The mission of Action for Happiness is to promote a happier world, through a culture that prioritises happiness and kindness.
We do this by helping people get together regularly (face-to-face where possible) to learn evidence-based skills for happier living, feel a sense of belonging and commit to personal action to create more happiness, both for themselves and others.
We have no religious, political or commercial affiliations and welcome people of all faiths (or none) and all parts of society. Members of the movement make a simple pledge: to try to create more happiness in the world.
We are a registered charity and a movement of people taking action to create a happier and kinder world, together.
Action for Happiness was founded in 2010 by Lord Richard Layard, Sir Anthony Seldon, Sir Geoff Mulgan and Dr Mark Williamson. They had a simple but radical idea, that we can uplift the quality of life in our societies if we each make happiness our primary goal.
Building mass awareness of the scientific knowledge of happiness can change how we approach our personal lives, how we bring up our children, how we behave at work and how public policy is made. And it can help us act in a way that considers the happiness of future generations, as well as our own.
Our work is underpinned by the evidence-based Ten Keys to Happier Living. We provide daily actions people can take through our app and calendar, which has been used by millions of people. We coordinate online groups where members meet to talk about happiness and commit to action. Our Action for Happiness course has been run in over 250 locations and attended by thousands. A peer-reviewed Randomised Control Trial found our course provides significant benefits for happiness and wellbeing. We host regular live talks with leading thinkers on happiness, wellbeing and mental health, which have had over 250,000 attendees. We support a network of Happy Cafes, provide resources for schools and training for workplaces. The work of the movement is supported by a very small but very active team based in the UK and headquartered in London.
Areas where there is a strong grassroots community support, long term volunteers and a steering group committed to promoting happiness across local sectors and institutions may become AfH hubs.
What We Believe
Our work is evidence-based and grounded in these core beliefs:
People's overall wellbeing is the 'ultimate good' and everything else in our society should contribute to this.
Everything we value in life (such as health, fairness, freedom, the economy, the environment or anything else) matters because it contributes to the wellbeing of current and future generations, We want to build a world where happiness is at the heart of everything we do as individuals, communities, organisations and governments.
Our Actions make a difference
Happiness is something we do. We can change how we feel by taking small daily actions at home, at school, at work and in wider society.
We can’t choose our circumstances and there will always be good and bad times, but we can learn about what makes us happy and we can take actions with the aim to create more happiness for ourselves and the people around us.
It’s ok to not be ok
Happiness is not about ignoring difficult feelings. Being present with all our emotions - and feeling sad when we need to - contributes to wellbeing in the longer term.
It's helpful to look for what's good and be optimistic about life. But we also need to accept our full range of emotions and make space for difficult feelings when they arise. Trying to numb unpleasant emotions blocks pleasant ones too; accepting them helps us understand them and move on. It's helpful to talk about how we're feeling with people that we trust.
Our happiness is part of something bigger
A happier world comes from bringing happiness to others as well as ourselves.
We are all at different points on our happiness journey, from surviving to thriving.
When we're Surviving, daily life can be tough; our wellbeing is low and we lack the capacity to provide much support for others. When we're Supporting, we do a lot to help others', but we don't give enough priority to our own wellbeing.
When we're Self-caring, we find ways to feel good and take care of ourselves, but we don't necessarily make a difference for others. When we're truly Thriving, we are generally happy ourselves (despite life's ups and downs) and we are also doing meaningful things to bring happiness to others too.
That's why Action for Happiness helps people take action to boost happiness for themselves AND others.
We make the biggest difference together
Happiness is a not a solo pursuit. When we connect together it's easier to make happiness a habit, feel a sense of belonging and have a positive impact.
Happier • Kinder • Together
Help us spread more happiness.
Download the FREE Action for Happiness app for iOS or Android Gives you friendly nudges with an action idea each day Sends you inspiring messages to give you a boost Helps you connect & share ideas with like-minded people