Now in its 10th year, I’m happy to offer you the best of the best positive psychology movies from the past year. I comb through popular, independent, and obscure films to select important films across some of the most important positive psychology themes.
Movie Review and Event Review
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” gets most heads nodding like a metronome. Except, of course, when the apple does in fact fall far. This stunning documentary takes you behind the scenes with several incredible families where individual children are outliers, entirely distinctive from all the other kinsfolk. Right now the film is opening in theaters across the United States and I encourage you to observe positive profiles in resilience, hope, and the enduring power of love amongst five amazing families.
AllMovieMovie Review and Event ReviewPositive agingRelationshipsStrengths
The Positive Psychology Movie Awards of 2017
The Positive Psychology News Movie Award series is now in its 9th year of providing the best of the best positive psychology movies. I comb through popular, independent, and obscure films from the previous year in order to share with you these awards across positive psychology themes.
AllMovieMovie Review and Event ReviewPositive FeelingsStrengths
The Positive Psychology Movie Awards for 2016
Now in its 8th year, I’m happy to share my observations of the best movies using the science of positive psychology as a lens. In other words, if researchers/practitioners in positive psychology were the ones to give out Oscars for the best films, this is what they might say.
AllMovieMovie Review and Event ReviewPositive EmotionStrengths
The Positive Psychology Movie Awards for 2015: Just in Time for the Oscars
Get ready for the Academy Awards. The Positive Psychology Movie Awards are coming out before the Oscars this year. A PPND tradition since 2009, these awards go to films that offer some of the best portrayals of key themes in positive psychology. Here are the winners.
AllBook ReviewChangeDecision-MakingHabitsMotivationMovie Review and Event ReviewPathway 1 "Pleasure"Pathway 3 "Meaning"Taking Action
Designing Happiness for 2015
From Paul Dolan’s talk about his new book, Happiness by Design, I gained 3 important insights to shape my thinking about happiness in the new year.
AllHappiness ExercisesIn-the-NewsMovie Review and Event ReviewStrengths
#CharacterDay on March 20: Film Premiere of The Science of Character
Today is #CharacterDay, the premiere of an 8-minute film that explores the social science and neuroscience behind character development and how we can shape who we are. Find out how to view the film and participate in the events going on today.
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Happiness, Right Before Your Eyes (Review of The Happy Show)
Within the first five minutes of walking into graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister’s exhibit, “The Happy Show,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, I found myself being instructed to drop a quarter into a machine whose destination seemed to be smack in the middle of the sidewalk outside (and conferred no immediate gratification to do so: no gumball, no decoder ring, no stuffed toy to reward the action). On blind faith and curiosity, I did so.
AllConferencesMovieMovie Review and Event ReviewPathway 3 "Meaning"Resilience
Meaning Can Come from Suffering AND Play
When you think of the meaning of your life, do you think of making it, searching for it, finding it, or noticing it? Do you associate meaning with times of well-being or do you believe meaning becomes apparent primarily in times of suffering?
We live in a world in which film is a dominant source of information. With influence comes power, and with power comes the need for a watchful eye. We at the Media Watch Committee track films that make significant comments on psychological issues. We seek to applaud high-quality films with accurate insights, while providing a reality-check on films that relay stigmatizing or misleading information. For example, contrast two films that deal with Borderline Personality Disorder.
AllMovieMovie Review and Event ReviewStrengths
The Positive Psychology Movie Awards of 2011: Character Strengths and Best Picture
Positive psychology movies teach us something about the human condition, help us face suffering, and shine a light on character strengths. Here I nominate movies for awards for exemplifying authenticity, teamwork, zest, strength paragons, having too much of a single strength, and having constellations of strengths. The article concludes with my nomination for Positive Psychology Best Picture of 2011.
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The Positive Psychology Oscars of 2011: Elements of Flourishing
Positive psychology movies are not only the lighthearted films that inspire and elevate us, but also the movies that teach us something about the human condition, help us face suffering, and shine a light on pain and tragedy. You’ll see a mixture of both types of films in my offering of the Positive Psychology Movie Awards for 2011. This is part 1. Come back tomorrow for the awards for character strengths—and the best picture award.
For those new to positive psychology, the movie, Happy, is a great introduction to the field and the work of some of its most prominent researchers, including Ed Diener, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Sonja Lyubomirsky, and Richard Davidson. Happy weaves a lot the research we’re already familiar with into a story that takes us from the slums of Kolkata to the subways of Tokyo to the bayous of Louisiana to the beaches of Brazil and other continents in between.
Oddly enough, it was April Fool’s day when I went to see the new movie by Tom Shadyac, director of comedies such as Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, and Patch Adams. Shadyac had a serious cycling accident that resulted in him facing his own death. He emerged with new purpose – and this movie is the realization that although (to quote the trailer), he had it all, he had it all wrong.