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Mission: JOY Global Community Watch Party (Ended)

Acts of Joy

You’re invited to join the

Big Joy Science Project

Find out which micro acts of joy work best for you in 7 min x 7 days

Acts of Joy

You’re invited to join:

Big Joy Science Project

The Science of Joy and Happiness

with Elissa Epel, PhD, Darwin Guevarra, PhD, Demond Hill and Peggy Callahan

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What you'll learn

  • Understand the latest science of happiness and why happy people on average live longer, have stronger immune systems, are more resilient to stress and trauma, are more likely to marry and less likely to divorce, and more.
  • Hear about the Big Joy Science Project and how daily micro acts of Joy can increase your happiness and wellbeing
  • Be led in a gratitude practice that you can try at home

About the speakers

Elissa Epel, PhD

Elissa Epel, PhD, is a Professor and Vice Chair at University of California, San Francisco. She studies health psychology, how chronic stress can impact mental health, and biological aging throughout the lifespan — including intergenerational transmission of health. She also studies how contemplative interventions may promote emotional well-being, resilience, and physiological thriving, especially in the face of existential stress. She’s interested in climate distress and action. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and past Co-Chair of Mind and Life Institute Steering Council. Epel is author of The Telomere Effect, a best-seller in 30 languages, and The Stress Prescription.

Darwin Guevarra, PhD

Darwin Guevarra, PhD, is a postdoctoral scholar with the Network for Emotional Well-being at University of California, San Francisco. Darwin is broadly interested in intervention research on how to improve a person's emotional life and well-being. Darwin specializes in leveraging placebo effects and cognitive nudges to manage distress.

Demond Hill

Demond Hill Jr. is a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, in the Department of Social Welfare. His research interests are at the intersection of Black children, Black youth, Black families, and (im)possibilities of Black healing, joy, and beauty. Specifically, utilizing critical theories, his research looks at the social and emotional development of Black children/youth. As an educator and youth worker who has evolved into a community-based scholar, he is unapologetically committed to collectively creating a liberatory world for Black children, Black youth, and Black families.

Peggy Callahan

Peggy Callahan’s sense of fairness (or maybe masochism) has driven her work in film, television, and human rights. Peggy believes in the power of story to create real change on the planet. She was honored to capture the life-changing conversations between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his “mischievous brother” Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The dialogues inspired the film Mission: Joy - Finding Happiness in Troubled Times with Peggy as Co-Director and Producer. Peggy and team created the BIG JOY global project with scientists from UCSF, Harvard, and Berkeley. It is available online for free and increases participants' joy as it expands the science of joy. Peggy‘s grown-up job is fighting modern day slavery. She co-founded two international organizations, including Voices4Freedom, that help people come to freedom. Finally. Forever.

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Leave a comment

  • Love this conference. Richness in the información, the flow of emotions and genuine attitude. Thanks a lot!!

    • Lucia – I appreciate your comment and the wisdom all the participants brought to the summit. What a wonderful community.

  • Elders are usually good at doing small “touches” with others when shopping etc… there are even jokes about it!

  • I found this very useful an inspiring! I have signed up for the Big Joy Science project because it sounds like just what I need to recover my self to the joyful happy and compassionate person the I once was!

  • So inspiring, i can only pray that God will bless each one of you so that you continue to bless more people with your amazing thoughts

  • I’m enjoying the programming, but I didn’t appreciate Peggy feeling it was necessary to qualify Demond in his introduction by saying, “none of them are slackers”. I’m sure she thought that was a compliment, but it was more like a compliment with a slap in the face. It’s presumed that all invited to share in such a platform is qualified, so she did not have to attempt to counter a possible assumption that any speaker was less than qualified. Of course, I can’t help but notice she felt compelled to say that as she introduced a Black man. Perhaps on a subconscious level, she felt the need to defend again biases; perhaps her own or projected onto viewers.

  • I deeply appreciate the abundant heart and soulfulness in this beautiful conversation. Beautifully done, bright spirits. Thank you from my heart to yours. 🙏💕

  • Bless u all for the tenacity u display in your life’s work. Especially since u are tackeling lifes biggest challenges.

  • Thanks to all of you. This is exactly the kind of conversation that is medicine for the whole world right now and for me personally. I will try in my daily practice to keep it going and growing for a better tomorrow.

  • I am filled with Joy when I hear my sons voice, and see him healthy and see his smile! When my son is full of Joy it fills me with Joy!

  • What a wonderful group of people…and so lovely to hear you all share your knowledge. It is a fundamental need of us all to have joy in our lives, to share a smile with a stranger, to wave back to a child, and laugh at such silliness in this world. As I grow older I get so much joy from such simple things nowadays, being in nature, stroking a dog or cat, watching children play, being creative, contacting a friend or family member…I live alone now, so all these things have become important, they bring me joy

  • I am going to do the Big JOy project. I have been interested in positive psychology for many years, but I only sporadically pay attention to it. I want it to be more a part of my daily life. NOw that I am 71 and retired I should be able to arrange my days to do this

    • Hey Martha, My name is Suzie, my friend Merlyn Holmes brought me to this site. I wonder if you are interested in an atlantic friendship, me in the uk and you wherever you are. I am 63 yrs old and have just become a grandma just over a year ago. What are you up to in your day to day, it would be lovely to hear from you. All the best. Suzie.

  • I really appreciated this dialogue shared by Elissa, Darwin, Demond and Peggy. They shared valuable insights and I so enjoyed hearing their own personal stories. That always helps me to connect to our shared commonality – and l learned so much. I also just finished Big Joy. It was such a worthwhile and joyful project. Not only did I find I learned a lot about myself, it was fulfilling to participate in something bigger (ie – the largest research study on joy to date!) My go-to’s for joy are: Gratitude, Reframing and Awe. I have continued to use these tools and skills after finishing the Big Joy. Having the awareness that these tools make such a positive difference make a significant difference in my life and how I can contribute to other people. ‘So appreciative of this summit and Big Joy! Thank you.

  • Gratitude is such a foundational piece of joy; I am glad the presenters acknowledged this and made a point of it. I believe if one has gratitude, one has joy, and if one has joy, one has gratitude. They go hand-in-hand and are not mutually exclusive! May you all have both 🙂

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