Home All Positive Psychology News Celebrates 10 Years

Positive Psychology News Celebrates 10 Years

written by Senia Maymin and Kathryn Britton 18 January 2017

Senia Maymin and Kathryn Britton are the senior editors of PositivePsychologyNews.com. Together they have edited two books in the Positive Psychology News series: Resilience: How to Navigate Life's Curves and Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts. Kathryn co-edited the third book in the series, Character Strengths Matter, with Shannon Polly. Their co-authored articles are here.

Senia Maymin, MAPP '06, is the coauthor of Profit from the Positive. Maymin is an executive coach to entrepreneurs and CEOs. Her PhD is in organizational behavior from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Full Bio. Her solo articles are here and her articles with Margaret Greenberg are here.

Kathryn Britton, MAPP '06 also co-authored Smarts and Stamina on using positive psychology principles to build strong health habits. Blog. Full bio. Her solo articles are here.

Positive Psychology News (PPND) published its first article, What is Positive Psychology? by Senia Maymin on January 1, 2007. In the 10 years since then, PPND has published more than 1350 articles by nearly 150 different authors. That is a lot of points of view on bringing positive psychology to work in many different life circumstances.

The goal of PPND is to connect daily life to the findings emerging from research in areas such as character strengths, models of well-being, actions that do and do not increase well-being, and positive organizational scholarship. Almost all articles have at least one reference to sources people can read for greater understanding, from research papers to books written by experts for rest of us. Although the research keeps moving, many of the earliest articles make connections that are still relevant today. Over the ten years, we’ve linked to 1000 books and many times that many articles about research in positive psychology.

PPND has experimented with various ways to help people find relevant content, from the image maps published early on to the three books bringing together articles around important themes: resilience, gratitude, and character strengths.

In the 10 years, we’ve touched a lot of lives. Nearly 100,000 people follow PosPsych on Twitter, nearly 10,000 have liked the Facebook page, and 8500 get new articles by email.

We’ve celebrated new books, some by our authors and some reviewed by our authors. We have celebrated new training programs such as the Certificate for Applied Positive Psychology program launched by authors Emiliya Zhivotovskaya and Louis Alloro. We’ve described games that increase well-being, such as the Choose Happiness card game. In fact, we’ll be publishing an article about Legos for building character strengths in a few days.

Here to help us celebrate a fruitful decade are a sample of our authors. If you would like to share about how PPND has affected you, please join us in the comment area below. To find more articles by an author, click on his or her name.

Aren Cohen:

I am so grateful to PPND for providing a venue to share ideas and voices. A particularly funny PPND episode relates to some feedback my 2010 Savoring Thanksgiving article, which received some unexpected feedback. I was grateful that the PPND editors stood by me and valued my personal expression.

One of my favorite articles on PPND, one that I try to implement daily within my own life is Kathryn Britton’s 2014 article, Think of It As an Experiment. It offers such sound advice on how to approach new projects with a constructive and forgiving outlook. A great perspective to consider as a New Year’s Resolution!

Editor’s Note: Aren wrote the article that has been most visited on the site. Thank You Notes and Positive Psychology has had more than 300,000 hits since it was published in December 2008.

Amanda Horne:

PPND has meant much more than a blog of articles. Behind the scenes there is a community of like-minded people who care about bringing high quality articles to the attention of readers around the world. In 2009 at an International Positive Psychology Conference, I met Senia and Kathryn, who invited me to participate in the community of writers. More memorable moments followed, such as when three of us writers collaborated to read the latest Positive Organizational Scholarship book and to select the chapters which we would write about. One of the POS articles was Civility.

Also behind the scenes Senia and Kathryn convened conference calls with writers, and also provided regular support to help us with ideas, editing, quality assurance.

Thank you Kathryn and Senia. I wonder what our next 10 years will bring?

Kathryn Britton

Writing for PPND has given me chances to think about what’s going on in my life and what I can do to maintain my own flourishing and help others flourish.

Since yesterday was my 36th wedding anniversary, I just reread my 2010 piece, Two Bits of Wisdom about Long-Term Relationships. Yes, these are still the points I’d make today if a young friend asked me about how to build a strong marriage.

Another article that have recommended over and over, particularly to students, is Powerful Questions to Ask in a Job Interview. I captured the questions that Alan Foster recommends that we use in job interviews. Remember that interviews go both ways. Not only must the employer figure out which candidates are right for the job, but also the candidates needs to figure out if the job is a good match for their needs.

Kudos to Senia Maymin for taking the idea that recent MAPP graduates might want to continue writing from thought to action.

Orin Davis:

I continually find that knowing what we want is one of the most important things we can think about. Even if we’re just asking what it is we want from today. So, let’s ask: What am I Doing and Why?

Lisa Sansom:

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years of PPND. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Applied Positive Psychology program in 2010 and entered the wonderful world of positive psychology. Someone, probably Kathryn, asked if I would like to write for PPND and so I did. Book reviews became my “thing” and I had great intentions to write every month, but life and work have a tendency to get in the way… However, I enjoy reading all of the articles that come through my inbox and it’s a lovely way to stay connected with the positive psychology community.

I consider PPND to be a ground-breaker in the field of PP and its application, and Senia and Kathryn are pioneers and role-models in so many ways. They have been ever-generous and kind to me as an author, a PP colleague and friends. I know PPND touches lives, and I recommend it at the end of every PP presentation that I give: the PPND website has a permanent place on the final slides of every PowerPoint deck, and I refer people to PPND all the time. I hope PPND has another 10 to the power of 10 years ahead of it. Cheers to all. I salute you!

Louisa Jewell:

My first PPND article was the first article I ever wrote for the Internet. It was very scary putting myself out there. Of course, I had to pick a controversial topic, Bright-sided by Barbara Ehrenreich (Book Review). What was I thinking? The article sparked a big discussion about her scathing review of positive psychology, and I found myself being publicly criticized and ridiculed by some big names in positive psychology.

I remember the article was published while I was up at the cottage and I was so shocked and worried that my writing career was over before it even began! Tears welled in my eyes, I was so upset. My husband at the time, Tim, asked me if I believed what I wrote, if I had researched it and thoughtfully written a piece that I thought was fair and not one-sided. I said “Yes.”

He said “Then get back in the ring and respond with confidence. Stand up for yourself.” So I wiped my tears, and I did respond to every comment. It was so empowering! I learned a great lesson that day. I learned that sometimes you have to fight for what you believe in, especially if it is going to help the world be a better place. You will have naysayers, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop.

I have to thank PPND for giving me an opportunity to begin writing. My first book, an exploration of building confidence and conquering self-doubt, is now coming out in the spring. It all started with PPND. Happy 10-year anniversary PPND! You are doing wonderful work!

Margaret Greenberg:

What has PPND meant to me? PPND helped me create a writing habit, which built my self-efficacy and led me to co-author a bestselling book with PPND’s founder Senia Maymin. Thank you PPND!

Editor’s note: Margaret is an exemplar of the strength she described in Get It Out the Door Nominated for 25th Character Strength.

Louis Alloro:

10 years! Wowza. PPND was the first “thing” I remember being a part of in this space. Always so generous and inclusive. Thank you for walking the talk — and sustainably so.

Editor’s Note:: Louis reminded us that Mindfulness in the Morning is More than Meditation.

Marta Valázquez Gil: I have been collaborating with the PPND for almost 3 years. Firstly, as a translator, and secondly, as an Associate Editor for the Spanish PPND. It has been a long and fascinating run. I remember that I wrote my first article in this magazine, and since then, I have written other ones that have profoundly affected me. I have written about topics such as cultural vocabulary or mindfulness. PPND has always been a vehicle to spread meaningful messages and interesting research, and I hope it continues the same way for many years.

Elaine O’Brien:

Cheers and Happy 10 Years! For me, PPND has promoted goodness, positive connections, and enriched leadership in advancing the science, theory and practices of Positive Psychology.

A memory that stands out for me is being on Amtrak, after presenting at the Association for Applied Sport Psychology conference. My mentor, UPenn MAPP instructor/mentor/friend, Gloria Park, had put together a great workshop on the intersection of Applied Positive Psychology and Physical Activity; our discussant was Dr. Michael Sachs, my future Ph.D. advisor. On the train ride home, I was trying to complete my first PPND story, emailing my PPND story editor, Kathryn Britton, about my content. After some back and forth, Kathryn finally said, “Why don’t you give me a call.” I did and it was a real treat and a breakthrough to connect in depth with Kathryn, who couldn’t have been a more kind, helpful and wonderful. It is a very pleasant memory and very exciting time.

One of my favorite articles is Joyful Blessings Days: Intergenerational Gratitude Exercises, a positive intervention I created for Dr. Chris Peterson’s class that I put into practice to promote positive movement and appreciation and learning across generations.

Senia Maymin:

This community is just pure joy. Examples abound:

Working with everyone in this community and in the comments and in the written articles has been really fulfilling. On a personal note, the most fulfilling aspect has been working with Kathryn. I kept PPND going for the first two to three years, and Kathryn has kept it going for the last 7-8 years. It has been incredible to work and play with such a thoughtful, deep, supportive, challenging lifetime collaborator. Huge personal gratitude to Kathryn. Also huge professional gratitude to Kathryn for what the site has grown into.

What comes next? We invite you to let us know what you’d like to see.

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Angus Skinner 24 January 2017 - 9:28 am

Congratulations Kathryn and Senia –

and well said Louis ‘PPND was the first “thing” I remember being a part of in this space. Always so generous and inclusive.’


Judy Krings 24 January 2017 - 10:17 am

Elephant hugs of congrats to everyone on your team, dear Kathryn and Senia, for gifting all of us eager positive psychology learners with cutting-edge research, strengths-building, well-being whipper-uppers, and fun flourishing. I look forward to every article. I appreciate every comment posted above and an grateful for your links.

Also, I thank those authors, delightful Homaira Kabir comes to mind, who have honored us by sharing their personal challenges, foibles and overcome fear using positive psychology applications. Hearing how folks from different cultures employ positive psychology is particularly enjoyable and appreciated.

As a strengths junkie, I have valued Ryan Niemiec’s strengths research and applications. My positive psychology coaching clients really dive into strengths. Your articles about strengths empower them to learn more creative ways to harness positivity.

If I thanked all your coaches and guest writers, I would be typing all day. Each of you is precious gift to humanity and a joyful partner in my transcendence. THANKS to you all for being bright stars in my positive psychology universe.

With a broad smile and eternal gratitude I wish you continued joyful success.

Diana Gabriele (nee Boufford) 24 January 2017 - 12:59 pm

I had the great pleasure of being introduced to PPND after co-presenting at the International Network for Personal Meaning Conference held in Toronto in 2010. Following that, Kathryn asked that I write an article on my specialty at the time, Psychogeriatrics. That turned into a wonderful adventure of 7 or 8 articles. It was scary, and exhilarating. Kathryn was so supportive and it was so incredibly gratifying to be introduced to so many wonderful like-minded people, authors, principles, conceptualizations and practices of employing Positive Psychology. Kathryn and Senia have done a marvelous job opening their website to the world. For those who want to speak, those who want to read and learn and those who pass on it on. Keep doing so – It blesses us all.
Diana Gabriele nee Boufford

Jeremy McCarthy 1 February 2017 - 10:33 pm

Happy Anniversary PPND!


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