If you feel unreasonably annoyed by cheerful people and constantly feel an irritation creeping up your spine when you hear the words “happiness”, “optimism” and “positivity”, you might be trapped in a negative thinking cycle. Negative attitudes are toxic and they can not only poison your way of thinking but can actually decrease your lifespan. We know that staying positive during these tough times is really difficult. That’s why as part of The Wellness Starter Pack, we hand-picked our favorite books, apps, podcasts and educational videos that will inspire you to see the glass half full and not half empty.
But what is positivity? Just like life is not all sunshine and rainbows, positivity is not about being happy 100% of the time either. Positive thinking is not a miracle cure that will change your life forever, and it definitely does not equal getting rid of all negative thoughts. Positive thinking helps you manage your negative emotions and embrace the fact that you are feeling negative. Practicing positive thinking helps you own your strengths, be more realistic and act positively.
Positivity is highly underrated in the music industry, since everyone is too busy “making it”. However, if you are positive, you will be able to work harder and make more meaningful connections. You will be able to enjoy your own success (no matter how little) and be happy for others’ accomplishments. You will be able to enjoy the crazy hectic adventure of music-making and not just focus on the unreachable goals and seven-digit streaming numbers.
Research has shown that a variety of feelings and habits seem to be contagious, and happiness is no exception, even online. So please allow yourself to be infected with the good vibes and positivity, and we’ll show you how to get started!
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“Life is a process–just one thing after another. When you lose it, just start again.”
Richard Carlson was an American author and psychotherapist, a trusted expert in happiness and stress reduction. He coined the term “don’t sweat the small stuff” we’re all familiar with these days. We’re so good at making a big deal out of things that really aren’t such a big deal, and this book really helps to cut out the crap. Change your attitude with one page at a time, Carlson’s ideas are like chill pills for the weary mind.
“Maturity is what happens when one learns to only give a fuck about what’s truly fuckworthy.”
Mark Manson is a professional blogger, entrepreneur, and former dating coach. His counterintuitive approach to living a good life is a fresh breeze in the dusty self-help world. This no-bullshit book takes a different approach to help you improve your general life attitude. The message is the same, minus the sugarcoating. Tons of entertaining stories wrapped in cold-blooded humor, for those who are slowly running out of f*cks.
“Exploring what brings you joy for 100 days is an extraordinary feat.”
Dmitry Golubnichy is the founder of the 100HappyDays Foundation, a nonprofit organization on a mission to make the world happier. He’s the creative mind behind the #100HappyDays Challenge, and this is an invitation to join the fun. With the help of daily prompts, this guide helps you find those small things in life that make you happy, even if you think most of your days suck. It’s a great experiment in focusing on the good stuff, and the book is super pretty, too!
The complete self-care toolkit for those who need a moment to themselves in this crazy world that never seems to slow down. Gratitude, compassion, and mindfulness in one pocket-friendly platform. Receive your fair share of motivational wisdom, practice meditation to learn kindness and log your own gratitude journal. As a bonus, you can be part of the digital community Shine Squad, where you can share your experiences with other members.
Price: Free with optional premium subscription, 7-days free trial
The Happify app is a gamified self-improvement program that aims to help you with mindfulness and positivity. It offers engaging games, activities, quizzes and even private coaching that will inspire a more positive outlook on your daily life – if you’re ready to make some effort. Do you want to build self-confidence, cope with stress or conquer your negative thoughts? Happify to the rescue!
Price: Free with optional premium subscription, 7-days free trial
Being grateful for things you have plays a major role in having a positive attitude. This good-looking and easy-to-use app is made for (literally) counting your blessings. If you haven’t considered keeping a journal yet, and you would rather not put your thoughts on actual paper, this could be the perfect way of getting started. Just answer daily questions that will get your creative juices flowing, and let the journaling begin. Simple and efficient!
Price: Free with optional premium subscription
Hosted by Dacher Keltner, award-winning professor and founder of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, this podcast invites you into the wonderful scientific world of happiness. Each episode focuses on a happiness-related topic and offers research-based tips for a more balanced life. Wondering how to be less hard on yourself, how to get your priorities straight or how to deal with uncertainty? Tune in to find answers and tips!
Award-winning author and entrepreneur Jonathan Fields spent more than two decades traveling around the world to explore what it means to live a good life. He’s studied and learned from a wide range of people, from Tibetan Buddhists to artists and billionaire CEOs. In his podcast, he combines his immense wealth of knowledge with the brutal honesty of his guests who have worked hard to find the answers we’re all looking for.
If you often wake up in the morning feeling anxious and stressed about the day ahead, listen up! Sneak in 10 extra minutes into your morning routine to embrace this podcast while you’re sipping on your morning coffee. Allow time to slow down and not only fill up with caffeine but a big splash motivation. Host Scott Smith is funny without being cheesy and effective without being too pushy. A great listen with practical and useful tips.
What is happiness? Some might say it’s fame and money, but if you ask psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Robert Waldinger, you’re sorely mistaken. He is the director of a Harvard Study, one of the longest-running studies (75 years!!!) ever done on happiness. You could say he knows all the secrets! In this TED talk, he shares some important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical tips on living a happy life.
Pretty much everyone has voices in their heads. Even if we don’t think about them often or never discuss them with others. Sometimes these inner voices are nice and encouraging. But sometimes they are hostile and humiliating, and they can drag us down for real. Part of achieving happiness and positivity involves altering our inner voices, and this short video by The School of Life explains how to take control of these unwanted negative party poopers in our heads.
Acclaimed neuropsychologist and author Dr. Rick Hanson knows a thing or two about how to rewire your brain and fine-tune it for happiness, he even wrote a book on the topic. In this TEDx talk, he talks about what you can do to override the brain’s default pessimism with the help of everyday experiences. Building new neural structures full of happiness, love, and confidence is much more simple than you’d think! Say hello to positivity!
Editor’s note: This article is part of The Wellness Starter Pack, which is a collection of videos, interviews, and articles exploring some of the most challenging health issues music makers experience today. Think of it as a toolbox for health, specifically created with music makers in mind.
The information within The Wellness Starter Pack is provided for general informational and educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Seek the advice of a physician or a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.