Do you want to help create a happier and kinder world? If so, please join our movement, add your pledge and we'll send you practical action ideas to make a difference. By choosing to Join, you trust Action for Happiness to take care of your personal information and agree to our Privacy Policy.

I will try to create more happiness and less unhappiness in the world around me


About Us

Action for Happiness is a movement of people committed to building a happier and more caring society. We want to see a fundamentally different way of life - where people care less about what they can get just for themselves and more about the happiness of others.

Af H Poem Landscape Small

We bring together like-minded people from all walks of life and help them take practical action, drawing on the latest scientific research. We are  backed by leading experts from diverse fields including psychology, education, economics and social innovation.

Members of the movement make a simple pledge: to try to create more happiness in the world around them. We provide ideas and resources to enable people to take action at home, at work or in their community. Many of our members form local groups to take action together.

We have no religious, political or commercial affiliations and welcome people of all faiths (or none) and all parts of society. We were founded in 2010 by Richard Layard, Geoff Mulgan and Anthony Seldon. Our patron is the Dalai Lama.

Action for Happiness is a Registered Charity (1175160) and Company Limited by Guarantee (10722435) in England and Wales. Action for Happiness was originally created and launched within The Young Foundation and we are grateful for all their support.

Action for Happiness also has national chapters with associated non-profit partner organisations in Australia, Germany, Italy and Czech Republic.

Our board
Lord Richard Layard: 

Professor of Economics at LSE; founder director of Centre for Economic Performance and Head of Well-Being program. Author of best-selling books Happiness and Thrive. Co-founder of AfH.
> Profile: Richard Layard

Sir Anthony Seldon: 

Vice-Chancellor of Buckingham University; previously Master of Wellington College, where he famously introduced well-being classes. Author of Beyond Happiness. Co-founder of AfH.
> Profile: Anthony Seldon

Geoff Mulgan: 

Chief Executive of NESTA. Previously CEO of Young Foundation, Head of Policy in Prime Minister's office and co-founder of think-tank Demos. Co-founder of AfH.
> Profile: Geoff Mulgan

Vanessa King: 

Experienced advisor on leadership and organisation development and expert in positive psychology. Partner of Change Able and Director of The Change Space.
> Profile: Vanessa King

Dr Mark Williamson: 

Director and co-founder of Action for Happiness.  Experienced leader with wide range of expertise across both commercial and non-profit sectors.
> Profile: Mark Williamson

Working in partnership
  • Mind is a charity campaigning to create a society that promotes and protects good mental health for all.

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  • Relate offers relationship counselling, advice and other support face-to-face, by phone and online.

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  • Netmums is the UK's fastest-growing online parenting organisation with over 840,000 members

    Visit website
  • The National Union of Students is the national voice of students across the UK.

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  • The National Trust protects special places in England, Wales & N. Ireland, for ever, for everyone.

    Visit website
  • Business In The Community helps businesses create a sustainable future for people and planet.

    Visit website
  • The British Psychological Society is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK.

    Visit website
  • NCVO is gives a shared voice to organisations in the voluntary and community sector. 

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  • TimeBank is a national volunteering charity that supports people to find rewarding volunteering.

    Visit website
  • The Children's Society wants a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy.

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  • The National Children's Bureau supports children, young people, families and those that work with them.

    Visit website
  • Citizens UK is the home of community organising and helps communities work together for common good.

    Visit website
  • The Young Foundation brings insights, innovation and entrepreneurship to meet social needs.

    Visit website
  • nef is an independent think-and-do tank that inspires and demonstrates real economic well-being.

    Visit website
  • Wellington College is one of Britain's leading and most inspiring co-educational schools.

    Visit website
Who's supporting us
  • His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the head of state and spiritual leader of Tibet.

    Words Of Support
  • Carol Ann Duffy CBE is a Scottish poet and playwright and was appointed Britain's poet laureate in 2009.

    Read more
  • Alain de Botton is a writer, presenter and entrepreneur who makes philosophy relevant to everyday life.

    Read more
  • Simon Woods is an actor best known for roles in Rome, Pride & Prejudice and BBC costume drama Cranford.

    Read more
  • Goldie Hawn is an actress and film director. She is also founder the Hawn foundation which teaches mindfulness.

    Read more
  • Sir Steve Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000.

    Read more
  • Tony Hawks is a comedian and author of books including the best-selling "Round Ireland with a Fridge".

    Tony Hawks
  • Emma Kenny is a psychologist well known for her work on GMTV, People Watchers other TV shows.

    Read more
  • David Puttnam is an award-winning film producer and member of the House of Lords.

    Read more
  • Ron Dennis is the executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and McLaren Group.

    Read more
Current Vacancies: 

We're always open to offers of help from volunteers.

Here are some of our most popular ways of volunteering:

1. Run our course. Volunteer as a leader for our Exploring What Matters course

2. Spread the word locally. Use our guidebook, calendars, posters and postcards to help spread the word to family, friends and colleagues.

3. Join our events team. Help out at our London live events as part of our events team.

Also, if you're someone who might be able to volunteer time regularly at our London offices and you have other skills you'd like to offer (e.g. communications, PR, events, admin, web/digital, strategy, fundraising etc) then we'd love to hear more and see a CV.

If you're interested please get in touch via email at info@actionforhappiness.org

Dalai Lama

"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions".

- Dalai Lama

click to view

Our happiness is not set in stone

Although our genes influence about 50% of the variation in our personal happiness, our circumstances (like income and environment) affect only about 10%.

As much as 40% is accounted for by our daily activities and the conscious choices we make. So the good news is that our actions really can make a difference.

BBC Happiness Challenge

Action for Happiness help BBC Breakfast run a week-long Happiness Challenge.

BBC Happiness

click to view

Happiness is contagious

Our happiness influences the people we know and the people they know.

Research shows that the happiness of a close contact increases the chance of being happy by 15%. The happiness of a 2nd-degree contact (e.g. friend's spouse) by 10% and the happiness of a 3rd-degree contact (e.g. friend of a friend of a friend) by 6%.

Small and big things whenever I have the opportunity. I left a corporate job to start my own company Emergency Happiness so I could dedicate my career and life to helping others find happiness and success. I also take pleasure in helping others in small ways such as a smile or a hug

Genevieve, Berkshire, UK

10 Apr 2011, 06:26

At 69, to explore something new and to create something new; I am creating a laughter and happiness club - launches on 2nd April. What happens if only one person attends? Make sure the next session has at least two people attending!

Keith, Carlisle, UK

10 Apr 2011, 06:26

My paid employment is all about helping others. I provide administrative support for a counselling charity, yet most of my day is taken up with providing listening support for our clients. It is not in my job description, but I am not going to turn down someone's request for help just to get the filing done

Emma-Jayne, UK

10 Apr 2011, 06:25

Offer advice and support to friends and family in need Making time for people that need my help or assistance regardless of whether they are friends, colleagues or strangers. Try to be polite and courteous in all situations and to always see the best in people, in the hope (perhaps misguided!) that my behavior will be contagious and that if everyone behaved that way then we could make a real change to society.

Josephine, Northumberland, UK

10 Apr 2011, 04:48

I give to charity, I sponsor an orphan in Uganda, Im involved in a community housing project and also in a community fruit harvesting project, I campaign for social and environmental justice, I try to be a good friend to people, I try to have a positve can-do attiutude in life (at work and at home), I am friendly to strangers/neighbours/random people on the bus etc, I try not to live my life in a way that compromises other peoples abil;ity to live theirs (now and in the future).

Amanda, Leeds, UK

10 Apr 2011, 05:42
For me, helping others is about both the big things - like the job we do - and the small things - just the way we are with people. Through my work I've chosen to do something that I hope makes a positive contribution, and through my daily actions I try to be a force for good. I'm no saint but I always try to look out for people and help where I can.

Mark, Kingston, Surrey

24 Feb 2011, 11:47

I run a community choir and a monthly philosophy cafe, and am an active member of my local Transition Town group and various other local community and green groups.

Marilyn, Kingston, UK

10 Apr 2011, 06:24

Investing lots of my time and energy in developing and delivering quality learning experiences to inspire and motivate young people. Supporting specific groups in the community and giving my time to support local events. Responding positively to all emails from teachers, requesting educational advice and guidance.

Jo, Plymouth, UK

10 Apr 2011, 06:25
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