What is Happiness to you? And are you Happy with life?

For an absolute fact, few questions can be as cheesy as the ones above. Right? I think so too. But for some strange reason, I have become deeply interested in the concept of “happiness”.

Why? Because I believe if people considered it more often, we could make much better decisions in life: Where to work, products to buy, activities to do, marriage, city to live in and much more.

In my search to further understand the concept, I cam across a very interesting book: Happiness by Design, by Paul Dolan. And Who is He? Paul Dolan is a Professor of Behavioral Sciences at London School of Economics, with extensive work in the fields of Subjective Wellbeing and Health Valuation.

Cover of the book Happiness by DesignThe book is an extremely easy, insightful  and enjoyable read. It presents an extensive compilation of behavioral studies focused on understanding human decision-making and reflection on choice making through the perspective of HAPPINESS.

The has received extremely positive reviews and quickly became a high selling publication.

But what exactly means to be HAPPY? What truly is HAPPINESS?

I have compiled a few videos below from the author himself discussing his book and the concept of happiness to clarify it to you.

Here We Go!

1. Paul Dolan – The Secret to Happiness?

Description: Can you make yourself happy by ignoring tired narratives and changing your behaviour? Paul Dolan thinks so. Dolan is professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics and author of ‘Happiness by Design’, a book that argues the true secret to happiness lies in our behavior. He is also a member of the Office of National Statistics well-being team, as well as acting as an advisor for the charity NICE.

2. Paul Dolan – Happiness by Design

Description: Prof Paul Dolan combines happiness research and behavioral science to show how happiness is less about how we think and more about how we act. This talk was filmed at an Action for Happiness event in London on 15 Dec 2014.

3. Paul Dolan – Attending to Happiness

Description: Digital Shoreditch 2013 celebrating outstanding creativity.

4. Paul Dolan – ‘Purpose in Work’

Description: This year, our annual behavioral science festival came from Folkestone, Kent in the UK.

5. Paul Dolan – Hay Festival 2014

Description: Professor Paul Dolan speaking about his forthcoming book ‘Happiness by Design’ at the Telegraph stage at Hay Festival 2014.

6. Paul Dolan – What Makes People Happy?

Description: Prof. Paul Dolan says that happiness lies in doing meaningful things and paying attention to the things we do in life.

Final Thoughts

One of the reasons for addressing the concept of Happiness is because it will also be a stream of research here at MusicStats.org.

For me, Music and Happiness are intrinsically related concepts. And from a behavioral perspective, I believe that we can both understand and positively influence peoples’ choices once we trigger a reflection on what Happiness is and how it can be enhanced by decision-making.

Have an awesome day!


Ph.D in Marketing (University of Otago, New Zealand). Currently a Professor of Marketing at IUBH University of Applied Sciences (Germany). Passionate about everything that involves Music, Marketing, Science, Technology, Research, Traveling, Coffee, Beer, Football and Formula 1.