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The Happiness Hour

During lockdown on Friday afternoons pupils were given the opportunity to participate in a short course to explore the theme of happiness examining specifically what it is that makes us happy, and how as individuals we can improve our overall well-being by making simple changes to our behaviour

‘The Happiness Hour’ was based around a series of podcasts featuring Professor Bruce Hood from the University of Bristol. Each week through listening to and discussing the podcasts we examined different themes looking at questions such as is it possible to be happy all of the time, does having more material wealth mean more happiness and is happiness something that we should leave to chance? Underlying the course was a core idea: that we can play a very big role in improving our own happiness through intentional actions. We discovered the science and psychology behind these ideas and on a practical level put into practice a ‘happiness hack’ each week. These included: random acts of kindness, keeping a gratitude diary, savouring and being present in the moment, reducing our use of social media, decluttering and giving possessions away and contacting old friends who we had lost contact with. We found some of these ‘hacks’ harder than others but through active participation we were able to discuss their relative merits and how they improved our overall feeling of well-being. We hope to be able to develop this course for a wider audience in future – watch this space!