New to Positive Psychology? Start Here. A List of The Best Resources

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new positive psychology

Alright, I’m not exactly neutral… I’m a big time nerd, I admit it.

Learning is my happy place. But I’m picky with who I turn to for knowledge and learning, especially with all the information out there.

Trustworthy and high-quality information is the name of the game, if you ask me.

So I decided to create a list of the best Positive Psychology resources out there. Wanna learn about the science of flourishing and optimal functioning? Then look no further. Start right here.


“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Best Books

Here we go, I had to start with books. A friend once asked me what and who shaped me into the person I am now? Books were my second answer.

Books are one of the greatest investments, we get a ton of value for pennies.

If you’re new to the field you want to start with these:

  1. Positive Psychology in a Nutshell, Ilona Boniwell
  2. A Primer in Positive Psychology, Christopher Peterson
  3. Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  4. Flourish, A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being, Martin Seligman  
  5. The How of Happiness, Barbara Fredrickson 
  6. Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck
  7. The Resilience Factor, Karen Reivich
  8. The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt 
  9. Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman
  10. The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor
  11. Happier, Tal Ben-Shahar
  12. Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman
  13. Second Wave Positive Psychology, Embracing the Dark Side of Life, Ivtzan, Lomas, Hefferon & Worth

Best Ted Talks

These Ted Talks are a great starting point, check them out:


1. The New Era of Positive Psychology by Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman is often considered the founder of positive psychology and this talk will give you an overview of what positive psychology is about.



2. Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


Flow is one of the key psychological states studied in positive psychology. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is the author of the research behind it and the book. He’s also, often considered one of the founders of the field.



3. The Surprising Science of Happiness, Dan Gilbert


Dan Gilbert is a great speaker and this talk is not just informative, it’s witty and funny. Gotta love it!



4. The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor


Prepare to laugh and have fun with this talk, Shawn Achor delivers a great combination of humor and positive psychology.



5. What Makes a Good Life? Lessons From the Longest Study on Happiness, Robert Waldinger


The longest study on happiness reveals the most important factor for a great life. Any ideas what that is? Watch to find out.



6. The Power of Believing You Can Improve, Carol Dweck


The fixed and growth mindset explained beautifully in this Ted Talk.


Best Articles

Wanna dig deeper into the science? Then read the pivotal articles.

  1. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.
  2. Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410–421.
  3. Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 300–319.
  4. Park, N., Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Strengths of character and well-being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 23(5), 603–619.
  5. Lazarus, R. S. (2003). Does the positive psychology movement have legs? Psychological Inquiry, 14(2), 93–109.
  6. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), 68–78.
  7. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on Hedonic and Eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52(1), 141–166.
  8. Tedeschi, R. G., & Calhoun, L. G. (2004). “Posttraumatic growth: Conceptual foundations and empirical evidence.” Psychological Inquiry, 15(1), 1–18.
  9. Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2003). Affective forecasting: Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 345-411.
  10. Wrzesniewski, A., & Dutton, J. E. (2001). Crafting a job: Revisioning employees as active crafters of their work. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 179-201.


 We have all the light we need, we just need to put it in practice.
– Albert Pike


Was this helpful? Next, I’d love to know what other topics or resources you would like to see here. Drop me a comment below as I learn as much from you.  Oh and don’t forget to like and share, I really appreciate it.

Big hug,


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