Teaching Happiness

Discover the good life through resilience, creativity, and community.

Project Happiness Doors

Get Happy From the Inside Out

7 Doors to Happiness Project guides your students to explore what makes them–and others–happy.


Kindergartners Get Little Time to Play. Here’s Why That’s a Problem
by Christopher Brown
Kids deprived of recess don’t have time to recharge, learn social skills, or solve their own problems.
Happy Couples Focus on Each Other’s Strengths
by Kira M. Newman
According to a new study, your ability to appreciate your partner’s strengths is linked to their well-being—and yours.
Black Teen Suicide Rate Has Doubled. Here Are 5 Ways to Help
by Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez
“It’s so important for people of color to educate themselves on the prevalence of mental illness. We are not exempt. We are human.”
Pay Attention! How Being Less Distracted Will Make You Happy
by Richard J. Davidson
Researchers say we’re distracted 47 percent of our lives. Increasing our focus could help us—and the people around us—feel happier.
After Trauma: A Graphic Journey Through Wild Healing
by Leela Corman
In this collection of watercolor illustrations, a comics artist illustrates her journey through grief after the sudden death of her first child.
Visual Learning: What Was Saved
by Martha Laura Garcia
This Visual Learning lesson will get your students thinking about preparing for natural disasters and how they can reach out to those in need of relief aid.
Pause, Breathe, Draw: Art and Consciousness in the Classroom
by Elizabeth Traina
As a young girl, Elizabeth Traina had a teacher tell her that she wasn’t an artist. Now she helps empower teachers and students through the belief that we are all artists. This is Elizabeth’s story.
Spring 2013: "Genetically Modified Food" Literary Gem Author Constantin Metzger
by Constantin Metzger
Constantin Metzger is a student of Veronika Fröhlich at Pädagogische Hochschule University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "A Month Without Monsanto," by April Dávila. Read Constantin's essay about feeling dependent on large corporations, and his efforts to ensure that his decisions remain his own.
Winter 2013: "Seeing the Unseen" Middle School Winner Sumaiyah Mustaphalli
by Sumaiyah Mustaphalli
Sumaiyah Mustaphalli is a sixth-grade student of Blakeney Miller at Orlando Science Middle School in Orlando, Florida. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other?" by Akaya Windwood. Read Sumaiyah's essay about how the smile of the young grocery bagger gave her hope for her soon-to-be-born sibling.
Winter 2013: "Seeing the Unseen" High School Winner Nizhone Hickman
by Nizhone Hickman
Nizhone Hickman is a student of Lisa Watson at Sonoran Science Academy in Tucson, Arizona. He read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other," by Akaya Windwood. Read Nizhone's essay about his challenge of opening up to strangers and his commitment to keep trying.
Winter 2013: "Seeing the Unseen" College Winner Adam Dales
by Adam Dales
Adam Dales is a United States Army Veteran and student at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. He read and responded to YES! Magazine article "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other," by Akaya Windwood. Read Adam's essay about how he was humbled by the kindness of someone he would normally ignore in a depressing area of town.
Winter 2013: "Seeing the Unseen" Powerful Voice Winner Reyna Flores
by Reyna Flores
Reyna Flores is a student of Stephanie Agnew at West Valley City School in Spokane, Washington. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other," by Akaya Windwood. Read Reyna's poem about a misunderstood young girl and a lonely old woman who find each other.
Winter 2013: Akaya Windwood Response to "Seeing the Unseen" Essay Winners
by Akaya Windwood
Akaya Windwood, president of the Rockwood Leadership Institute and author of "What Can Change When We Learn to See Each Other," responds to essay winners of the Winter 2013 writing competition
Animal Odd Couples
Are animals capable of feeling emotions? PBS Nature shares evidence that humans are not the only ones on the planet who cares, loves, and empathizes. Meet five animal odd couples.
Fall 2012: "Your Dream House" Middle School Winner Rowan Treece
by Rowan Treece
Rowan Treece is a student at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House" by Carol Estes. Read Rowan's essay about the sustainable dance community home she would build so she could live with her ballet sisters every day and save the planet.