Be Happy! It’s Good for You

Courtesy of The Happiness Project

Schoolwork got you down? Join the club. All cheap jokes aside, it's probably better to put this week's reading or p-set aside for a while and give yourself some time to pursue a little happiness.

Harvard's own HappyNest, part of the student effort known as The Happiness Project, is endorsing its "Semester Happiness Challenge," a project catering to the not-so-rare stressed-out Harvard student.

Leslie R. Rith-Najarian '12 developed this initiative and, along with Evá M. Williams '13, crafted a series of challenges designed to promote student wellness. Through an email list, participants will be reminded of weekly challenges like listening to new music every day or coming up with daily haikus. Members can also use the email list to discuss the weekly challenge or exchange stories, fostering a sense of community.

"There has been psychological research showing how social support can help increase motivation for behavior changes," Rith-Najarian wrote in an email. Inspired by last spring's Currier Vegan Challenge, she designed a "Weekly Challenge Group" in Currier, where students changed their lifestyles for a short yet significant period of time. This semester, Rith-Najarian wanted to broaden the project's scope and turn it into an inclusive wellbeing challenge for the entire campus. "Fifty people have already signed up in the first night," Rith-Najarian said.

But wait, there's more! Awesome prizes will be given out at the end of the semester for finishing challenges. Think of this as productive procrastination at its finest.

If you're interested, sign up by midnight on Feb. 12!

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