The three degrees of happiness separation

The three degrees of happiness separation


Research has shown that your good mood can make someone three degrees away from you, someone you’ve never even met, feel happier. So, your cheeriness doesn’t just make the workmate you sit next to feel good, and not just your workmate’s husband, but also your workmate’s husband’s friend!

And there’s more. Social scientists, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, estimate that there are nearly 1,000 people within three degrees of ourselves. This means that your good mood can have a positive effect on up to 1,000 people, and you’ve never met most of them!

Pretty amazing, right? I learned this from one of my favourite happiness psychology experts, Shawn Achor. I’ve read both of his books, The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, and can really recommend them if you’re interested in this topic. A quick read that’s worth checking out also is Science of Happiness by Manuel Kraus. I’ve no affiliation, this isn’t a sponsored post of any kind, I just find it all fascinating!

So next time you’re running yourself ragged trying to make everyone else happy, just remember that by making your own happiness a priority you’re doing another 1,000 people a favour.

[Updated Feb 2016] If this piqued your interest and you’d like to bring more happiness into you life, check out my e-course, Choosing Happiness – Live Happy Your Way. The online course runs for four weeks from Monday 29 February and you can enrol now. I would love you to join me in creating your happier life.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]


  1. Karin Joyce on 18th February 2015 at 9:03 am

    Wonderful post Gabrielle! I love the idea of making THOUSANDS of people happy! A Happiness Revolution!

    Have a great day!
    Karin xx

    • Gabrielle on 18th February 2015 at 3:21 pm

      It’s so cool, isn’t it, Karin?! The power of happiness 🙂

  2. Jenny on 18th February 2015 at 12:26 pm

    The happiness domino effect!

  3. Seona on 20th February 2015 at 8:41 am

    What a cheerful post, thanks for that Gabrielle 🙂

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