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 about happiness along the way.

Newsletter

life-and-happiness

Happiness in the news: UK government launching wellbeing center

I’m an Anglophile. I admit it — nothing gives me the warm fuzzies like a British accent and a double-decker bus. I took my first trip to London last September and I’ve done nothing but dream about Borough Market ever since. In a move that makes me even more proud of my English (at least partial) ancestry, the UK has announced the creation of an organization called the What Works Centre for Wellbeing. Basically, it’s a new group that will measure the impact of governmental policy changes on people’s happiness. How awesome is that? “Two years ago the Office for National Statistics began […]

violent-movies-bad-for-us

Are violent movies bad for us? I vote yes and here’s why.

I love Halloween. Frankly, I’m a sucker for all holidays. I morph into an elf, obsessed with trees and twinkly lights at Christmas; an egg-hiding bunny on Easter; a jolly, green-garbed leprechaun on St. Patty’s Day. I’m all about themes and costumes and seasonal spirit. And since Halloween is right around the corner, I’m totally immersed in all things ghastly and ghoulish. I’ve watched Hocus Pocus twice, stocked up on vegan candy and my Labyrinth-inspired costume is *almost*  complete. But despite my affinity for pumpkins and gravestones, I’m not into gore, violence or hackathons. And I actually think that stuff is pretty dangerous. I’m not out to rain on […]

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Isolation is a self-defeating dream.

How isolation leads to unhappiness.

I believe in solitude. As an only child, I’ve spent much of my life alone. And as an introvert, I like it that way. To an extent. Here’s the thing. Solitude can easily turn into isolation and loneliness. Those of us who feel the pull of peace and reclusivity need to be very, very careful. For lots of years, I used seclusion as an excuse. I crawled under the proverbial covers and wished and wished for a better life, but it didn’t come. I believe in wishing, but it’s not particularly effective if you’re not willing to take the tiniest of steps towards what you’re wishing […]

deepak-chopra

Deepak Chopra’s 7 pillars for an awesome life.

So yesterday I popped into Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend, which brought all things O to downtown Miami. Thousands of ladies (mostly) who worship at the altar of O turned out for sage spiritual advice (and #oprahselfies). I love Oprah, of course, but I’m even more enamored with Deepak Chopra, whose hypnotic voice and zen presence always feel like lifelines in this loud and overwhelming world. He’s absolutely been an influence on my road to happiness. Before leading us through a meditation yesterday morning (I’m a HUGE fan of the 21-day meditation series he and Oprah do, so hearing one live […]

aging-is-all-in-our-heads

Aging is all in our heads.

In American culture, getting older is about as desirable as being burned alive like a Salem “witch”. Nobody wants to do it, yet we assume it’s inevitable. But what if decline and decrepitude AREN’T inevitable, and are instead a product of our cultural beliefs about the aging process? In 1981, Ellen Langer, a brilliant Harvard psychologist, led an experiment that should have changed the way everyone looks at aging. This experiment was so absolutely mind-blowing, it should have revolutionized our culture’s approach to the latter years. Sadly, it didn’t — largely because no one really knows about it. The experiment was this: […]

Summon all your courage, and choose to

15 quotes to inspire optimism.

It’s not always easy to maintain a positive attitude. Excluding Annie and Pollyanna, most of us are pretty familiar with doubt and despair. Let’s face it, when it feels like the world is crushing us under its heel, it’s tempting to brood and wallow. But optimism is always an option, and maintaining it through even the worst of times is a sign of remarkable courage. So be courageous! Choose the rosy-hued outlook, the silver lining — look for the light in the darkness. Here are some words to inspire you: 15. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss 14. “Even the […]

“True beauty lies not upon gilded

How someone looks is the least important thing about them (Renee Zellweger, I’m thinking of you).

The internet nearly broke itself today, driven to madness by the smiling face of Renee Zellweger. One faction was outraged by her changed appearance, the other was outraged that the first group was outraged at her changed appearance. There was lots of hand-wringing and sarcasm and bitterness from both sides. All in all, it was a lot of fuss over something utterly unimportant. Not unimportant because Renee Zellweger is unimportant (all people are important) — but unimportant because her face is the least important thing about her. In a society as obsessed with appearance as ours is, it can be tough to see […]

hannah-drink

It’s been a year since I quit drinking. Here’s what I’ve learned.

It dawned on me this week that it’s been 12 months since I had a full glass of anything alcoholic. For 365 days, I’ve been high on life. (Life is the best drug ever, BTW.) The exact date of my last drink was October 20, 2013 — one year ago yesterday. I was at an NFL game (second only to a frat house in terms of quantity of Coors Light consumed). By then I’d already been cutting back on the booze for awhile, and after an embarrassing evening out in Texas a couple weeks prior, I wasn’t feeling much love for alcohol. Watching the […]

getting-outside

Survey says: getting outside is a ‘wonder drug’

I’m basically obsessed with being outside. If I have an addiction these days, it’s to sunshine and fresh air. Frankly, I attribute a lot of my recovery from depression and anxiety to vitamin D, exercise and QT spent with Mother Nature — and I tell that to anyone who’ll listen. We live on an indescribably amazing planet, full of wonder and adventure and awe-inspiring beauty. There’s magic in the tiniest of details — in ants marching, dewdrops on grass, a chirping bird. All of these are miracles. Yet, we’re a sedentary society obsessed with television and air conditioning and smartphones. Something’s wrong […]

bunnie-cakes-cake

Snapshots from seed food and wine festival

Cynics, fond of bemoaning the state of humanity and utter apathy of the population, would have you believe most people are like the infamous honey badger: they just don’t give a f***. But that’s nonsense. People DO give a f***, and I saw it firsthand this weekend. Seed Food and Wine Festival, a plant-based extravaganza of mouthwatering eats, blew into Miami with a beachside brunch, star-studded dinners, an open-air festival and lots of other culinary affairs. Keep in mind, Miami is a city known for its pornographic obsession with all things pork, so hosting a vegan festival was no small development. From Alicia Silverstone […]