Follow along with the transcript below for episode: Discover Live Happy’s Halloween Happy Acts
[00:00:02] PF: Thank you for joining us for Episode 385 of Live Happy Now. Now that it’s October, it’s time to start looking at how to make this a truly happy Halloween. I’m your host, Paula Felps, and this week, I’m joined by Deborah Heisz, CEO, and co-founder of Live Happy, and Casey Johnson, our ecommerce marketing manager to talk about our all-new Halloween Happy Acts Campaign. If you’ve been with us for a while, you already know that every March, we encourage wellbeing with a month of intentional activities that we call happy acts. This year, we’re combining happy acts with our favorite holiday to create an entire month of happiness while celebrating the spirit of Halloween. Let’s hear what it’s all about.
[00:00:45] PF: Deb and Casey, welcome back to Live Happy Now.
[00:00:48] DH: It’s such a pleasure to be here. As usual, always excited to get on a podcast, Paula. I know we have a lot of fun stuff going on.
[00:00:55] PF: This one, I’m particularly excited about because Halloween is my favorite time of year. I absolutely love Halloween. When Casey told me about the Halloween happy acts, I got super-duper excited about it. I guess the first thing we need to do is talk about what happy acts are. Since Deb, you’re pretty much the originator of the happy act, why don’t you tell us what happy act is and where those came from?
[00:01:19] DH: I’d love to. But also, everybody, say hi to Casey. Casey, say hi.
[00:01:23] CJ: Hi, guys.
[00:01:25] DH: She has come up with some great ideas for Halloween happy acts.
[00:01:28] PF: Oh my gosh! Yes.
[00:01:28] DH: I am excited to have extended it out of the month of March, which is when we typically do happy acts. Because they really should be an all-year thing. They shouldn’t be confined to March where the International Day of Happiness is, but of course, putting some attention on it and doing it at that time of year, we get a lot more coverage, we get a lot more people participating. Because it’s something you can hang your hat on and say okay, “In March, I’m going to make sure I’ll up my happy acts game. But doing it in Halloween is great because like you, it’s one of my favorite times of the year, one of the happiest things for me at Halloween is Halloween specials for whatever reason. All the shows that just run specials that are Halloween themed, I think back to Roseanne when it was on in my childhood and how the family got dressed up in elaborate costumes every year. It was just a lot of fun. One of my happiest times a year and I’m an October baby.
[00:02:20] PF: Oh, you really.
[00:02:21] DH: Yes, and my mother’s an October baby, and my older daughter and I actually share a birthday in October. So October is like my month, it’s great.
[00:02:28] PF: That is the month. It’s like the whole month off to celebrate.
[00:02:33] DH: I think it really works that way, but you asked me what happy acts are. Happy acts are little things that you can do or big things. But things you can do intentionally with intention to make the world a happier place. It’s as simple as, you always hear about the pay it forward, buy somebody a cup of coffee when you’re in the Starbucks line or something like that. But it’s also donating a book to a library, reading to your kids’ class, it’s checking on a neighbor, it’s making a phone call to someone you haven’t talked to in a long time, it’s sending a thank you note because you know how big I am on gratitude.
[00:03:10] PF: It comes up once or twice.
[00:03:11] DH: It has a few times, but it’s sending a thank you note to someone for making a difference in your life. It’s something that you’re doing actively and intentionally to help make the world a happier place. It doesn’t have to be for a person either. It could be picking up litter, it could be donating time at a pet shelter. It doesn’t have to be anything massive or significant. In fact, we do the happy acts walls in March. That’s where we put up walls, challenging people to commit to doing a happy act. We do a lot of them in schools, because kids come up with things like, “I’m going to smile more. I’m going to eat my vegetables my mom tells me to.” Whatever it is, but it can be something simple. But the point here is that, you’re doing with intention, you know that you’re doing it. It’s not just, “Oh, I held the door open for somebody and I didn’t give it a thought because I always hold the door open for somebody.” Doing something with intention to make the world a happier place, because we know the science says that whoever you’re doing whatever it is for is likely to feel happy. It’s likely – we always say happy, but what we mean is likely to feel grateful or have an elevated sense of well-being. But the reality is that you are going to have a greater sense of well-being by doing happy acts, doing things with intention, with positive intention really does affect your overall mood, you overall – how you perceive the world. All of those things are improved when you do happy acts. That’s what happy acts are.
[00:04:38] PF: And they’re a wonderful thing. Then when Casey said, “Hey, we’re going to do Halloween happy acts.” I remember that call because I was like, “I love this idea.” Casey, I mean, that was such a great idea. What made you want to tailor these happy acts tradition to our Halloween?
[00:04:38] CJ: Yeah. So kind of like what Deb was saying earlier. Happy acts aren’t just for March and International Day of Happiness on March 20. We encourage people to practice happy acts all year round. Halloween and Christmas, I read this earlier, I heard it somewhere, someone defined them as like gimme holidays. Getting rather than giving. I just thought it would be a good chance to kind of practice maybe some like reverse trick or treating and tie in some happy acts to that month.
[00:05:27] PF: I love I, because, as I said, you’ve done such a great job of coming up with happy acts. There are times when you’ll send out, “Hey, these are happy acts. This is what we’re going to do.” I’m like, “Wow, how do we –” like the fact that you can come up with so many new things each time, that always impresses and amazes me. How did you come up with, here’s how we can celebrate it for Halloween?
[00:05:47] CJ: Well, thank you. First of all, it’s definitely a team effort. It’s not just all me. But yeah, you know, just Halloween happy acts, there’s so much you can do to spread kindness in October and still kind of celebrate that spooky holiday. Though, I guess I’ll just kind of jump into some of our Halloween happy acts.
[00:06:02] PF: Yeah. Tell us what we’re going to do.
[00:06:04] CJ: So we’re kind of thinking of making it a competition, right? We want to spread the love. The plan is to highlight a different happy act every week. If people want to participate, they can tag us in a post, a reel, a story, as long as they tag us of them performing a Halloween happy act of the week, or they can get creative, and it’s not our Halloween happy act of the week, and they’re still out there spreading kindness that works as well. But so, I’ll just kick it off. So week one, we encourage people to donate blood. Deb and I actually went and donated blood together, which was amazing. Week two, trick or treat with UNICEF. Every year, UNICEF, they encourage people to kind of do that reverse trick or treating, donate candy to people in need, who don’t have the luxury of being able to go trick or treating. Week three, paint a pumpkin, we always encourage people in March to paint positivity on rocks. In October, we’re encouraging people to paint pumpkins. On week four, we’re encouraging people to wrap someone in love. So basically, give someone a big old bear hug. Or if you’re someone who doesn’t like hugs or like to be touched, you can –
[00:07:15] PF: Are you talking about me now?
[00:07:17] CJ: Of course not.
[00:07:18] DH: She might be, Paula. She might be.
[00:07:20] CJ: I might be. Wink wink.
[00:07:22] DH: No, I’m just kidding.
[00:07:24] CJ: But yeah, so I mean, not everyone likes to be touched and that’s okay. You can wrap yourself in like a warm blanket, or we’ve also got some awesome Live Happy hoodies on the Live Happy store, and they’ll make you feel nice and cozy.
[00:07:37] DH: Shameless plug there, but they do. They’re awesome.
[00:07:41] CJ: I’ve got like two Live Happy hoodies. They’re my favorite. Then week five, so that’s the actual week of Halloween, so we’re kind of going big that week. We’re going to have two Halloween happy acts. The first one is to bake a healthy treat for your class or office. I’m kind of thinking of baking like some pumpkin muffins, or some zucchini bread for our office.
[00:08:02] DH: Let me know what day. I’ll make sure I’m there.
[00:08:02] PF: I can fly in.
[00:08:07] CJ: I’ll make sure you guys are in the office. Paula, I’ll send you some zucchini bread or pumpkin muffins.
[00:08:11] PF: All right. Okay. That’s a good deal.
[00:08:14] CJ: Then on Halloween, we encourage people to create a Halloween card for your neighbor. So like maybe like –
[00:08:21] PF: I like that.
[00:08:22] CJ: – picture of a Halloween pan or just something, spread the love.
[00:08:25] PF: Yeah, I like that a lot. Because especially making a card, or doing something, or even painting a pumpkin, and giving it to them, giving it to a neighbor. I think that’s so important right now, because I feel like we’re still a little bit disconnected from each other. We talked about getting back to normal, but it still feels disconnected in so many ways. I think these are great ways. Go ahead.
[00:08:46] DH: No, you know, you’re talking about that getting back to normal. But if you think back, before what we’re all talking about how we didn’t know our neighbors, maybe we are back to normal, and we just realized that we didn’t know them anyway. I bring that up, because it’s not just getting back to normal, it is a proactive activity or asking somebody to do. It’s not just being in your comfort zone, it’s reaching out just a little bit to somebody that you wouldn’t ordinarily be having contact with, and helping them have a happier day or a happier Halloween. I love the idea of the reverse trick or treating with UNICEF. These are all things that are super easy to do. I love them. Thank you, Casey.
[00:09:25] CJ: Of course.
[00:09:26] PF: Yeah, they’re fun. Then, how are we going to turn this into a challenge?
[00:09:31] CJ: So, it’s kind of like our gratitude challenge if any of our listeners remember when we did that a few years ago. Say week one, you donate blood, post a picture, video, whatever on your story, tag us and also, tag a friend and encourage them to keep the momentum going.
[00:09:49] PF: I like that a lot. Because really, that’s the way we’ve seen that with other challenges, where that’s really what makes it take off. People were like, “Hey, I just didn’t think about doing that.” I think that’s what’s so wonderful about the happy acts. It’s not that we don’t want to do them, we just didn’t think about it until someone says, “Hey, this is a great idea” and then they start – next thing you know, you’ve got a movement.
[00:10:09] CJ: Exactly, or a new Halloween tradition.
[00:10:11] DH: Yeah. Well, and the guinea holidays are something I’d never heard of before. I’m glad that you brought that up, but you’re right. I think that’s especially true of kids. They really look forward to Halloween, and they look forward to Christmas, based on the gimme, right? And you can even throw Valentine’s Day in there. I think it’s important to involve your kids in something like this. I mean, certainly, if I painted a pumpkin, it might look like my 10-year-old did it. But I could actually –
[00:10:35] CJ: No one has to know that.
[00:10:37] DH: I could actually –actually, in this particular case, but my next to her, she’s quite artistic. You’d probably think I painted hers and vice versa. But I mean, involve your children, and teach them as well. But giving back to others, or doing things for others, or taking the time to do something to make the world a happier place is worthwhile and not just a march.
[00:10:57] PF: Yeah. How does this kind of set us up for the holiday season? Because I do like the fact that so oftentimes, we kind of rush through October. Well, not this group, because we love October. But many people kind of rush through October so they can get to the start of the holiday season, which starts now apparently. the day after Halloween. But how can we kind of shift our thinking, because of the way we’re approaching October, and maybe even approach the holidays differently?
[00:11:25] CJ: I just think a bit more of as – so Halloween, Christmas, it’s all about kind of like what we touched on earlier, it’s about getting, so it’s – this shifts your mindset into – okay, rather than getting, I’m going to give back.
[00:11:40] DH: Well, we spend a lot of Thanksgiving. Thank giving, right? It’s the, you should be thankful this day, whether you are or not holiday.
[00:11:51] PF: Sorry, if you’re having a bad year, find something to be thankful for.
[00:11:54] DH: There is always something to be thankful for. We talked about that a lot. But you know, you go into Thanksgiving with the, “I’m going to be around some of my relatives, I don’t want to be thankful for them.” But others I’m wonderfully thankful for. I just think that setting up the concept that life isn’t about getting something, and your happiness isn’t about getting something. Very rarely will a gift truly change your life. You can ask my kids what they got last year for Christmas, I guarantee you, they probably don’t remember. Every now and then, you’ll get that life changing, “You know, I got my first 10-speed bicycle on my 12th birthday kind of gifts.” But it’s not, it’s not usually about getting, but giving and creating positive relationships, and being a larger part of the community, and doing things that are within your control to make the world a happier place, and frankly give you greater positive well-being is something kicking out off in October is great. Because as we all know, and we all read every year, the holidays are some of the most times a year when people are most depressed. I think starting that in October, and leading into it and remembering to be thankful for Thanksgiving, and for the month of November, and right into the holidays. You might see some marketing from Live Happy during that timeframe about being thankful and giving.
[00:13:09] PF: It’s possible.
[00:13:11] DH: Because it’s thanks giving. It’s not thanks taking, right?
[00:13:17] PF: I like that.
[00:13:16] DH: I should do some stuff on that. But I think it sets us up in the right mindset and the right frame of mind for the rest of the year, where we’re doing something positive every month. We don’t have to wait all year for that.
[00:13:28] PF: Oh, there we go. We can start doing happy acts every month.
[00:13:30] DH: Well, you know, you can. In fact, I want you to do them every day. But as marketing campaigns go for those of us who’ve got degrees in marketing, it’s better if you coalesce everything around a particular time of year. But it doesn’t mean we don’t want people doing happy acts every day, it doesn’t mean we don’t do happy acts every day. It simply means that we just run a really large advertising campaign to get people involved in March. So now we’re doing the same in October, but it’s something you do every day. I think it’s a good reminder, particularly this time of year where the weather starts changing and people start feeling more isolated, to just get out in front of that and start a little bit early this year.
[00:14:10] PF: I like that. Casey, how are they going to know about the campaign, and how are they going to know what to do, and how to keep up with what’s going on?
[00:14:17] CJ: So we will be sharing each happy act on our social channels. So if you’re not following us, make sure to hit that follow button. We’ll also be sending out an email that highlights each of the happy acts and how you can participate and join in on the challenge. Excellent.
[00:14:37] PF: What do both of you, each of you want to see out of this? What would make you just go, “Wow! I’m so glad we did it because –”?
[00:14:43] DH: I’d love to see a lot of social engagement. I want to see a lot of people flagging Live Happy, and discovering the content that’s on there, and hash tagging, and liking us, and sharing what they’re doing. But you know, it really is about – I want to see people actively doing something. I want to see hundreds of pumpkin pictures, painted pumpkin pictures. Because the reality is, it doesn’t matter how many people you involve, how many people you touch, just knowing that some people are making a difference, and it’s making a difference in some people’s lives is really the most rewarding thing for me. Running into somebody and having them share some of their experience, which does happen is just a phenomenal, humbling experience for me. I think everybody who works at Live Happy know that while we’re talking into a computer screen, what we’re saying, or putting on a computer screen eventually has a positive impact in the world. So for me, I just want to see activity, I wanted people out there doing stuff.
[00:15:42] PF: I like it.
[00:15:43] DH: Tag us, tag me. By the way, I’m the only Deborah Heisz on Facebook or probably in the universe. You can find me; I promise on Facebook or Instagram. Tag me. I’d love to see it.
[00:15:58] PF: That’s cool. That’s cool. How about you, Casey? What do you really hope for this because you’ve kind of masterminded this campaign?
[00:16:04] CJ: My hope, and Deb and I, we were kind of talking about this a few weeks ago. I just want to see people being assets to their community, whether it’s donating blood, painting a pumpkin, donating their candy to a food shelter, or like a senior living home, no happy act, big or small. It makes a huge difference.
[00:16:25] PF: Yeah. What if people come up with their own happy acts. Can they call it a happy act? The #halloweenhappyacts?
[00:16:32] CJ: Absolutely. Yes. So I mean, we’re only highlighting about five or six happy acts that we can do in October. But there are so many that people can go out and do their own. So like donating candy to a food shelter. I don’t think we have that on our list. Donating Halloween costumes. There are kids out there who can’t afford Halloween costumes. So donating materials or just old costumes, that makes a huge difference in kids’ lives.
[00:16:57] PF: That’s great. I saw one thing where there’s a group, and they do this anyway, they paint rocks, and it’s like abandoned rocks, they call it. They paint them, and then they go around, and they put them in neighborhoods, and they have positive messages on them. I saw that they were doing that for Halloween. They’re painting a bunch of stones, like orange, and black, like pumpkins, and then putting a positive message on the back, and sharing them. I thought that would be cool. But again, I fear that I paint even not as well as Deb, so I shouldn’t be doing that. Well, thank you guys both so much for coming on and talking about this. I’m really excited to see this happen. I know it’ll get bigger each year and we’ll keep it going. But thanks again for making it happen and then come in and telling me about it.
[00:17:41] DH: Well, thanks for being the hostess with the mostest, as usual.
[00:17:46] PF: Thank you.
[00:17:49] CJ: Thank you, Paula. Happy Halloween everyone.
[00:17:51] PF: Oh yeah, Happy Halloween.
[00:17:53] DH: Happy Halloween.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[00:17:57] PF: That was Live Happy’s own Deborah Heisz and Casey Johnson, talking about our all-new Halloween Happy Acts Campaign. If you’d like to learn more, you can follow Live Happy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, or visit our website at livehappy.com and click on the podcast tab. While you’re on the website, why not pop into the Live Happy store and checkout are brand spanking new, Choose Happy tote bag. This cool and useful bag is great for work and play. Oh, what the heck, it can even double as a trick or treat bag. Check it out in the new merch section at store.livehappy.com
That is all we have time for today. We’ll meet you back here again next week for an all-new episode. Until then, this is Paula Felps, reminding you to make every day a happy one.