New website offers happiness guide

A happy Chinese woman, Shandong Province, China. File photo by NZPA.
A happy Chinese woman, Shandong Province, China. File photo by NZPA.
"Don't worry, be happy," American singer Bobby McFerrin warbled in 1988.

Twenty years on university students are going to be taught how to be happy through a new website.

The CALM (Computer Assisted Learning for the Mind) website focuses on positive psychology, the science of looking at what makes people truly happy.

Students will be able to download audiofiles giving specific techniques to manage three sources of long lasting happiness - mental resilience, healthy relationships and finding meaning in life.

"There is an ongoing myth that happiness or life satisfaction can be achieved by accumulating wealth and status," said Dr Antonio Fernando, of Auckland University's department of psychological medicine.

"However, research over the past 20 years shows otherwise. Instead, true, long lasting happiness is a mental state that can be cultivated, and this is what this website will help our students to achieve."

The website was developed by Dr Fernando with general practitioner Dr Fiona Moir and psychiatrist Dr Shailesh Kumar, an expert on burn-out, with assistance from the faculty of medical and health science learning technology unit and the university's centre for academic development.

The website, initially offered to students in the faculty, is publicly available at


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