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The Film – Happy

Does money make you happy? Kids and family? Your work? Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being? Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?

Happy is an award-winning feature-length documentary that takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy.

Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

Practices highlighted in the film include:

  • Expressing Your Gratitude
  • Doing Something Kind
  • Connecting to Your Community
  • Playing
  • Getting in the Flow
  • Trying Something New

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The Curriculum Guide – Available FREE

This curriculum guide to the film HAPPY is designed to help 6th-12th grade educators and their students get the most out of the film.

Organized around the five film chapters, it provides activity ideas for exploring happiness, as well as suggestions for focusing, discussing, and reflecting on the topics presented in the film.

In addition, the guide includes background information for educators, relevant national content standards, a glossary, and resources.

Lesson Plans

  1. The Study of Happiness
  2. What Really Makes Us Happy?
  3. Values and Happiness
  4. The Social Side of Happiness
  5. Practicing Happiness

Additional themes explored through this guide are:

  • Positive psychology
  • The nature of happiness
  • Ways to increase happiness
  • The power of community
  • The importance of helping others

Authors: This guide was written by Leslie Comnes, an education writer specializing in science and environmental education. She has authored or co-authored over 70 activity and curriculum guides, including Food, Inc. Discussion Guide, FRONTLINE Teacher Guides, and Project Learning Tree’s Forests of the World.

Consultation: Consultation and assistance with positive psychology content and activities was provided by Dr. Biswas-Diener and Mary Judd Communications. Thanks also to Betsy Ford, Brenda Walton and Lake Highland Preparatory School, and Ellen Shelton of MountainFilm Movies that Matter, for their valuable suggestions and input throughout the development of the educational materials.

Special thanks to the Center for Consciousness and Transformation at George Mason University for their generous support of the educational edition of Happy.