Meet Our Experts

Happify's tracks were created with the best and brightest minds—experts, research scientists, and practitioners—who believe in what we are doing and are passionate about improving people's lives.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D.

Dr. Lyubomirsky is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside and author of the bestseller The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness, translated in 23 and 16 countries, respectively. Her research—on the possibility of lastingly increasing happiness—has received many honors, including the Templeton Positive Psychology Prize and a Science of Generosity grant.

Acacia Parks, Ph.D

Renowned authority and Hiram College professor who teaches classes on the science of happiness, Dr. Parks serves as Happify's chief scientist and also conducts original research on positive interventions in everyday behavior—and their ability to transform lives. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and serves as associate editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology.

Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.

Among the most highly cited scholars in psychology, Dr. Fredrickson has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and her books, Positivity and Love 2.0 have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at UNC Chapel Hill, and is beginning her term as President of the International Positive Psychology Association.

Shawn Achor

Where do we start? Shawn wrote international bestseller The Happiness Advantage. The same research made the cover of the Harvard Business Review, and has drawn more than 4 million views to his TEDx talk. The translation of Shawn’s wisdom into a Happify track turns his brilliant ideas into positive action.

Robert McGrath, Ph.D.

Robert McGrath is Professor of Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is also a Senior Scientist for the VIA Institute on Character, and beginning in 2017 a member of the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association. He has authored over 200 presentations and publications, and has spoken extensively on the ontology and measurement of character, including presentations at Oxford University and the National Academy of Sciences.

Rick Hanson, Ph.D

The titles of Rick Hanson's books tell you why we are thrilled to work with him: Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha's Brain, and Mother Nurture. He’s a neuropsychologist, Senior Fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and publishes a newsletter, "Just One Thing", that has over 100,000 subscribers.

Roberta Lee, M.D.

Stress robs us of happiness, so we're thrilled that Dr. Lee, a true authority on the subject, has put together one of our most popular tracks. She's the author of The Superstress Solution and an integrative medicine primary care physician at the University of Arizona Medical Center's Pantano Clinic. Before that she was the vice chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Hospital in NYC.

Derrick Carpenter, MAPP

A sought-after life coach who has counseled everyone from Fortune 500 executives to stay-at-home moms to U.S. Army Officers, Derrick created his Happify tracks to broaden access to his experience and techniques—which includes research in the psychology labs of Harvard and Yale. An athletic enthusiast, he was voted Most Inspirational by his college rowing team.

Kwabena "Bobo" Blankson, M.D.

A graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Medicine, Doctor Bobo studied neurodegenerative diseases, including the effects of positive environmental enrichment in Huntington's Disease and the role of spirituality in Parkinson's disease. His areas of expertise include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and chronic headaches. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and been featured in,, and

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen has emerged as one of the most thought-provoking writers on the science of happiness. She is the author of several books, including the #1 New York Times and international bestseller, The Happiness Project. It’s a riveting account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, incorporating the findings of current scientific studies, and living pop culture’s wisdom about the road to happiness.

John Gottman, Ph.D.

Dr. John Gottman is world-renowned for his work that predicts marital stability and divorce. He was voted as one of the top 10 Most Influential Therapists of the past quarter century by the Psychotherapy Networker and has spent more than 40 years working with thousands of couples. He is the author of dozens of books, including the bestseller The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.

Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP

Bestselling author of Creating Your Best Life, Positively Caroline and My Name is Caroline, Caroline coaches, teaches and speaks to audiences around the world about goals, flourishing and grit. Martin Seligman, the "father of Positive Psychology," said that Creating Your Best Life added "a major missing piece" to the world of coaching because of its ground-breaking connection between the science of happiness and the science of success.

Afton Hassett, Psy.D

Dr. Hassett is a licensed clinical psychologist and Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Michigan. As a principal investigator at the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center, she conducts highly collaborative and innovative research related to exploring the role of cognitive, affective and behavioral factors in chronic pain populations. She has published studies exploring wellbeing and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Michael Norton, Ph.D.

Michael Norton is a professor at the Harvard Business School and the co-author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. Dr. Norton understands, on a deep level what truly brings lasting happiness—and that insight is captured in his expert track. In 2012, he made Wired magazine’s Smart List as one of "50 People Who Will Change the World."

Emma Seppala, Ph.D.

Dr. Seppala is science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, author of The Happiness Track, and a leading expert on health psychology, wellbeing, and resilience. She founded the popular news site Fulfillment Daily and holds degrees from Yale, Columbia, and Stanford. Originally from Paris, France, she speaks French, English, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Denise Clegg, MAPP

Denise launched the Penn Positive Neuroscience Project and directed the Penn Center for Neuroscience & Society after receiving her Master of Applied Positive Psychology there. She also served on the Penn Resilience training team and led workshops on the science and experience of mindfulness meditation for professional and community groups. Her work with NGOs is dedicated to advancing research and policies with a positive social impact and that nurture resilience within individuals and systems.

Ryan Niemiec, Psy.D.

A licensed psychologist, certified coach, and international workshop leader, Ryan is an adjunct professor at Xavier University and adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. He has led several hundred mindfulness meditation groups over the last decade, and is the creator of Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP). He is Education Director of the VIA Institute on Character and author of a few books, including Mindfulness and Character Strengths: A Practical Guide to Flourishing.

John Coffey, Ph.D., M.S.W.

John is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Sewanee: The University of the South. He is the second person to earn a PhD in Positive Developmental Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and serves as a life coach for parents and their children. His research focuses on understanding and promoting well-being from childhood and adolescence into adulthood by merging theories from developmental and positive psychology.

Tina Chadda, M.D.

Dr. Chadda is a practicing psychiatrist, author, and mindfulness and wellness coach. She is affiliated with the University of Toronto as a lecturer, Immediate Past Chair of the Psychotherapy Section of the Ontario Psychiatric Association and a founding member of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. Most recently, the International Association of Health Care Professionals recognized her as a Top Doctor.

John Zelenski, Ph.D.

Dr. Zelenski is an Associate Professor of Psychology and directs the Carleton University Happiness Laboratory. He studies individual differences in happiness and how these unfold as momentary thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Most of this work has focused on the trait of introversion-extraversion or how people connect with nature. He has taught university courses on personality and positive psychology to rave reviews at Carleton, Washington University, and around the world (literally) with Semester at Sea.

Margarita Tarragona, Ph.D.

A psychologist, coach, clinician, and organizational consultant who specializes in personal and relational transformation, Dr. Tarragona incorporates scientific findings on flourishing from positive psychology, with collaborative and narrative ways of working with clients to generate dialogue and expand their life stories. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Chicago and is the author of Positive Identities: Positive Psychology and Narrative Practices.

Sharon Salzberg

A meditation teacher and New York Times best-selling author, Sharon is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA and has played a crucial role in bringing Asian meditation practices to the West. Sharon has been a student of meditation since 1971, guiding retreats worldwide since 1974. She is the author of many books including Real Happiness and Lovingkindness.

Itai Ivtzan, Ph.D.

Dr. Ivtzan is a positive psychologist, senior lecturer, and the program leader of MAPP (Masters in Applied Positive Psychology) at the University of East London. His main areas of research are positive psychology, mindfulness, and spirituality. He's the author of Awareness is Freedom: The Adventure of Psychology and Spirituality and co-author of Mindfulness in Positive Psychology: The Science of Meditation and Wellbeing.

Orin C. Davis, Ph.D.

Dr. Davis is the first person to earn a Ph.D. in positive psychology. Impressive, isn’t it? In his study he was mentored by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the pioneer in “flow experiences"—how to make the most out of the dynamics and activities of everyday life. Dr. Davis currently spends his time researching self-actualization flow, and creativity at the Quality of Life Laboratory.

Elizabeth Dunn, Ph.D.

An associate professor of psychology at the University of British and co-author of Happy Money. Dr. Dunn has examined the role of adversity in creating the ability to savor, and the impact of helping others on our well-being. At age 26 she was featured as one of the "rising stars" across all academia by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Jared Minkel, Ph.D.

Dr. Minkel is Director of Adult Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital, the principal teaching hospital of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and received additional postdoctoral training in cognitive neuroscience at Duke University Medical Center. His clinical and scientific interests are focused on how insufficient or disrupted sleep influences emotion and stress in adults.

Michelle McQuaid, MAPP

Michelle is a best-selling author, workplace wellbeing teacher and playful change activator. With more than a decade of senior leadership experience in large organizations around the world, she’s passionate about translating cutting-edge research from positive psychology and neuroscience, into practical strategies for health, happiness, and business success. She is currently an honorary fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education.

Andrew Scheffer

Andrew has the rare distinction of being both a former monk and a Wharton MBA. He's logged 10,000+ hours in mindfulness training over 25 years, including 8 years in monasteries around the world. He also spent 15 years in private banking and wealth management at firms like Morgan Stanley and UBS. With this background, he teaches people how to apply mindfulness in the business world and in all areas of our hectic daily lives.

Stella Grizont, MAPP

Stella is the founder of WOOPAAH, a company that designs happiness and play experiences for individuals and organizations like Google and Columbia University to increase their well-being, creativity, and productivity. Stella is one of the first 200 people in the world to receive a Master in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work has been featured on MSNBC, Vanity Fair, ABC7, and Entrepreneur Magazine.

Ran Zilca

Ran is a research scientist and coach who pioneered the use of mobile technology to deliver programs of positive personal transformation, bringing him into close collaboration with partners like Deepak Chopra and Stephen Covey. Ran’s vision of personal transformation was reflected in his own life, and the result was a 6,000-mile, cross-country motorcycle ride and a new book, The Ride of Your Life.