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Back-to-School Happiness Advice (Video)

August 14, 2017

We have four teenagers headed to high school — two of them 9th graders at new schools this week. Remember how nerve-wracking it can be… Read more

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Why My Husband Infuriates Me

July 31, 2017

The other night, I did something that I am not proud of. We have four teenagers, so dinnertime is never dull, but this particular evening… Read more

Welcome, Susie! (And our new website!)

July 18, 2017

Friends! I want you to meet Susie! She and I have been friends since 1995, when we were both hired out of college to mentor teenagers… Read more

5 Ways to “Be You”

June 26, 2017

Authenticity is popular these days. Celebrity media campaigns encourage marginalized youth to be themselves. Even my kids’ summer camp has “Be You” listed as a… Read more

A Family Guide for Surviving the Summer

June 19, 2017

While not all of summer is destined to feel like a day at the beach, setting routines and expectations for the season can make it… Read more

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How — and Why — to Go on a REAL Vacation

June 12, 2017

Nearly 40 percent of US employees feel like they have too much work to take a vacation. But research suggests you’ll be happier, healthier, and… Read more

A Day Lived in the Sweet Spot (Infographic) - Christine Carter

Eight Ways to Achieve More While Working Less

June 5, 2017

I spend about five hours a day slacking off. Really: I spend that much time doing stuff I enjoy, that isn’t on a task list anywhere.… Read more

A Day Lived in the Sweet Spot (Infographic) - Christine Carter

A Day Lived in the Sweet Spot (Infographic)

June 5, 2017

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What Makes Teens ‘Most Likely to Succeed?’

May 31, 2017

As a sociologist who’s done much research on elite performance and productivity, I’ve given a lot of thought to the skills that lead to success… Read more

Directions for Handling a Toxic Relationship

May 22, 2017

Last week, I had lunch with a friend. As we were walking out, she mentioned that she had to see someone who hadn’t always been… Read more

The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less

How Can I Ever Thank You?

May 15, 2017

Guess what?  My book, The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More By Doing Less, is going to be available in paperback SO SOON on Amazon, Barnes… Read more

Feeling Entitled to a Little Gratitude This Mother’s Day?

May 13, 2017

Here’s an icky confession: Since becoming a mother, I have dreaded Mother’s Day. The whole holiday has, somehow, left me feeling unappreciated. I’ve tended to… Read more

How to Help Your Teen Deal With Stress

May 8, 2017

“Are your kids totally happy and squared away?” a reporter recently asked me earnestly during an interview. Gah. I really hate that question. My kids… Read more

Greater Happiness in 5 Minutes a Day

April 24, 2017

Want a quick hit of happiness? Research demonstrates the incredible power of loving-kindness meditation; in fact, this simple practice might be more effective than Prozac. Also… Read more

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Why We Aren’t as Good at Saving the Earth as We Want to Be

April 22, 2017

A little while ago at a birthday soiree, I got to sit across from one of UC Berkeley’s cutting-edge ocean researchers. I asked him to explain… Read more

Confessions of a Bad Meditator

April 17, 2017

When I was in high school, my advisor, Michael Mulligan, called my parents to recommend a special treatment for my anxiety: Transcendental Meditation (“TM”). I was… Read more

10 Conversation Starters for Talking to Teens About Sex

April 3, 2017

Personally, I would love it if we could just have one “sex talk” with our kids and be done with it. Or, it would be… Read more

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Happiness Tip: Let Yourself Feel What You Feel

March 27, 2017

We are living in an age of anxiety, and when we feel stressed out (or sad, or disappointed, for that matter) our world offers us… Read more

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Spend Some Time Alone

March 13, 2017

Usually, you’ll hear me tellin’ ya to spend more time with friends. This is because the best predictor of a person’s happiness is the breadth… Read more

The New Sex Talk: 3 Tips to Get You Started

March 4, 2017

The summer before I started high school, unbeknownst to me, my mother tasked my father with giving me the “sex talk” on a six-hour road… Read more

Happiness Tip: Lower Your Expectations

February 27, 2017

My father — the most disciplined person I’ve ever known — always quips that his “only goal is to climb a low mountain.” As an… Read more

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

February 20, 2017

Lucky us: We live in a world where many of us have an abundance of choices–where to live, what to do for a living, and,… Read more

Three Risky Ways to Fall Deeply in Love

February 13, 2017

Love feels magical and biological—something that just happens to us, something beyond our control. Research shows, however, that love is better thought of as behavioral—or… Read more

Tuesday Tip: Let Someone See Who You Really Are

February 6, 2017

These days, you can have both an actual life AND a life you present to others that’s been optimized for your audience. There can be what… Read more

5 Ways to Cope with a ‘Difficult’ Person

January 30, 2017

My paternal grandmother died young, at age 49; and within a year of her death, my grandfather had remarried the woman who would become my… Read more

Tuesday Tip: The Best Habit To Start Now

January 24, 2017

You already know, of course, that getting into a regular exercise routine is probably the best thing you can do for yourself — whether you… Read more

FREE Live Webinar: Awakening Joy in Kids

January 3, 2017

Mark your calendars! I’m hosting a free, 45-minute online webinar on January 10, 2017 with James Baraz and Michele Lilyanna. We’ll be talking about their new… Read more

3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Make a New Year’s Resolution

January 2, 2017

Like most self-help authors and coaches, I love New Year’s Resolutions. Weeks ago I started asking my kids what theirs were going to be. I… Read more

Happiness Tip: Take Time to Rest

December 26, 2016

This may be “the happiest time of year” for some, but if it isn’t for you, I think it’s at least in part because we… Read more

20 Questions to Ask This Holiday Season

December 19, 2016

My four teens keep asking me what we are going to talk about at our big Christmas dinner this year. All of them followed this year’s… Read more

The Simplest Way to Feel More Joyful (Right Now)

December 13, 2016

“Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what has already been given.” — Sufi Saying Everywhere I go, people ask me this one question:… Read more

Stress-Relieving Tips for the Holidays

December 7, 2016

I joined Candace Rose for an interview to discuss how we can avoid disappointment this season and stop being so hard on ourselves, the secret… Read more

How to Enjoy the Holidays

December 5, 2016

My teens are obsessed with Christmas carols this year (and every year). “It’s the holidays!” they exclaim when I suggest that perhaps we could listen to… Read more

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How to Buy Happiness

November 29, 2016

Even though we say we can’t buy happiness, we often behave as though we can. Why else would we spend so much time shopping? What… Read more

Why Start Exercising, Now, Over the Holidays?

November 21, 2016

If you are anything like me, you are not inclined to join a gym, or start training for a new race, or begin an exciting new exercise plan right… Read more

How to Practice Extreme Gratitude

November 14, 2016

Ahh, Thanksgiving. For many of us regular gratitude-practicers, this extra grateful time of year can seem like a bit like more of the same. Sometimes… Read more

Take a Hike

November 8, 2016

My grandmother always told me that getting outside for a little walk could clear our heads and lift our spirits; now we have plenty of… Read more

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3 Ways to Keep Technology from Ruining Your Relationships

October 31, 2016

In Triumphs of Experience, George Vaillant writes that “there are two pillars of happiness revealed by the seventy-five-year-old Grant Study. One is love. The other… Read more

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The Best Way to Protect Yourself From a Cold this Winter

October 24, 2016

“But who could have foreseen . . . that he would die a happy, giving, and beloved man? Only those who understand that happiness is… Read more

Practice Saying No

October 17, 2016

We are coming to that time of the year that is both blessed and cursed with zillions of invitations. Here are some that are in… Read more

Are You Busy or Productive?

October 10, 2016

Until a couple of years ago, every time someone would ask me how I was doing, I would always give the same answer: I am… Read more

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How to Help Teens Get More Sleep

October 3, 2016

I am writing this from the front lines: My 16-year-old stepdaughter’s messy bed. It’s a little after 9:00 o’clock. I’m surrounded by various evidence of teenage… Read more

9 Ways to Ease Overwhelm

September 26, 2016

Ever feel like you are constantly drinking from a firehose of information? We have more information (and stuff) coming at us than ever before. In… Read more

Please Stop Interrupting Me!

September 19, 2016

Several years ago, I devised a system for quickly getting into the “zone” while I wrote. Free from distractions and interruptions, I wrote quickly, joyfully,… Read more

Why Being a Stepmom Makes Me a Better Parent

September 16, 2016

Though you probably didn’t realize that today is a national holiday celebrating blended families (who knew?), I’m taking a moment to relish being a stepmom.… Read more

How to be Yourself

September 12, 2016

People seem to be taking issue with my claim that happiness comes when we live with total integrity—when we stop people-pleasing and start living more… Read more

Color Your World With Kindness

September 9, 2016

Small acts of kindness can positively change the feelings and attitudes of everyone around you! Read more

Why I Aim to be a “Deeply Disciplined Half-Ass”

September 5, 2016

Throughout my life, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with hard work. I credit both my past successes and my past anxiety problems to how hard I’ve… Read more

Grit Needs Passion, Not Fear

August 29, 2016

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” — Albert Einstein When I first started writing about how to foster… Read more

How to Achieve Your Goals on Autopilot - Christine Carter

How to Achieve Your Goals on Autopilot

August 22, 2016

At each turn of each season, lots of achievement-oriented people set goals. The start of the school year is my favorite time to do this for… Read more

Why Staring into Space is an Important Strategy for Success

August 15, 2016

The answer is a cliché: You were probably in the shower. Creativity doesn’t come from the bathroom, we know, but it sure does seem highly… Read more

Restoring Teens’ Identities

August 12, 2016

There are so many ways to make other people’s lives better. This video inspired me to think about how I can best use my own talents to help people… Read more

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Are You a People Pleaser?

August 1, 2016

People ask me all the time what the secret to happiness is. “If you had to pick just one thing,” they wonder, “what would be… Read more

How To Remain Productive Over The Summer

July 25, 2016

Researchers believe that the brains in both humans and animals evolved to feel calmed by repetitive behavior, and that our daily rituals and habits are… Read more

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How to Only Do Things You Actually Want to Do

July 19, 2016

Earlier this spring I started getting loads of requests for help managing too-long task lists, and so I published this process for organizing them. Ineffective… Read more

19 Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

July 15, 2016

A new poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds extraordinary levels of workplace stress, with… Read more

What Kids Really Want From Vacation

July 8, 2016

As a follow up to how — and why — you need to take a real vacation, I offer you this sound advice from Kid… Read more

Feeling Time Starved?

July 5, 2016

Are you feeling anxious or frustrated that you don’t have enough time? If you’ve got 20 minutes, I’ve got a new free webinar you’ll appreciate.… Read more

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Parent Shaming

June 20, 2016

Parent shaming is not a happiness habit. Parenting isn’t easy for anyone. Seek out ways to support each other rather than breaking each other down. Read more

Father’s Day Inspiration

June 19, 2016

In honor of my dear old dad, who is decidedly NOT old, and who is redefining aging for me and my children every day. #HappyFathersDay Read more

Keep Loving Each Other

June 17, 2016

“Keep loving each other, keep respecting each other, and keep on dancing.” –Jimmy Fallon Read more

This is What I Hope I’ve Taught You

June 7, 2016

My daughter, Fiona, came back from her first year away from school last week.* Picking her up I felt such a sadness looking at her… Read more

At 100, Still Running for Her Life

June 3, 2016

I love this lady! There’s so much we can all learn from her spirit and determination. “Do the thing that you don’t like to do… Read more

The Science of Finding Flow - Christine Carter

Want to accomplish more (while working less)?

May 31, 2016

The search for the elusive ideal work-life balance is futile. You’re much better off putting effort into finding your flow. Need help? Check out my… Read more

Tuesday Tip: Create an Anti-busyness Ritual

May 31, 2016

Researchers believe that the brains in both humans and animals evolved to feel calmed by repetitive behavior, and that our daily rituals are a primary… Read more

Create a More Effective To Do List

May 24, 2016

Ah, the to-do list. Lately, I’ve had dozens of calls from high-achievers (a Head of School, a university athletic coach, a tech industry Chief Marketing… Read more

There is No Failure

May 20, 2016

Oprah speaks so many truths here, but I do love this line: “You get just as much from your losses as you do from your… Read more

Five Surprising Steps to a More Effective To-Do List

May 18, 2016

Ah, the to-do list. Lately, I’ve had dozens of calls from high-achievers (a Head of School, a university athletic coach, a tech industry Chief Marketing… Read more

Tuesday Tip: Focus on One Thing at a Time

May 10, 2016

In his awesome book The Organized Mind, cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Levitin has quantified how overwhelmed by information the poor human brain is: “In 2011, Americans… Read more