After more than a decade of depression, anxiety & discontent, I finally chose happy. Here's where you can read about my journey, and all the stuff I've learned along the way.

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It is not happy people who are

Here’s what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Even more than I love the stuffing and Tofurky part of Thanksgiving, I love the thanks-giving part of Thanksgiving. I love the waterfall of gratitude, the warm fuzzies of appreciation, the oxytocin-inducing bonding sesh with family and friends. I FREAKING LOVE IT. So I’m pretty stoked that this super-spectacular holiday has rolled around again. This year, my mom and I are joining one of my very best friends and her hubs in a Thanksgiving feast extraordinaire, complete with vegan mashed potatoes, cranberry orange sauce and a so-soft-you-could-sleep-on-it pumpkin cake (topped with a turkey made of frosting, ‘cuz I’m all about turkey […]

Wherever you go, no matter what the

6 practices that will help make you happier.

Last night, to introduce The Happy Wall (opening this weekend!) and kick off the holiday season, I gave a little talk about Finding Happiness. It was, well, happy! At least, it made ME happy. I hope it had the same effect on my super-awesome audience. In the talk, I went over six of the key habits that helped me get happier, and the science behind them. These are some of the most powerful ways we can change the way we feel. And trust me, this stuff WERKS. To recap for everyone who’s interested, here they are: six practices that will help make you happier: 1. Exercise, […]

endless-consumerism

The one question to ask yourself before you buy anything this holiday season.

This is Thanksgiving week (yay!), which means Black Friday is looming — a dark, menacing cloud on the horizon. Arguably, it’s the day that brings out the worst in humanity, with people pushing and shoving and trampling each other to score $20 off a waffle maker. And as the rampant consumerism of the holiday season becomes more obvious every day, it’s important to temper that impulse to BUY BUY BUY with some cool-headed rationality. Even though TV and magazines and ads galore lead us to believe we need $10,000 worth of crap to have a merry Christmas, they lie. We don’t. The holidays […]

-I'm thankful for every moment.-Al Green

How to feel more thankful on Thanksgiving with 4 practices.

Despite Thanksgiving’s cheery, optimistic moniker (which suggests it oughta revolve around thanks and giving), the holiday of food and family often turns into a panic attack waiting to happen. Whether it’s the massive job of cooking dinner for 25 people, or the loneliness that stems from having nowhere to spend the holiday, there are a whole host of factors that can leave you feeling less than thankful. And sometimes, close proximity to family members can create more crippling anxiety than warm, fuzzy memories. To address this all-too-common problem, I want to suggest some practices for Thanksgiving Day; practices designed to foster gratitude amongst everyone around the table (even […]

“If you had a person in your life

Self-loathing is the worst. Here’s how to beat it.

If there’s one habit that’s completely counterproductive and totally self-defeating, it’s hating ourselves. We weren’t put on this gorgeous green globe to be mean and nasty to the most important person in our lives — US. To live a happy, healthy existence, we MUST learn to be kind, gentle and compassionate, just as we would be to anyone else we love. That being said, it’s super-easy in our society to fall into the NOT GOOD ENOUGH trap. Consumerism basically survives because people believe they need to buy stuff to be better. But we can break these bad habits. We can […]

hate-facebook

Everything that’s wrong with Facebook, according to science.

Facebook kinda sucks. Don’t get me wrong — it’s awesome for keeping in touch with long-lost friends and family members. Annnnnd that’s about the extent of its positive qualities (IMO). Like me, lots of you probably have a love-hate relationship with the social media megalodon. It makes you feel like crap, it wastes your time, it keeps you sitting at your computer when you should be out getting fresh air and vitamin D, and yet, you just CAN’T QUIT IT. I know, I know. But the Greater Good Science Center (who I just adore) offers a list of scientific findings that might […]

happy-wall-blog

The Happy Wall wants to know what makes you happy.

We all know we should “follow our passion”, “pursue our dreams”, “do what we love”. These are familiar platitudes. But what if we’re not sure what our passions, dreams or loves are? That was me, once upon a time. I wanted to love something, to give my all to a cause, to feel like I had a calling! Now, I do. That cause is happiness. More specifically, helping people find happiness. I try to do that through this blog, through my other writings, through the way I live my life. But recently, I decided I wanted to do MORE. It’s great to […]

This is my simple religion. There is no

Happy world kindness day. Here are 6 easy ways to celebrate.

Today is World Kindness Day! As a girl who’s obsessed with the holidays AND the power of kindness, this morning marks a mashup between two of my fave things. And while every day should technically be World Kindness Day (we can never have enough of that positive juju going around), it’s nice to mark a special occasion with some extra acts of good karma. Taking the time to perform a few kind deeds today can have a ripple effect in the world at large — AND in your own life. Studies show that people who perform five random acts of kindness […]

-The pain caused by self-judgment, I

The three components of self-compassion, and how to live them.

Self-compassion sounds great, but how, exactly, are you supposed to practice such a warm, fuzzy concept? For those of us who’ve spent decades (or a lifetime) beating ourselves into shame and submission, it’s easier said than done to make nice with our inner demons. Researcher Kristin Neff (who I seriously want to be BFFs with) is an expert in the science of self-compassion. She’s spearheaded all kinds of research that suggests it has incredible power when it comes to helping humans be healthier, happier and more motivated. “The pain caused by self-judgment, I think in some ways that’s some of the worst pain all of us […]

Gratitude is the healthiest of all human

How gratitude can help you sleep better.

Sleep is important. So much more important than we give it credit for. I’ve written about its importance before — how it’s crucial for mental health and well being; how it’s not a “luxury”, but an absolute necessity. And if you want to get a good night’s sleep, in addition to a healthy lineup of rituals and preparations, there’s another, more unexpected way to get your zzzzzs on: gratitude. Research shows that gratitude can help you sleep better. In one major study, participants practicing gratitude reported getting more hours of sleep each night, spending less time awake before falling asleep and feeling more […]