Double Interview with Emily Esfahani Smith & Hein Zegers

Fragment from a double interview with Emily Esfahani Smith & Hein Zegers in Marie Claire (Belgium), September 2017, p. 96-98 (“There is more to life than being happy”):

Hein Zegers, Well-Being researcher and author of Clutteritis (Zooikoorts, Lannoo Publishing) also has mixed feelings about the happiness hype. “Happiness studies are often about averages, but a human is no average. Take soccer, for example. To some, soccer is the ultimate happiness booster, whereas for others, it is a nightmare. Or take mindfulness: it may be beneficial, but not for everybody. Or take people that are mildly depressed: they tend to become even more depressed when they are exposed to the well-meaning advice of a happiness guru.

Next, there is the compulsory character of the happiness industry. It is as if we are almost obliged to be happy. Just living a satisfied life is not enough these days, it has to be wild and exciting. Before we know it, we are busy keeping up appearances all day. Loudly proclaiming, like a Hyacinth Bucket, how incredibly happy we are.

 

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