Join our Certificate In Leading Psychosocial Safety & Care. Click Here
Do Happiness Interventions Really Work?

Can You Be Happier?

Podcast with Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky

DELIVERED BY The Wellbeing Lab

Today’s Guest:

Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor of Psychology at the University of California – Riverside. Her research on the science of happiness has been the recipient of many honors.  She is a best-selling author of the books The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want and The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, but Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, but Does.

Is it possible to be happier?  Sonja’s scientific studies have found that there are many positive interventions that you can do to increase your happiness. However, not all positive interventions necessarily work for all people all the time. So just like finding the right diet strategy it’s important to find activities that feel natural, enjoyable and are the right fit for you. 

Connect with Sonja Lyubomirsky:


You’ll Learn:

  • [01:57] – Sonja will be presenting at the upcoming IPPA World Congress on Positive PsychologyPPA World Congress on Positive Psychology on the strategies you can use to increase your happiness.
  • [03:06] – Sonja defines happiness as having a sense that your life is good and frequently experiencing more positive emotions than negative emotions.
  • [04:07] – Sonja’s has found that you can use positive interventions to be happier in the present moment, and these effects can last for weeks or months.   She explains that short-term happiness is easier to achieve than long-term happiness.
  • [05:10] –Being happier in the workplace can make you more successful, creative and better liked by colleagues.  Though there are drawbacks from always being “too happy” in the workplace.
  • [06:46] – Sonja shares a few interventions that people can use in the workplace to become happier at work.
  • [08:38]- Sonja shares some of her findings on why positive activity interventions, such as gratitude work, and what things you need to consider to help them work well.
  • [10:37] – Sonja explains that all interventions are not going to work the same for everyone, and it’s important to find activities that are the right fit for you.
  • [13:04] – Sonja shares some of the myths of happiness.
  • [15:32] – Sonja talks about how your social relationships can be critical for happiness.
  • [16:50] –Forcing happiness interventions on others can backfire.
  • [19:11] – Sonja explains how there are some circumstances where being happy may not serve you well.
  • [20:00] – The Lightning Round with Sonja Lyubomirsky

Your Resources:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me again this week.  If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of this post.  

Also, please leave an honest review for the Making Positive Psychology Work Podcast on iTunes. Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated. They do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes to get automatic updates. It’s free!

Special thanks to Sonja for joining me this week and to the International Positive Psychology Association’s 5th World Congress on Positive Psychology for making this interview possible. Until next time, take care!

Quick tip:You can save this post to your favorites, so you can access it quickly and easily later! Just click the “Add to Favorites” button to save it forever. You can then find it later in My Toolbox -> My Favorites.

Free Leadership Toolkit

Supercharge safety, wellbeing, and performance for your team.

Download now

Free Leaders Survey Tool

Take our free five minute survey to minimize psychosocial risks and build on psychological safety

Learn More

Wellbeing Survey For Youth

Our free PERMAH Wellbeing Survey Tool For Youth is now available.

Learn More

Wellbeing Survey For Kids

Our FREE PERMAH Survey tool for Kids under 12 is now available.

Learn More


Listen to the world’s leading positive psychology researchers and practitioners as they share their insights on our top-rated podcast.

Listen Now


Do you want to help boost people’s wellbeing, resilience & performance? Then join us for the next round of Certificate In Creating Wellbeing.

Learn More