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Happiness Portal

The Happiness Portal is designed to provide Binghamton University faculty, staff, graduate employees, retirees and their families with a variety of ideas for small, simple changes to manage stress and increase happiness. Here you will find education and information on stress management, research on happiness and proactive strategies for changing your life without actually changing your life.

Workplace Happiness Facts

The Scandinavians are the only people in the world who have a word for happiness at work:  Arbejdsglaede

The Japanese have a word for death by overwork:  Karoshi

Among age groups, those 50 and older are more likely to be very happy than younger Americans. Women are happier than men. And members of either the Democratic or Republican parties are happier than political Independents.  See additional happiness research results at 2013 Happiness Poll .

Happy people...

do better work
are more productive
are more helpful
are better at service
are more focused on quality
are better team players
are more open
are more likeable
show more empathy
are more optimistic
are more motivated
are more engaged
are more energetic
learn faster
are better leaders

Happiness Experiment Roadmap

Step One: Review the stress management educational materials 

Step Two: Rate your stress level

Step Three: Rate your pre-experiment happiness level

Step Four: Review the happiness research 

Step Five: Implement happiness strategies

Step Six: Rate your post-experiment happiness level

The Happiness Experiment

In fall 2010, Binghamton University's Employee Assistance Program and the Office of the University Ombudsman collaborated on a joint, resiliency-based venture called "The Happiness Experiment." "The Happiness Experiment," based on NY Times bestselling novel The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, began with a simple hypothesis: If we committed to practicing at least one evidence-based happiness strategy each week, would our happiness increase? Three years, one flood, a Great Recession, one interim University president, one new University president, 39 participants and three "Happiness Experiments" later, here are some of the things we learned, themes we explored, materials we looked at and results we got:

Happiness Overview

Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle


Faking It

Making the Time to be Happy

Happiness and Play

Happiness at Work

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Happiness Nuggets of Wisdom

Stress Management

Workplace Stress Facts

The World Health Organization calls job stress:

  • A "worldwide epidemic"
  • America's #1 health problem

What is work-related stress?

  • Work-related stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and that challenge their ability to cope.
  • Stress occurs in a wide range of work circumstances, but is often made worse when employees feel they have little support from supervisors and colleagues as well as little control over work processes.
  • There is often confusion between pressure or challenge and stress and sometimes it is used to excuse bad management practice.

Stress costs an estimated $200 billion annually.

Stress is now the most common cause of absence due to long-term sickness according to 2011 research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Research suggests that one in six people of working age have a mental health problem such as stress, anxiety or depression. 

Additional Educational Resources and Information on Stress Management


Happiness studies and stress management materials for this page were compiled by Heather K. Hubeny, LMSW, CEAP. Special thanks to Colleen Stanley, SUNY Stony Brook Lead EAP Coordinator, for generously sharing materials from her presentation "Managing Stress – Tools for Healthy Living."

Last Updated: 10/17/16