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How — and Why — to Go on a REAL Vacation

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

Bring Back the Raising Happiness Habit Tracker!

 This video is the 4th in a series about being happier as a parent from The Raising Happiness Homestudy. Watch the rest of the videos… Read more

A Family Guide for Surviving the Summer

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

This is What I Hope I’ve Taught You

This week, our sweet Macie graduates from high school. Congratulations, Macie!  I’m doing my best to teach my kids everything I know about finding fulfillment,… Read more

Why Parents Aren’t Happy

 We say [‘I’m SO BUSY’] to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, our ability to… Read more

Overwork… Doesn’t Work

This post is from a series about the ideal worker archetype in my online course, Science of Finding Flow. Read the rest here. We can… Read more

Want to Feel Appreciated on Mother’s Day?

Here’s an icky confession: I used to dread Mother’s Day. When I first became a mother, the holiday somehow left me feeling unappreciated. I tended to… Read more

Why Parents’ Happiness Is Important

“If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This… Read more

Christine Carter - 5 Steps to End Your Email Addiction

5 Ways to Tame Compulsive Checking

Next Week, April 30-May 6, is Screen-Free Week! Before you think, “I can’t be screen free a whole week,” bear with me. It is SUPER worth-while… Read more

The Happiness Advantage

This post is taken from “The Raising Happiness Homestudy,” an online course I created as a companion to my book Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps… Read more

Let's Create a New Ideal Worker Archetype, Please.

Have You Hit a Productivity Wall?

This post is from a series about the ideal worker archetype in my online course, Science of Finding Flow. Read the rest here. I don’t… Read more

What is “Flow,” Anyway?

 “We change our lives for the better when we use tactics that flow with our brain and physiology, not against them.”   I have… Read more

How to be Imperfect

Last autumn, horrific wildfires raged near our home. People we knew were losing their houses left and right. In the midst of disaster, I had… Read more

Misery Loves Expectations

Irritated with your husband (or your wife)? You probably expect too much. I find it ironic that the month after Valentine’s Day tends to be… Read more

How to Know if You’ve Married the Wrong Person

When my first marriage failed, I wanted desperately to fall in love and start again. I wanted to show my princess-obsessed little girls that lasting… Read more

Why My Husband Infuriates Me

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

How to Have a Good Valentine's Day

How to Create More Loving Relationships

Research shows that our feelings of being in love come from what we do and how we behave around our beloveds — more than from… Read more

Should You Stay or Should You Go?

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

3 Things I Wish Parents – and Teens – Knew About Pot

3 Things I Wish More Parents – and Teens – Knew About Pot

We live in California, where marijuana is now, as of Jan. 1, legal for recreational use. My four teens report that pot is already very easy to… Read more

Resolutions Slipping? 5 Quick Ways to Stay the Course

We all understand that when we first attempt to drive a car or ride a bike, we’ll make mistakes. Behavior change is no different; it’s… Read more

It's not to late to join our Brave Over Perfect coaching group! Our next live call is on January 10th. That gives you plenty of time to listen to the call recording where I laid the foundation for setting goals and thinking about changes you’d like to make in 2018. Our Brave Over Perfect coaching group is a highly effective and extremely inexpensive alternative to life coaching and, for some people, therapy. If you’re interested in personal growth, this is less a lot less work than reading a book (and at only $20 for three calls, it’s totally affordable). Learn more or Register now.

Find more joy and fulfillment this year

It’s not to late to join our Brave Over Perfect coaching group! Our next live call is on January 10th. That gives you plenty of time… Read more

Happiness Habits Worth Cultivating

Happiness Habits Worth Cultivating

Happy New Year! Do you need some ideas for how to be happy in the New Year?  Check out this oldie but goodie Greater Good graphic!… Read more

Habits are everything

Habits Are Everything

You might know how to be happy, but can you do it? Watch a video of any elite athlete or performer before a big game… Read more

Why New Year’s Resolutions Work

  Thinking of making a New Year’s Resolution this year? This quick, research-based explanation by Dr. Mike Evans of why New Year’s Resolutions are a… Read more

3 Resolutions to Make You Happier

I do understand why people don’t like New Year’s resolutions: they can be a source of failure, year after year. Folks often pick resolutions that… Read more


Making the Holidays More Meaningful – and Less Materialistic

Last year about this time, an Instagram photo showing a mountain of shiny wrapped presents – nearly as large as the seven-foot Christmas tree behind it –… Read more

3 Steps to a Low-Stress, High Joy Holiday Season

Many people love the idea of the holidays more than their actual experience of them — mostly because their list of holiday-related tasks and obligations… Read more

How to Cope with a Difficult Relative Over the Holidays

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

When is it Better to Just “Fake it”?

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

Accessing Authenticity

What if you didn’t have to worry about what other people think of you? Does your body sigh with relief at the thought of all… Read more

Happiness Tip: Use the Time Change to Your Benefit

Moving our clocks this weekend is going to change our bodies’ principal cue (light) for keeping time with our circadian rhythm. This usually causes us… Read more

What Does it Mean to be Brave Over Perfect?

Susie: In the summer of 2016, when I received some horrible news about my health, I sent my family camping and sat on my bed… Read more

Teaching Teens to 'Just Say No'

Teaching Teens to ‘Just Say No’

Today’s teens are busy. Last week, one of my teens was sitting in the kitchen replying to her emails while I prepped dinner. “Help me… Read more

What’s Happening With Group Coaching?

The feedback from Brave Over Perfect group coaching participants has been great! “Our coaching calls are really fun and valuable. I love them! I don’t LOVE talking… Read more

The Secret to Happiness Webinar

What is the Secret to Happiness?

Everyone I meet eventually asks me this question, usually sooner rather than later. The good news is that there are many secrets to happiness. But… Read more

Your Problems Probably Aren’t Unique

Busy people tend to struggle with similar challenges. We get overwhelmed. We have trouble saying no. We take care of others before we take care… Read more

How to Say No Gracefully

Three Steps to Say “No” Gracefully

Yesterday, a friend asked me if she could borrow my car to run a long-distance errand because my little car gets better mileage than her… Read more

15 Questions to Ask Kids at Dinner

Dinnertime conversation, I’ve found, goes really well when it’s structured. I’ve posed planned questions for my kids at dinnertime since they were in preschool, starting… Read more

How to Fulfill New School Year Resolutions

Help your kids change their behavior, so that they can reach their goals. As the summer break wrapped up, I started asking my kids about their… Read more

How to Get Better at Reaching Your Goals

Busy women tend to struggle with similar challenges. We get overwhelmed. We take care of others before we take care of ourselves. We question our… Read more


Back-to-School Happiness Advice (Video)

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

Welcome, Susie! (And our new website!)

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

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

Eight Ways to Achieve More While Working Less

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)

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What Makes Teens ‘Most Likely to Succeed?’

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

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?

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

How to Help Your Teen Deal With Stress

“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

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


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

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

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

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


Happiness Tip: Let Yourself Feel What You Feel

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

The Power of Truth Telling

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Spend Some Time Alone

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

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

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

Three Risky Ways to Fall Deeply in Love

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

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

Tuesday Tip: The Best Habit To Start Now

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

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

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

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

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)

“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

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

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


How to Buy Happiness

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?

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

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

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


3 Ways to Keep Technology from Ruining Your Relationships

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


The Best Way to Protect Yourself From a Cold this Winter

“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

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?

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


How to Help Teens Get More Sleep

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

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!

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

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

Color Your World With Kindness

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”

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

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

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

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

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


Are You a People Pleaser?

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

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


How to Only Do Things You Actually Want to Do

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

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

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?

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


Parent Shaming

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

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

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

At 100, Still Running for Her Life

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)?

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Three Components of an Effective Apology

People make mistakes all the time. Not just bad people, or weak people. All people. Our mistakes are what make us human. And even when… Read more