Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

For the past year, I feel like I’ve been living in months of Mondays. I can never get to the bottom of my to-do list, no matter how hard I try, and the workday seeps into my evenings. Working from home has blurred the boundaries between my personal and work life. It’s led to me procrastinating throughout the day and working during what is supposed to be my downtime.

I’ve been working on course-correcting and thankfully have found a better equilibrium between my work and leisure time — but now it feels like my weekends zip by and, much like…


On accepting our (non)social selves & making friends as an adult.

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When I was seven years old, I had a pretty standard friendship experience. My best friend decided she wanted a new best friend and became friends with another girl. I suspect many young people go through a similar experience, with most making up quicker than it takes to drink a kiddie size carton of juice.

The difference with my experience was that we didn’t make up at all. I’d spent half-term making us matching friendship bracelets, and when I asked for it back, she refused. …


A complete beginner’s introduction to the psychology of happiness and uncovering your purpose.

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This forms the final instalment of a short ebook on positive psychology theory for happiness. Read the first instalments here before continuing.

What is a Growth Mindset?

“If we only did things that were easy, we wouldn’t actually be learning anything. We’d just be practicing things that we already knew.” — David Dockterman

Psychologists know that our internal belief systems about our abilities have the potential to fuel how we behave and respond to challenges and predict our success when overcoming challenges.

Most of the current research and understanding of this stems from the work of Dr. Carol Dweck, who first began researching the power…


A complete beginner’s introduction to the psychology of happiness and uncovering your purpose.

Photo by Christoffer Engström on Unsplash

This forms the fourth instalment of a short ebook on positive psychology theory for happiness. Read the first instalments here before continuing.

Positive Psychology + Relationship Happiness

“On the relationship side, if you teach people to respond actively and constructively when someone they care about has a victory, it increases love and friendship and decreases the probability of depression.” — Martin Seligman

Relationships play a pivotal role in our overall feelings of personal happiness. …


Finding our ‘passion’ at work isn’t straightforward, but job crafting can definitely help.

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Despite what some narratives across the media might lead us to think, we aren’t born with a burning sense of purpose. We have to discover and find meaning and purpose in life on our own terms. We do this by experimenting and trying new ways of doing things to find what works best for us.

Carol Ryff and colleagues at Wisconsin-Madison University have been working on a model of happiness and wellbeing that draws its framework from the ancient Greek notion of ‘flourishing’. The concept of flourishing…


A complete beginner’s introduction to the psychology of happiness and uncovering your purpose.

Photo by Anastasia Taioglou on Unsplash

This forms the third instalment of a short ebook on positive psychology theory for happiness. Read the first and second instalment here before continuing.

A Look at the PERMA Model for Happiness

The PERMA Model was devised by the founder of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman. It’s interesting to explore its simplicity in breaking down what happiness can mean for each of us as individuals.

The model is comprised of five elements Seligman believes can help us cultivate greater well-being. Understanding how each of these elements applies to the self is key to increasing our overall happiness feelings.

PERMA is the acronym for these elements. …


A complete beginner’s introduction to the psychology of happiness and uncovering your purpose.

Photo by Luke Bender on Unsplash

This forms the second instalment of a short ebook on positive psychology theory for happiness. Read the first instalment here before continuing.

Understanding Happiness

Happiness [ha-pee-nuhs]: the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile (Lyubomirsky, 2007).

“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and the end of human existence.” — Aristotle

Happiness can be complicated to define as it is so subjective: we all experience our own version of happiness, and what creates feelings of happiness changes from person to person and over time.

Within Positive…


It’s far more nuanced than many of us realise.

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“Asking yourself these questions will actually change your life!”

“X things that will change your life for the better!”

“The micro-habits that will powerfully change your life!”

Feeling lost in a sea of listicles? I know I am. I typed ‘change your life’ into Google and got pages and pages of lists, articles and clickbait telling me a wide variety of commonplace things that would change my life. One title even read ‘77 micro-habits that will change your life’.

Seventy-seven?! Who’s got the time to even read through that list?

I’m 100% for cultivating positive changes around who I am…


A complete beginner’s introduction to the psychology of happiness and uncovering your purpose.

Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

This forms the introduction & chapter one of a short ebook on positive psychology theory for happiness.

How happy are you with your life right now?

Ask most people this question, and their answers will vary considerably. It’s an interesting question to sit with and a difficult one to answer for many of us. If we take the question one step further and ask, ‘Would you like to be happier?’ you’ll likely hear a resounding ‘Yes!’ in the room.

Feeling happy is a wonderful experience. When we feel happy, our productivity improves, as do our feelings of self-worth and our ability to overcome emotional challenges. Happiness has a far-reaching…


We all have to have them, but we’re usually pretty bad at it!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

“Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.”
— Margaret Wheatley

Knowing we need to have a hard conversation with someone and having it are two very different things.

Whether it’s handing in your notice at a job you’ve loved but decided to move on from, a break-up of the romantic or friendship kind, or letting the waiter know they got your order all kinds of wrong (I hope I’m not alone on that last one) — no one enjoys a hard conversation.

Ending a six-year relationship was probably one of the hardest conversations I’ve ever had to have…

Elaine M.

Writer etc | Psychologist-in-Training | Careers Coach Veteran | Covering: Careers with Purpose, Positive Psychology + Creative Living without the BS

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