Published: Jan. 10, 2019

The articles open with "To make 2019 your best year yet, one University of Colorado professor offers a contradictory piece of advice: stop striving to be happy." and describes June Gruber's study of positive emotions throughout her career and at CU Boulder's Positive Emotions and Psychopathology Lab. 

Research suggests that a person's focus on the pursuit of happiness as a prioritized goal may paradoxically lead to feelings of unhappiness and difficulties with mood as well as increase risks for mental health issues. In contrast, people who value a wide variety of feelings report being happier and healthier. Initial findings led to a collaborative study with ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain on the protective effects of emotional diversity, the ability to experience a variety of positive and negative emotions, and found that people with greater "emodiversity" showed a decreased risk for depression and fewer days spent in the hospital.

Gruber suggests that instead of attempting to suppress certain emotions and judging others as undesirable, focusing on "balanced emotional harmony in everyday life," can be healthier. For people searching for a New Year resolution, Gruber suggests "striving for meaning," along with focusing on emotional diversity and connecting with others, instead of happiness as a goal.  

Learn more at the Reporter Herald, the Boulder Daily Camera, and the Denver Post.