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Lessons for Life

Come on, get happy

The Happy Channel promotes positive stories and uplifting content

Jen Weigel

May 28, 2013

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If you're tired of the gloom and doom in the news today, Lisa Eve has come up with a solution. The Happy Channel (http://www.thehappychannel.com), a website and interactive social network Eve launched in June of 2012, is a community where users can shares stories, videos, pictures, music and information with one goal in mind — to make you happy.

"The feedback I've gotten from people is that we need more of it," she said. "In our daily lives we have highs and lows. It's part of our evolution. But happiness is our birthright. We are meant to experience joy in our lives and we've been programmed to believe that in order to feel joy, we have to suffer. So The Happy Channel is about bringing that force of joy out to remember that it's available to us all of the time."

The site, Eve said, is similar to Facebook in that it is free to join and allows users to create a user profile, connect with other users, and ask friends to join the community. You can also "like" certain stories or videos and share them with other users. Those that have the most "likes" get placement on the website homepage. The comments are monitored and Eve said any negative posts are removed immediately. You don't have to join the site to benefit from the content, but Eve said those who do enjoy being part of a like-minded community.

"The intention is not for it to be cliquey," she said. "It's to be expansive. This is meant to be for the entire world and not for one location. And I don't promote things that are ego-driven. It's about servicing the world and promoting things that give back."

Here are Eve's tips for using social media and the Internet to promote happiness and initiate positive change:

Follow those who inspire you.

"When you feel less than great in your day, seek out the people or things online that will make you smile," she said. "We like to try and bring those people, stories or videos to one place. The Happy Channel is like a pick-me-up. You can see the things that remind you of why you are where you are and why you're on the path that you're on."

Don't feed the negativity.

"A lot of us will eat at our desk and never leave the office. Then we start watching negative stories and complain in emails and we keep feeding the negativity. Give yourself permission to take a break and physically step away from the computer. You deserve it and it will help you work better. And don't pass on the negative stories. That just continues the cycle."

Share with others.

"Being of service is why we are here. Our natural instincts are to help people and want to help people. When you help others, you feel good about yourselves. You provide in some way and it feels good to be needed. And that sharing or serving can be by sending a video or a story to someone you know who needs it. I see it on the site when people share 'The Happy Video of the Day' and it has gotten a lot of 'likes'. It creates a continuum and it becomes contagious."

jweigel@tribune.com

Twitter: @jenweigel