In December 2004, I sent out my own “top 10” list of positive psychology books. (You can read past newsletters at the following address:

Since then I have compiled a list of treasured positive psychology internet resources that I would like to share with you. Please do not attach any meaning to this list other than that they are either my personal favorites or strongly recommended to me by friends in the field.


Treasured Positive Psychology Websites By Ben Dean, Ph.D.

1. Website for Reflective Happiness

The most interesting new website in Positive Psychology is Marty Seligman's "Reflective Happiness" site at For a nominal monthly fee, subscribers are given access to monthly exercises intended to increase happiness, question-and-answer sessions with Marty, newsletters, bookclubs and more. But most valuable, is access to Marty's own constantly evolving thinking about the field. He knows everyone in Positive Psychology and thus is always at the center of the latest thinking and research. His own thinking is always evolving as well. His highest signature strengths is his love of learning. So members of the Reflective Happiness community get to share in the benefits of knowing Marty! If you care about your own happiness and that of your clients; if you care about the white hot field of positive psychology itself, how can you not enroll in this program? This site is described in detail at the bottom of this newsletter.

2. Website for Barbara Fredrickson’s Laboratory

Barbara Fredrickson is perhaps most famous for her “broaden-and-build” theory of positive emotions. She maintains a very active lab at the University of Michigan, and it is interesting to check in periodically to read about the latest research conducted by Dr. Fredrickson and her graduate students. Many of her articles can be downloaded from the website.

3. The Positive Psychology Center Website

If you can follow only one link, start here. The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania is directed by Martin Seligman. This Center’s website provides lists of positive psychology books, information about funding opportunities and awards in positive psychology, materials for teachers of positive psychology, and links to positive psychology conferences. The webmaster maintains a Positive Psychology E-mail Directory of individuals who are doing positive psychology work. You can view this directory (or add your own name) by following this link:

4. The Positive Psychology Listserv

This is an active listserv for anyone interested in positive psychology (not just academics). Sometimes the discussions get heated, so buckle up! To request membership in this listserv, send an e-mail to Acacia Parks ( In your e-mail request, be sure to include your full name and the e-mail to which you would like your messages sent.

5. Jonathan Haidt’s Website

You may recognize Jonathan Haidt’s name from my newsletters about strengths because I often borrow his creative ideas on building individual strengths. Dr. Haidt is a psychologist at the University of Virginia whose research focuses on morality and emotions. You can download papers written by Dr. Haidt and other members of the lab. Be sure to check out this article which wins the prize for most intriguing title: “Affect, Culture, and Morality, or Is it Wrong to Eat Your Dog?” Also be sure to note Dr. Haidt’s personal list of recommended readings.

6. The Official Site for Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman

Definitely spend an afternoon at this site if you have not already done so as this is truly a remarkable resource. After registering on the site, you can take 18 different surveys related to positive psychology. I recommend starting with the VIA Strengths Survey (if you have not already taken it) to receive feedback about your highest strengths. Also fascinating is the Approaches to Happiness Questionnaire which assesses whether you tend to pursue happiness via pleasure, engagement, or meaning. The website stores your previous scores so that you or your clients can track changes over time.

While you are poking around on, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter and check out the newsletter archives:

7. Website of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Here is an excerpt from the Foundation’s mission statement:

Established in 1995 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a resource for people committed to spreading kindness. We provide a wide variety of materials on our website, including activity ideas, lesson plans, project plans, teacher's guide, project planning guide, publicity guide, and workplace resources on our website at – all free of charge.

While you are exploring the website, be sure to visit the discussion boards and sign up for the Kind Times Newsletter.

8. Website for Julie Norem’s The Positive Power of Negative Thinking: Using Defensive Pessimism to Harness Anxiety and Perform at Your Peak

Julie Norem is a psychologist at Wellesley College who is widely respected for her research on Defensive Pessimism, a strategy of always imagining the worst that could happen in any given situation. Although this is technically not a “positive psychology” resource, I think it provides some balance to the list and will round out your positive psychology library nicely! Be sure to take Norem’s Defensive Pessimism quiz on her website.

9. Website for Division 32 of the American Psychological Association / Humanistic Psychology

Current research in positive psychology is rooted in humanistic psychology, and much can be learned from this active division of the APA. Even if you don’t join, you can read recent newsletters online. Be sure to check out the Internet Resources listed under “Humanistic Study” on the website.

10. Ed Diener’s Website

Ed Diener, Ph.D., is a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is most famous for his work on subjective well-being. You can download many of his articles directly from the website. He also provides a list of resources organized according to topic and a helpful summary page of the main findings produced by his lab.

11. Website for the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience (directed by Richard Davidson, Ph.D.)

Interested in positive emotion and the brain? Check out the webpage for the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience. Be sure to download these articles:

Davidson, R. J., Kabat-Zinn, J., et al. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564-570.

Davidson, R. J. (2001). Toward a biology of personality and emotion. Annals of the N.Y. Academy of Sciences, 935, 191-207.

Also, read here about Dr. Davidson’s work with the Dalai Lama!


Hope you find these resources as useful as I do! Happy exploring--


Ben Dean, Ph.D.

Reflective Happiness: The World of Real and Lasting Happiness

Marty Seligman’s new website was launched only eight weeks ago and has already received 2,200,000 hits! Why has there been so much interest? For a number of reasons. Marty has designed a Happiness Plan for each member that can accurately measure, improve and sustain their emotional well-being for a more fulfilling and satisfying life. Then, too, the website has a unique combination of Happiness Building Exercises (Three Blessings™, the Gratitude Visit, Savor a Beautiful Day, Signature Strengths, Active & Constructive Friendship & Love, and Meaning & Positive Service and others), Question & Answer Sessions with Marty, Community Building forums, a Positive Psychology Book Club, and a members-only newsletter covering the latest developments that Marty has found in the field.

For example, March’s newsletter on "Rearranging Your Day" should be useful to you and to your clients. Here Marty describes his latest thinking on Day Re-arranging. He suggests that in addition to drugs and psychotherapy, well-being might be increased by first charting daily events and mood systematically, and then helping your clients (or yourself) re-arrange their days to produce a higher level of happiness. He then presents a validated instrument for day-charting and promises to share his initial findings on increasing happiness in his April newsletter.

Also new this month, new this month: Marty will share his thoughts about (1) the genetics of happiness and depression (2) pro's and con's of meditation, and (3) insomnia, happiness, and depression. For more details, click on

Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., is the Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, the founder of the field of Positive Psychology, a Past President of the American Psychological Association (1998), and the author of 20 books including his most recent best seller, Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. With Chris Peterson, he is co-author of the newly-released Character Strengths and Virtues: A Classification and Handbook. He is the co-founder Reflective Happiness LLC and of Authentic Happiness Coaching LLC.

Ben Dean Ph.D. is a psychologist and founder of MentorCoach (, an internationally recognized coach training organization. He publishes two free coaching e-newsletters: "The Therapist as Coach" for helping professionals ( and "The eCoach Newsletter" for interdisciplinary professionals (" Based in Bethesda, Maryland, Ben is a Master Certified Coach, the highest designation of the International Coach Federation. With Dr. Seligman, Ben is co-founder of Authentic Happiness Coaching LLC.

AHC Speaking Schedule

Marty will give the keynote address at the National Association of School Psychologists Annual Convention on Wednesday, March 30, 2005, at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, GA. Details at

Ben has just been interviewed on Fox News Live on Happiness Coaching. He will be speak on coaching and positive psychology at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium in Washington DC (March 19), and in Chicago (April 1), Detroit (April 3), Orlando (April 22), and Boca Raton (April 24). Ben's Spring MentorCoach Training Programs begin (via teleconference) on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at 7:00 PM Eastern and on Friday, May 6, 2005 at 12:00 PM Eastern (New York Time). See for details.

To read past newsletters, please go to the following address:

Ben’s Top 11 Positive Psychology Internet Resources - Volume 2 Number 27

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