Choose Happiness!

Motivating federal employees to see happiness as a measure of health

Executive Summary

Happiness is a fundamental component of human existence. The evidence that happiness can improve health is mounting and the World Health Organization increasingly emphasizes happiness as an essential factor for health. Happy people tend to live longer and experience better health than their unhappy peers. They are more resilient and are less prone to stress and depression which are, in turn, associated with Heart disease, Osteoporosis, Diabetes, and Cancer to name a few. NIH has made considerable investments in studying modalities such as meditation and physical activity to promote wellbeing, however, personal motivations require more understanding. How can the accumulated knowledge about the relationship between happiness and health help us to consciously choose happy and healthy lifestyles? How can we motivate this choice and make it sustainable?

Team Members

Olga Brazhnik (team lead), NIH
Daniela Seminara, NIH
Ofelia Olivero, NIH
Rezvan Ameli, NIH
Aixia Zhang, NIH


October 2018: Project selected into the HHS Ignite Accelerator
June 2019: Time in Accelerator Began
September 2019: Time in Accelerator Ended