Tapping into one’s own unique wellsprings of positivity is a wise and healthy investment in the future.

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Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., is the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at the University of North Carolina. She is the author of Positivity: Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity, and Thrive. Fredrickson is a leading scholar within social psychology, affective science, and positive psychology, and has been the recipient of many honors, including the 2000 American Psychological Association’s Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband and two sons. (

the interview

I have been studying and reading about positive psychology since 2006, when I accidentally stumbled upon an article in Psychology Today. I had never heard about the science behind positivity before, but it completely supported the concepts I was using to develop a series of DVDs, books, and workbooks for children. I’ve learned much more about positive psychology since that time and it was important to me to interview one of the leaders in this field. When I went to interview Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin, I told her about this desire, and she immediately said I should try to talk to Barbara. Then she said, “In fact, when Amazon sends me an extra book accidentally, it’s always fun for me to see who it is for,” and she handed me Barbara’s book, Positivity. I arbitrarily opened the book and on the page in front of me was a story about using the principles of positive psychology to have better, more fun, playful sex, which leads to happier, more relaxed lives, higher fertility, easier pregnancies, and many other wonderful health benefits. Sold! Barbara was the interview for me! And, luckily, we were able to connect shortly thereafter.