The Last Word: Live Happy’s Deborah Heisz on Wednesday’s International Day of Happiness

Happiness is “like oxygen. We’re not going to just run out if we keep taking it in.”

Deborah Heisz
Co-Founder, CEO, and Editorial Director
Live Happy
.…on finding a way to celebrate March 20’s International Day of Happiness all year long, via the Live Happy Now podcast.

Wednesday March 20 is the International Day of Happiness. Established by the United Nations in 2012, the day promotes happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings, in their families, and in their communities

But for Heisz’s Dallas-based media company Live Happy, that’s the goal 365 days of the year. Live Happy is a digital magazine, website, podcast, line of gifts, and apparel—”but more than that, we are your home base for happiness,” the company says, aiming “to inspire and empower you to act to make your world a happier place.”

One way it does that is with its Live Happy Now podcast, which delivers “actionable, scientifically proven ways to help you live a happier, more meaningful life” through interviews with authors, thought leaders, and experts in positive psychology.

Founded in 2013

A decade ago, Heisz—who’s also co-CEO of Neora, an international skin care and wellness company— discovered  that most people were unaware of the newly created International Day of Happiness. So she and a group of like-minded individuals founded Live Happy to  promote and share the ideals of happiness and well-being across all its multiple channels.

This year, the group is celebrating the 10th anniversary of #HappyActs, its campaign to spread awareness of the global movement to recognize happiness as “an essential human pursuit.”

How to add your contribution

Live Happy spreads its message with signature orange “Happiness Walls,” where people can post inspiring messages and tell how they share happiness. More than 3,000 walls have appeared in homes, schools, businesses, and public spaces over the years, the company says. For 2024, Live Happy has added a virtual Digital Happiness Wall to enable people to post their joy online.

So how can we spread “happy acts” out in the world, to increase the global supply of happiness? 

“A happy act is a small thing that you intentionally do to make the world a happier place,” Heisz says in a recent Live Happy Now podcast. “They can be little things like paying someone a compliment, opening a door for someone, buying a cup of coffee for someone, planning a date with a friend that you haven’t seen for a while, going out to lunch, giving someone at the office a thank you note, any little thing that you do to make the world a happier place.”

““Here’s the catch,” Heisz adds. “When you do a happy act, do it with intention—because that way, you benefit from it, as well as the person you’re doing it for. All those studies show that when you do something nice for someone, when you say thank you or pay someone a compliment, yes, they feel good. But by doing those things, you actually feel even better than the person who you likely did something for.”

As podcast host Paula Felps puts it, “We really can’t underestimate the power of one small act of happiness.” Just one act can change someone’s day—and their next day too. “It’s really an incredible cascading effect.”

Heisz shares more about how you can find and share happiness in her book Live Happy: Ten Practices for Choosing Joy.

“We just want as many people as possible to learn that they can make a difference in their own lives,” she says.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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