Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor's Headshot

Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and the newly released Before Happiness, is one of the world's leading experts on human potential. Shawn is the winner of more than a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Shawn has become one of the world's leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. His research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 4 million views, and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions. Shawn teaches for the Advanced Management Program at Wharton Business School, and collaborates on research with Yale and Columbia University.

In 2007 Shawn founded GoodThinkInc to share his research with the world. Subsequently, Shawn has lectured or researched in more than 50 countries, speaking to CEOs in China, schoolchildren in South Africa, doctors in Dubai and farmers in Zimbabwe. He has spoken to the Royal Family in Abu Dhabi, doctors at St. Jude Children's Hospital, and worked with the U.S. Department of Health to promote happiness. In 2012, Shawn helped lead the Everyday Matters campaign with the National MS Society and Genzyme to show how happiness remains a choice for those struggling with a chronic illness.

Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a master's degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. For seven years Shawn also served as an Officer of Harvard, living in Harvard Yard and counseling students through the stresses of their first year. Though he now travels extensively for his work, Shawn continues to conduct original psychology research on happiness and organizational achievement in collaboration with Yale University and the Institute for Applied Positive Research.

Shawn is also the author of Ripple's Effect and The Orange Frog, and was featured in PBS's The Happiness Advantage with Shawn Achor special. On May 18, Shawn will sit down with Oprah Winfrey and discuss his steps for achieving happiness on OWN’s Super Soul Sunday.

More Articles

Young businessman relaxing at his desk in the middle of a green meadow.
Stop ruminating and find solutions instead


Move Beyond the Problem

Learn to stop ruminating and quickly get to a more positive place.
Girl reaching for tree

©Rakoskerti/E+/Getty Images

The Happiest Child Ever?

Positive psychology experts Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan share their thoughts—and anxieties—about raising kids.
Face down any challenge

Jacob Lund/

Face Down Any Challenge With This Advice

When we address difficulties head-on, we can truly flourish and thrive.
Woman with paper smile

William Perugini/

The New Definition of Happiness

Why redefining happiness is the key to sustaining it
Person taking notes at a desk.

Which Kind of Goal Setter Are You?

Our researchers try out two different goal-setting techniques to reach the same result: Happiness.
Two empty beach chairs

Ilyashenko Oleksiy/

Tripped Up?

Are you more stressed on vacation than you are at work?
Two people looking at their phones.
Vincent Besnault/Getty Images

Are You a Phone Snubber?

Handle tech distractions so they don't harm your relationships.
Photos from European Vacations


5 Tips for an Energy-Boosting Vacation

Our happiness experts share the secret to a relaxing trip
Couple lying on grass with phones.
Nejron Photo/

60 Seconds to Happiness

Use social media to enhance relationships and well-being with these expert tips.

4 Tips That Could Prolong Your Life

If you’re happy and you know it… you could live longer?
Person reading tablet outside.

©People Images/Getty Images

4 Ways to Stop Work Stress From Following You Home

Create a protective culture at home to relax and refresh in your off hours.
Discover Genius

Discover Your Genius

Let your unconscious mind lead you to inspiration.
The word Impossible being cut in two

3 Best New Year's Resolutions for Optimists

Look to your strengths from the previous year to be your best in 2018.

Give Happy

Tips for smart, meaningful giving and receiving this holiday season.
Four friends walking together
Sam Edwards/Getty Images

We're Better Together

Connect with others to transform your happiness.
Happy carpenter

© Boston Globe/Getty Images

The Happiest Job in the World

How you view your occupation helps determine its meaning.
Ants working together carrying a piece of watermelon

Illustration by Michael Korfhage

The Power of Others

What is big potential? Author and happiness expert Shawn Achor explains in this excerpt from his latest book.
Happy coworkers
Happy businessman.

Get Optimism to Go Viral in 3 Easy Steps

Find the Hidden 31 Percent to Unlock the Positive Potential of Your Workplace
Two people sitting on a bench

Free ground shipping within the U.S. for purchases over $45!