Can Happiness be bought?

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama

Action for Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier society. The vision is a way of life where people care less about what they can get for themselves and more about the happiness of others.

The movement brings together like-minded people from all walks of life, draws on the latest scientific research and is backed by leading experts from the fields of psychology, education, economics, social innovation and beyond.

Members of the movement make a simple pledge: to try to create more happiness in the world around them through the way they approach their lives. Action for Happiness provides practical ideas to enable people to take action in different areas of their lives – at home, at work or in the community. And hope that members will form local groups to take action together.

There is no religious, political or commercial affiliations and people with or without a faith are welcome to join.

This interview is with Lucy Roberts, Head of Local Action Groups at Action for Happiness.

Interview Questions

1. To start, Lucy, can you tell how us Action for Happiness started and why?

2. How did you get involved in Action for Happiness?

3. Can you explain how Action for Happiness is set up, how you’re structured and what the vision is for the future?

4. The movement is backed by scientific research, exactly how is happiness defined and measured and isn’t it subjective?

5. Are the factors needed for happiness in the west, the same as for the rest of the world?

6. If someone takes on the Action for Happiness ethos which is to cares less about what they can get for themselves and more about the happiness of others isn’t there a danger that they will end up feeling used and unappreciated?

7. What if someone believes that they need something in order to be happy for example a romantic relationship, or a better job, how can they help themselves to feel happier about that situation, which in a way is out of their control?

8. Are wealthy people happier than poorer people? What does the research say?

9. Do you think today’s unstable economic and social climate influences happiness levels? What does the research say?

10. I’d like to now talk about unhappiness, what tools can someone who is unhappy but not clinically depressed use to feel better about life?

11. Depression is known to have different triggers, has your research pin pointed what factors are likely to contribute to depression?

12. Stress is said to exacerbate depression, what can people do to combat stress in today’s busy society?

13. I’d like to now talk about marketing, Action for Happiness is active on social media, and you have a strong following, can you tell us how you achieved this?

14. You’re a relatively new charity so how do you advertise and organise your events to make sure that you have maximum attendance?

15. If someone wants to set up their own local Action for Happiness group how do they go about doing this?

16. Are there any upcoming projects that you would like to tell us about?

17. Can you give the URL of Action for Happiness so that people can find out more?


It was fantastic to speak to Lucy today about Action for Happiness. It’s such a positive movement and I am not surprised that they’ve managed to get so many involved.

The charity’s monthly meetings are attended by thousands and have inspiring speakers who delve into the science of happiness.

A thought from the interview is that you can manage your own happiness levels by taking appropriate action. For example joining a local group on a topic you are interested in to meet like-minded people, eating a healthy diet and exercising. If you feel really down it is best to seek professional help.

You can find out more about the movement on their website

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