Everyone wants to know the sense of well-being known as happiness -- feeling content, satisfied, even joyful. Sometimes people feel they need to make a major life change to feel happy, but other times they might derive happiness from just appreciating everything they have and the people close to them.
Kevin Benton had every reason to feel bitter.
There I was at a long-awaited dinner with friends Saturday night, when in the midst of our chatting, I watched my right hand sneaking away from my side to grab my phone sitting on the table to check my e-mail.
Anyone who's sought solace in pizza or a pint of ice cream knows that food can be comforting. But experts still don't know exactly why we gravitate toward fatty or sugary foods when we're feeling down, or how those foods affect our emotions.
The first thing I did after receiving what is surely one of the top two or three most terrifying medical diagnoses was pick up the telephone to call my husband to tell him to come home, and my brother to ask him to call my parents, because I couldn't bear their grief as well as my own.
She was a mother of three living in a small apartment and working four jobs. And then, as if in a fairy tale, she won her state's lottery last year. But the story doesn't have the happy ending you might expect.
Freezing temps? Check. Gray skies? Check. Crabby mood? Check again. But not for long!
There was nothing but excitement for Keila Pena-Hernandez when she first stepped onto the grounds of the University of Missouri.
Jim Dailakis still remembers how he stood below his then-girlfriend's balcony, held up a tape player and blasted a George Michael song that the two of them loved.
Go ahead: Indulge yourself. Top your cone with another scoop of ice cream. Then check out these suggestions for creating (even more) moments to savor.
David Weiss sat down on his therapist's couch on Thursday troubled by moments of emptiness that made him ask himself, "Is this it?" After talking it through with her, however, he realized that such experiences could be peaceful, and even welcome, if he viewed them with a different mind-set.
Laughter can do more than just put a smile on your face.
Poets, novelists and songwriters have described it in countless turns of phrase, but at the level of biology, love is all about chemicals.
Some people check their appearance in any mirror, window or computer screen they can find, but not out of vanity. It's because they hate the way they look so much.
Children are selling pink lemonade in Austin, Texas. A Minnesota couple is giving away money that they saved for their wedding. Chelsea Clinton hosted a spinning class in New York on Thursday with front-row "seats" going for $1,000.
As Haitians struggle to recover from the devastation of Tuesday's 7.0-magnitude earthquake, mental health experts caution that the most severe psychological effects won't take form until individuals' situations stabilize.
Do you rejoice at the sound of barking but cower at a meow? Or do you look at a cat and feel an instant sibling-style connection?
Yoga instructor Sadie Nardini and her husband got an early start on their New Year's resolution: In December, the New York couple decided to have sex every day for the entire month.
A new decade is about to start, and you may be tempted to set a copious list of resolutions for yourself in order to broadly "make life better."
Deb Lemire has always been "short and square," a figure she inherited from her grandmother and passed on to her child. So when Lemire took her daughter in for a wellness visit and the well-meaning pediatrician pulled her aside to talk about her daughter's weight, the 47-year-old burst into tears "because I was the 10-year-old being told I was overweight."
Ah, the holidays. 'Tis the season to move into the relationship danger zone. We get so stressed out about buying the right presents, staying within our holiday budget, or trying to please impossible in-laws that the tension inevitably spills over into our love lives.
Have you ever felt cut off from other people, even if there are plenty around you? Maybe you felt all alone in the world, but you were making other people feel lonely without even realizing it.
Shortly before last Mother's Day, 28-year-old Lauren Meehan-Machos broke down in front of her startled husband. "This is more than I can handle," she sobbed.
These days it can feel like the age of anxiety is winning over the pursuit of happiness. An uncertain economy and the swine flu are just the tip of our worry iceberg.
The meal you ate the first day you started working. The first exam you aced in high school. The shoes you wore to the prom.
By the time you hear your child's early-morning stirrings, you've probably already worked out for 90 minutes, meditated for 30, and enjoyed a healthy, balanced breakfast, which of course included a low-fat pomegranate smoothie. Why, there's nothing left to do besides jog happily over to your beloved offspring's room, sweep him out of bed, and shower him with all the joyous light, wonder, and oneness you're feeling with the universe.
As a large silver balloon floated its way over Colorado, millions of Americans spent hours glued to their televisions wondering if 6-year-old Falcon Heene, assumed to be inside the contraption, was alive.
Amid the highest unemployment rate in recent decades and massive job losses around the country, most workers feel happy to at least be employed. What they aren't feeling, however, is healthy.
If you didn't catch the white coat and the stethoscope, you might take Dr. Mike Miller for a middle-aged rocker, roaming the halls of the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.
Need a reason to look on the bright side? A new study suggests that optimists' glass-half-full approach to life may actually offer some health benefits. Women 50 or older who are optimistic are less likely to get heart disease and die of any cause in a given time period compared to women their age who are more pessimistic, according to a study published recently in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Can't find your keys ... again? Whether your momentary memory loss is linked to doing too many things at once or just a bad case of menopausal brain fog, you don't have to put up with it.
Do you sometimes feel as if going to a doctor's office is like going through a revolving door: in, swoosh-blur, out? You fight traffic to get there, wait a while in the waiting room, wait a while in the exam room, get seen, get dressed and get out. But once you've gone, you realize you're missing something -- maybe a small piece of helpful information. Below, some insider tips from medical specialists who tell you what your doctor doesn't have time to tell you in that all-too-brief appointment.
A third of military children surveyed who have a parent deployed in a war zone are at "high risk" for psychological problems, according to a new study by military doctors and researchers.
Your therapist's name is ELIZA, and she interacts with you through text on a computer screen. However embarrassing or difficult your problem may be, ELIZA will not hesitate to ask you a question about it, or respond graciously, "That is very interesting. Why do you say that?"
Space. Sound. Smell. Humans constantly process a slew of variables in their surroundings. According to new research, the wiring of the brain may be even more complex than we knew.
Richard Rose used to challenge his wife, Joyce, if he thought she was misstating something, but these days he lets it go.
The American Psychological Association concluded Wednesday that there is little evidence that efforts to change a person's sexual orientation from gay or lesbian to heterosexual are effective.
Divorce causes more than bitterness and broken hearts. The trauma of a split can leave long-lasting effects on mental and physical health that remarriage might not repair, according to research released this week.
You're in a room with 10 other people who seem to agree on something, but you hold the opposite view. Do you say something? Or do you just go along with the others?
Henry Joseph Madden was a good student and track team member in high school, but he had a secret: He sometimes wore his mother's pantyhose and underwear under his clothes.
Although it may have been Jon and Kate Gosselin's unusual family that landed them a reality show, it is their marital problems-- to which much of their audience can likely relate-- that have made them a household name in recent weeks.
If you're feeling great today, you may end up inadvertently spreading the joy to someone you don't even know.
Attention, single dudes: Women want you to make them laugh.
It may seem obvious that men perceive women in sexy bathing suits as objects, but now there's science to back it up.
For one person, the idea of spending a cold winter's night alone seems great -- a perfect time to catch up on novels, watch cheesy movies, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. For another, the prospect is less comforting -- feelings of depression, anger, isolation set in as the hours go by.
David Laibson knows that when he procrastinates, mere deadlines are not always enough to get him going. So, when this Harvard economics professor collaborates on a major project, he'll sometimes promise to deliver a finished product by a certain date -- or else pay his co-authors $500.
Even in tough economic times, you may find yourself with a bit of cash to spare. You've been working hard, and you want to treat yourself. Should you spend it on an experience, such as a baseball game or concert, or a material object?
People who displayed behavioral problems as teenagers were likely to develop mental or personal problems in adulthood, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.
Happiness is infectious, but don't drop your unhappy friends just yet. Elizabeth Cohen explains.
The new year represents a time to turn over a new leaf. Many Americans take advantage of January's symbolic clean slate to clean up their act, become better people, fulfill their secret dreams -- all lofty ideals. Unfortunately, most fail. Experts say the real problem is that people make the wrong resolutions. They aren't specific enough. Small and tangible, one-day-at-a-time goals work best. And understanding the "why" behind a resolution increases commitment and motivation.
After the fire, all that was left of Jonathan Reyes' massive Hot Wheels collection was a piece of metal that once was part of a toy car.
In an election where accusations and acrimony were flung back and forth for months, a wave of calm and civility washed over millions of Americans who lined up to vote Tuesday.