The Happiness Project


Science speaks, happiness is no longer something to place on the back burner. Prioritizing happiness makes us healthier, more productive individuals. In the "Happiness Project" I explore what truly makes one happy. Summer 2017, I found myself in a unique situation where I was immersed in a community of individuals from around the globe. Some of these individuals I have known for years, but the majority of the people had just entered my life. I am curious as to the situations and settings that make one happy, so I asked members of my community to describe a time when they felt blissfully happy. Since that summer I have continued asking new people I meet from traveling the simple question, "When are you most happy?"

Chen// Chen Schffer 

*photographed above

born and raised: Netanya, Israel

So I love to explore some places in nature, isolate, peaceful, water, sitting on the grass drinking green tea and hula hoop next to feet because we just hooped. some of my grandmas’s snacks . I was with my friend, my “nature buddy”. I think I am happy when I am comfortable with my friends and dancing. 

Tovah// Tovina Zivot

Originally from Toronto, Canada. Currently resides in Bloomington, IN


I am a pretty happy person so i need to think.., I really pined after my boyfriend before we started dating.  In high school, he acted very differently than he does now in that he was really shy and had low self esteem, but something about him really sparked my interest. I asked him out a couple of times. He said no, and when I was 17, I don't know why, but the timing just worked, and we had a blissful couple of months before we started dating. This time felt like the first time the reciprocation was really genuine. One night especially stands out in my head as blissfully happy. It was winter and really snowy and it was New Year’s Eve and we didn't have sex but we are alone, and in high school that is a bigthat’s a big deal, and we were just holding each other, before we went out, like 10:30, and I just felt so comfortable and safe and so sure. Even though it was very early in our dating, i was so sure, so smitten. After all the time so wanted to talk to him it felt so right.We’ve been together for four years and want to spend the rest of our lives together. We are ver different than when we were 17, but we’ve grown and change together. 

Jenna// Jenna Reis

Rooted in Cincinnati, OH

In the crispy cold waterfalls in Ashevile connor and I were together.



From Cleveland, Ohio

I recently got back from a canoeing trip in Arkansas to be trained to be a trip leader. This trip was full with nature’s humbling scenery, obstacles, and, most importantly, kinship. 

After crushing our 90 mike trek down the Buffalo River, we had to portage our canoes up a hill to our bus. Once all of the canoes were up, my buddy Frank looked at me with devious eyes. He started taking his shirt and shoes off and said let’s go for a swim. We proceeded to race back down the hill laughing the whole time finally being swallowed up in the beautiful river’s current. In that moment, pure joy and laughter came over us. We looked at each other, smiled and shared a hug during this moment underneath the Arkansas sun.

Reflecting on this I discovered the world is full with bountiful experiences to be had, but no experience is more fulfilling than one that you complete with your friends, one with a genuine sense of comradery. The sharing of an experience with others is something that can never be taken from that group of people. In this moment, I reached the core of who I am as a person and let loose; laughing and running as hard as I could without any worries or second thoughts crossing my mind. Simply being myself and sharing a beautiful moment with my friend. 

This is my bliss, this is my happiness.


Originally from Planet Earth. Born: Benin, Africa. Currently: Paris, France.

When I feel happiest is when I don't ask myself if I feel.

It is like breathing. I just sense it.

To feel lucky enough to experience whatever happens.

I also feel happy when learning from others, doing stupid things that make me laugh, having ideas that make me wonder how I can make them happen, and tasting nice foods. 

Lauren// Lauren Millington

Born and raised: New Zealand

Happiest when eating chocolate with people 

Hadas// Hadas Silver

born and raised: Netanya, Israel

I feel happy when I am surrounded with people I love and people who make me feel loved. I am even happier when that happens when I am home. I felt blissfully happy on my birthday when I went out with my family and extended family and I felt so lucky to have them in my life, and I just felt so happy.

Carmel// Carmel David

born and raised: Netanya, Israel

I feel happy after I workout. I have been away from home for a long time and I when I listened to my childhood songs dance and sing with my friends I feel happy.


Julia Mattis