  • Lyubomirksi, Sonja. (2014). The myths of happiness. New York: Penguin Books.
  • McMahon, Darrin. (2005). Happiness: A history. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.
  • Oettingen, Gabriele. (2014). Rethinking positive thinking. New York: Penguin.
  • Peterson, Christopher, & Seligman, Martin. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook of classification. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association and Oxford University Press. This is positive psychology’s system for enumerating and measuring character strengths and virtues.
  • Post, Stephen. (2011). The hidden gifts of helping: How the power of giving, compassion, and hope can get us through hard times. New York: Jossey-Bass. This is a more spiritual and personal book than Why good things happen to good people.
  • Post, Stephen, & Neimark, Jill. (2007). Why good things happen to good people. New York: Broadway Books.
  • Seligman, Martin. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press. Seligman discusses positive psychology, happiness, cognitive behavioral strategies for being happier, and introduces character strengths (which is development more fully in his book, Character strengths and virtues: A handbook of classification).
  • Seligman, Martin. (2012). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well being. New York: Atria Books. Seligman expands his criteria for happiness and calls it well-being.
  • Spicer, Andre, & Cederstrom, Carl. (2015, July 21). The research we’ve ignored about happiness at work, Harvard Business Review
  • Vaillant, George. (2012). Triumphs of experience: The men of the Harvard Grant Study. Boston: Belknap Press. This is the latest longitudinal study report on men who have been followed since their freshmen year at Harvard into their nineties and identifies factors that support happiness.
  • Weiner, Erich. (2009). The geography of bliss: One grump’s search for the happiest places in the world. New York: Twelve Books.
  • Weissenstein, Michael. (2012, December 19). Happiest people on planet live in Latin America. Gallup poll suggests, Huffington Post Healthy Living. Unlike most happiness polls that put considerable weight on income and socioeconomic factors, in this study Gallup emphasized questions such as feeling well-rested, treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day. Most of their happiest countries were in Latin America.

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