Tag Archives: challenge

Mother’s Day: Lessons From a Very Difficult Year


Originally published in the Huffington Post – May 9, 2013 As Mother’s Day comes around again, I am struck with what has changed for my mother from this year to last. Last year, my father was still alive, albeit struggling with escalating health issues. It got to the point that my mom, in her caregiver role, was rushing him to the hospital every two weeks. Being a caregiver is not easy: She slept with one eye open, listening for any … Continue reading

The Good News About Stress and 5 Ways to Cope


Originally published in the Huffington Post – April 16, 2013 “If you’re not stressed, you’re not working hard enough.” More and more this mantra seems to be woven into our cultural dialogue. Stress may be considered the new “normal,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple shifts in attitude and practices can yield big benefits. April is National Stress Awareness Month, which gives us the opportunity to look at both negative trends and some signs of hope. Here’s … Continue reading

The Alphabet of Happiness – D


Originally published in the Huffington Post – March 14, 2013 Happiness comes in many forms. The more we reflect on happiness, the more we will notice it in day-to-day life. The more focusing on happiness becomes a daily habit, the faster we train our neural pathways to make happiness our default setting. Sound good? Here are three ways to increase your happiness now, all starting with the letter D. Delight Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for … Continue reading

Seeing Happiness in Ambiguous Facial Expressions Reduces Aggressive Behaviour


Encouraging young people at high-risk of criminal offending and delinquency to see happiness rather than anger in facial expressions results in a decrease in their levels of anger and aggression, according to new research from the University of Bristol. The study, led by Professor Marcus Munafò and Professor Ian Penton-Voak, explored the relationship between

The Alphabet of Happiness: ‘C’


Originally published in the Huffington Post – February 20, 2013 The Alphabet of Happiness is a reminder of the many ways to access happiness in your life now. Though at times it may appear to be elusive, happiness is all around you — especially if you know where to look! The good news is that the more you focus on happiness, the faster you can activate the neural pathways that bring you more. Here are three ways to explore your … Continue reading

Project Happiness and Native Cry Team Up To Tackle Depression and Suicide On Reservations


By Lynn Armitage Sadly, people all over the world suffer from depression. According to the World Health Organization, depression will be the second most debilitating disease after heart disease by the year 2020; and unless something is done about it, by 2030, it will be the No. 1 health issue throughout the world. It’s especially troubling when our own children battle the blues. More than 10 years ago, after Randy Taran’s then-14-year-old daughter said to her one day, “I want … Continue reading



Last year, students at the University of Southern California piloted a new program from Project Happiness called 7 Doors to Happiness. The program was created as a resource for adults to access their own happiness and to share it with others. One of the USC students, Mecca Moore, blogged about her experience with the 7 Doors to Happiness and asked if she could share it on our site. This year, this online course is once again being used at the … Continue reading

Thanksgiving: Gratitude for Even the Hard Stuff


Originally published on The Huffington Post – November 18, 2012 As Thanksgiving rolls around, it always puts me in a reset mode — time to remember what I’m grateful for. Usually, it’s the good stuff: moments of joy, new adventures, fun-filled moments. This year, however, is different: My father just passed away, my dog may have to be put to sleep any day and my dear friend who is a LOT younger finds herself in the last stages of cancer… … Continue reading

Finding Happiness with a “Big H” – The Project Happiness Interview with Richard Gere

Richard Gere

Richard Gere is known as much for his award-winning work as an actor as well has his global impact as a humanitarian. He is a founding member of “Tibet House,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Tibetan culture and has been an active supporter of “Survival International”,a worldwide organization supporting tribal peoples, affirming their right to decide their own future and helping them protect their lives, lands and human rights. Richard Gere stars in the recently released thriller, … Continue reading

7 Doors: One Student’s Journey to Happiness – Door Three


Last year, students at the University of Southern California piloted a new program from Project Happiness called 7 Doors to Happiness. The program was created as a resource for adults to access their own happiness and to share it with others. One of the USC students, Mecca Moore, blogged about her experience with the 7 Doors to Happiness and asked if she could share it on our site. This year, this online course is once again being used at the … Continue reading

Big Bird and the Halloween Challenge

Photo copyright Sesame Workshop

Originally published on The Huffington Post Halloween is coming. It’s a time for costumes, masks and trying out new personas. Here’s a challenge. In our everyday lives, we all wear masks to some extent or another — we all play some type of role to ease the way. What if you considered taking off the mask, and having the courage to live as your authentic self? Sometimes, it’s hard to even keep track of the masks we wear — they … Continue reading

Native Cry Outreach


Earlier this year, I learned that my grandmother had been keeping a family secret. Her mother, my great-grandmother, was full Cherokee but she and my great-grandfather had hidden this fact to better fit into the world that they lived in at the time. This information fascinated me, not so much because I felt a burning connection to the Cherokee Nation, but because I was curious how being identified as non-white could have such a stigma attached to it. I have … Continue reading

What Do We Do in the Face of Senseless Tragedy?


Last week, in Aurora, Colorado, we witnessed one of the largest tragedies of its kind in U.S. History. 12 people died and 57 were injured, and it leaves us wondering, WHY? What propels an individual to be so tortured to resort to mass murder of innocent people in a public place? And how do we cope with the aftermath – the sorrow, the trauma and the sense that you never know… In an odd replay of fiction come to life, … Continue reading

Is School Harming Our Kids?


From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-taran/standardized-testing_b_1466236.html I just got off the phone with my sister. It is almost the end of the school year, and the students at her daughter’s elementary school have a week of testing ahead during which they’ll take the Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, tests. My niece, aged 10. is staying up till 10 pm most every night to study, and she is stressed out. What is wrong with this picture? br>Our kids are under increasing … Continue reading

Happiness Lost: When Kids Take Their Lives


From the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randy-taran/teen-suicide_b_1381062.html I visit a lot of schools and communities with a documentary I produced called Project Happiness. The idea is to remind people of the happiness that we were born with and how to re-access it, no matter what the external circumstances. I am grateful for the profound appreciation coming from audiences; yet the reason troubles me to the core. Why in so many cities, across the country, am I hearing again and again of kids … Continue reading

How can you find happiness in times like these?


I have spent a ton of time lately thinking about how to find happiness in times like these. I think about all the different situations that surround so many people in my life. So how can you find happiness when: you’ve lost your job, you’ve lost your house, your child is dying, your child has an incurable condition, you have cancer, your parent just died of cancer, or you are getting divorced? Those are just some examples. How can you … Continue reading

A Challenge Worthy of One’s Gifts

While I still have to remind myself to take a deep breath and calm down, I think I do pretty well when faced with challenges these days. The other day I managed a work phone call while assisting my 3-year-old on the potty and making sure my 1-year-old didn’t unroll the entire toilet paper roll (half, maybe…). So I think I’m doing pretty well. But as an adolescent I did not respond well to challenge – I saw it as … Continue reading

Never Let a Crisis Go to Waste!

   While flipping through “Ode” magazine last night (a magazine on positive change- http://www.odemagazine.com/), a title of an article caught my eye, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” I didn’t even read the article. The title alone had a strong impact on me. Seeing those words, “Never let a crisis go to waste,” reminded me of something I truly believe, which is: opportunity comes in the face of crisis.   What opportunity can a crisis bring you? Opportunities to change, … Continue reading

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