I am a Professor of Psychology at James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where I regularly teach courses on Social Psychology, Psychology of Personality, Psychology of Well-Being, Positive Psychology, and Psychological Research Methods. I received my B.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania and my M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.
I’ve authored numerous journal articles and book chapters on happiness, and with bestselling author Sonja Lyubomirsky, I’m co-author of Positively Happy: Routes to Sustainable Happiness, a workbook for putting happiness strategies into practice in everyday life. My first solo-authored book, The Happy Traveler: Unpacking the Secrets of Better Vacations, was published in June of 2017 by Oxford University Press. (Read my wonderful agent’s description of it here). I recently worked with Audible and The Great Courses to create The Psychology of Happiness, which was released in 2021. My second audiobook, Personality Tests and What They Can Tell Us, will be released in 2022.
With the Institute for Brain Potential, I offer multiple seminars on happiness and well-being each year to health-care professionals nationwide. In addition, I write the popular “Happy Trails” online column for Psychology Today. I consider explaining psychological research to the public in a compelling and useful way to be one of my greatest strengths. I am available to speak or consult with your organization about well-being, optimism, gratitude, and happiness. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the possibilities.
Always eager to merge my love of psychology and travel, I am the creator and director of Exploring the Good Life in Scandinavia. In this three-week summer program, I lead college students on a tour of two of the world’s happiest nations, Denmark and Sweden, where they observe and conduct interviews on cross-cultural differences in well-being, in addition to doing happiness-boosting exercises of their own. After a pandemic travel hiatus, I’m looking forward to returning to Scandinavia in 2022!
And while not traveling, I enjoy the wineries, culture, and nature of my lovely home, Charlottesville, Virginia.