Segments in this Video

Kolkata Slum, India (02:39)


Manoj Singh works all day pulling a rickshaw. A survey found him to be as happy as the average American. He lives well with his family in a home covered by a tarp to protect from monsoons. He is friends with his neighbors.

Positive Psychology (01:48)

Historically the goal of psychologists was to rid a patient of problems. Modern science has begun to look at how happiness works. Ed. Diener, Ph.D explains how happiness is measured.

Genetic Set Point (01:27)

By studying identical twins researchers have discovered that 50% of differences in happiness levels are genetic. Circumstances account for 10% leaving 40% for intentional behavior.

Louisiana, United States (01:58)

Roy Blanchard Sr. is happy on his boat watching wildlife. He calls nature good medicine.

Novel Exercise (02:00)

Dopamine is a chemical in the brain. Seeking out experiences that create dopamine is necessary to prevent the loss of these neurotransmiitters. Physical activity is a great releaser of dopamine.

Brazil, South America (02:35)

Ronaldo Fadul is a surfer. He explains why physical activity is important. He does not believe in preoccupying the brain with earning money. He prefers to find happiness in the water.

"In the Zone" (02:19)

A professor of psychology discusses motivation. People forget problems when pursuing activities they enjoy. Those who experience "flow" on a regular basis are happier than those who do not.

Life Changing Event (02:58)

Melissa Moody was a beautiful young woman with a full life. She describes being run over by a truck during an argument.

Finding Happiness After Tragedy (02:58)

Melissa Moody describes how being run over by a truck changed her life. She says she is happier now than when she was a young beautiful woman.

Hedonic Cycle (02:26)

Happy people recovery from adversity quickly. Surveys show that happiness has remained stagnant despite increased wealth. Once basic needs are met, more money does not mean more happiness.

Louisiana Cajuns (02:16)

Roy Blanchard Sr. is part of a large extended family. This happy family live modestly off the land and spends a lot of time together.

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Goals (01:53)

Happy people have close, supportive family and friends. Money, image, and status do not provide the happiness found with personal growth, relationships, and a desire to help.

Tokyo, Japan (02:19)

Japan is the least happy wealthy industrlalized nation. After WWII, economic growth and material growth was emphasized above all else. People literally work themselves to death.

Dangers of Efficiency (03:54)

Hiroko Uchino's husband worked for Toyota. He was often exhausted from working long hours. He died on the job. Uchino discusses the danger of holding work as the highest value in Japanese culture.

Bhutan (02:34)

A small developing economy in South Asia is focusing on gross national happiness rather than GDP.

Happiest Country on Earth (05:13)

Denmark is known for social equality and a high standard of living. Free education and free health care are provided. In co-housing communities multiple families live on one plot of land. Chores and benefits are shared by everyone.

Religion and Happiness (01:37)

Community living encourages people to focus on what they have to share. Caring makes people happy.

Okinawa, Japan (03:13)

Happy people are healthier, more productive, and may even live longer. A disproportionate number of the world's oldest people live on the same island. Traditions keep people connected.

Community Center, Okinawa, Japan (02:29)

Elders gather daily. Icharibachode means to treat every person as a brother or sister. Women who lost husbands in WWII take care of each other. Having friends is happiness.

Benefits of Cooperation (02:03)

Children in Okinawa, Japan run a race while elders cheer them on. Social interaction is intrinsically rewarding to humans. Cooperation releases dopamine.

Connecting to Others (03:12)

Comedian and educator Michael Pritchard teaches kids about happiness by relating to them through pop culture. He tells middles school students a touching story about the Special Olympics.

Compassion Leads to Happiness (02:35)

Comedian and educator Michael Pritchard applauds middle school students who speak out about bullying at a school assembly.

Community Healing Process in Namibia, Africa (02:46)

The San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert are more closely genetically related to ancient ancestors than any other group on the planet. These happy people are dependent on each other and nature.

Brain Practicing Compassion (04:04)

The Dalai Lama talks about his mother as a guru for compassion. People who do a specific meditation on compassion and loving kindness can increase happiness levels.

Serving Humanity in Kolkata, India (04:21)

Andy Wimmer is a volunteer at the Home for the Dying and Destitute founded by Mother Theresa. He explains why he left his old life of financial success to help those in need.

"Spiritual Emotions" (02:20)

Gratitude, compassion, caring, and love enrich life. Practicing to cultivate happiness can make the world a better place.

Credits: Happy (Educator’s Edition) (02:47)

Credits: Happy (Educator’s Edition)

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Happy (Educator's Edition)

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
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Filmed on five continents, this documentary combines powerful stories and remarkable case studies with serious brain science to lead viewers toward a deeper understanding of how they can actively pursue a happier life. A diverse group of individuals from around the world provides the “how”—the attitudes and activities that make them feel deeply and lastingly happy—while popular experts on positive psychology such as Daniel Gilbert, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ed Diener, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi provide the “why.” Key discussion points on promoting intrinsic personal happiness include connectedness, generosity, compassion, novelty, play, and flow; potentially harmful effects of chasing materialistic happiness—epitomized by karoshi, death from overwork—are considered as well. Accessible and informative! Viewable/printable educational resources are available online. (Portions with English subtitles, 74 minutes)

Length: 75 minutes

Item#: BVL53499

ISBN: 978-0-81608-653-5

Copyright date: ©2012

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“Top-notch production that seamlessly combines scientific data and research with engaging narrative storytelling. Highly recommended for all audiences.” —Educational Media Reviews

Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Amsterdam Film Festival

Winner, Audience Choice, Maui Film Festival

Winner, Audience Choice, Arizona International Film Festival

Winner, Audience Choice, Mendocino Film Festival

Winner, Best Documentary, Mexico International Film Festival

Winner, Best Documentary, Rincon Film Festival

Winner, Audience Choice, Telluride Mountainfilm Film Festival

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Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.