December 2015

December 2015 Dolly Parton
Illustration of friends sharing.

Illustration by Richard Faust

33 Ideas on Forgiveness

Forgiving those who have hurt us can be tough. But once we do, we are clearing the path to happiness. Here is our list of ideas to help you on your way.

Shawn Achor's tips for being happy during the holidays.

Evgeny Atamenko/

3 Secrets to Happiness This Holiday Season

Expectations and stress seem to increase over the holidays. Happiness experts Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan suggest forgetting others' expectations and trying out new things, such as eating a whole pie, writing heartfelt notes and leaving perfectionism at the door.

Illustration of a woman knitting a heart.

Illustration by Flora Waycott

Giving From Heart and Hands

Knitting is much more than just a pastime. Women all over the world are using their stitching skills to bring a little warmth and happiness to those in need, and in turn, to themselves.

Dolly Parton playing guitar

Photograph by Paul Drinkwater, courtesy NBC/Universal

The Joy of Being Dolly Parton

By: Deborah Evans Price

Music legend Dolly Parton has performed on some of the world's greatest stages, acted in Hollywood movies, owns her own theme park—and she's not done yet! Dolly, we will always love you.

The Gift That Changed My Life

Illustrations by Susy Pilgrim Waters

The Gift That Changed My Life

A gift can take many forms. Here, ten people share stories of gifts that offered new hope, led them to pursue radical dreams and changed the course of their lives forever.

People clinking wine glasses at a party.


10 Ways to Enjoy the Season Without Regrets

Holidays are a lot of fun, but for many of us, our enjoyment of happy times can be marred by feelings of remorse. Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin offers 10 ways to stay in control of holiday indulgence.

Man holding out a small wrapped present.

Rock and Wasp/

When Gift Giving Goes Wrong

Simple as it may seem, gift giving is loaded with meaning. Editor at large Stacy Kaiser offers expert tips for both the gift giver and receiver as we head into this holiday season—so you won't be caught empty-handed!

Young couple watching a movie in theater.

Syda Productions/

5 Must-Watch Movies for the Holidays

By: Ryan Niemiec, Psy.D.

Movies inspire and entertain us. They bring us together and keep us laughing (or crying) on a dark winter's day when it's too cold to go out and play. One thing good movies can also do is show us character strengths—those virtues or qualities that define us as individuals.

Healthy Christmas cookies on a tray.

Photography by Steve Woods

3 Holiday Cookies With a Healthy Twist

By: Lesley Porcelli

Holiday cookies don't have to make you feel guilty. Instead of traditional treats, try these three recipes that include healthy, mood-boosting ingredients such as matcha green tea, turmeric and walnuts.

Doniece Sandoval, founder of Lava Mae

Doniece Sandoval, founder of Lava Mae; photographs courtesy Henrik Kam

Lava Mae Gives Homeless a Fresh Start

By: Katya Cengel

Find out about how a creative San Francisco philanthropist is helping the city's homeless population in a way that is truly transformative.

Holiday Traditions Around the World

Photo of a Christmas Market in Stockholm, Sweden by Oleksiy Mark/

How Do You Spell 'Santa' in Swedish?

As we gather to celebrate the holidays with family and friends, it's fun to learn how other cultures enjoy the season.

Happiness of the Holiday Table

Illustrations by Jon Cannell

Happiness of the Holiday Table

By: Stephanie Alexander

Swapping favorite stories is more than just holiday dinner banter. It bonds us, shapes us, shores up our family pride and deeply enriches our lives.

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