Photo: Dana Patrick
Travels from: Santa Monica, California
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., is one of the leading happiness researchers in the world and the author of The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy But Doesn't, What Shouldn't Make You Happy But Does and The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want (published in 16 countries and 23 countries, respectively). Her research has been honored with multiple grants, including a Science of Generosity grant, a Character Lab grant, and two John Templeton Foundation Grant. Lyubomirsky is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside where she currently teaches courses in social psychology and positive psychology. In 2002, she received a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, and in 2003, she was awarded a million-dollar grant (with Ken Sheldon) from the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research on the possibility of permanently increasing happiness. Her research has been written up in hundreds of magazines and newspapers and she has appeared in multiple TV shows, radio shows, and feature documentaries in North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.
In her work, Lyubomirsky has focused on developing a science of human happiness. To this end, her research addresses three critical questions:
She is currently exploring the potential of happiness-sustaining activities — for example, expressing gratitude, doing acts of kindness, reflecting on happy moments, and avoiding obsessively dwelling about oneself — to durably increase a person's happiness level beyond his or her "set point." She has been conducting research on happiness since 1989 and has published widely in the area.
An iPhone app has been developed, based on Lyubomirsky's work. Live Happy is a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind mobile happiness-boosting program that allows users to practice happiness strategies using their phones. Lyubomirsky and her team are currently developing Live Happy 2.0.
Originally from Russia, Lyubomirsky received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. She has lectured widely to a variety of audiences throughout the world, including business executives, educators, physicians, mental health professionals, life coaches, entrepreneurs, military officers, retirees, students, and scholars. Her teaching and mentoring of students have been recognized with the Faculty of the Year (twice) and Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards.
Lyubomirsky lives happily in beautiful Santa Monica, California with her husband, Peter Del Greco, and their four children, Gabriella, Alexander, Isabella, and Olivia.