David Archuleta~ Wednesday “Moving Forward” Trend! Happy National Hugging Day! Deseret~ On David’s Blog, Mailing Date Reminder, An Article Shared by Linda on Prodigies, “Welcome To Your Life” : Feel Good Inside, Stephanie Mabey “Til You Say So”


“Feeling Good” ~on the inside

Malaysia blue buff shirt blur edge

David Archuleta Malaysia 2011 credit DA Archangels

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quote create a life

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A UPDATED Thursday (1/22/15)  WOTWTC Anniversary Addition to the post!

Today, January 22nd, is the 7th year anniversary of David’s televised audition appearance on American Idol Season 7. For so many of us here, that one night changed our lives forever! I shared a few words in 2013 about that special world changing moment~

As we watched a young 16 year old boy (16 at the time of the audition) take center stage in San Diego before Randy, Paula, and Simon, explaining something about vocal paralysis, we had no idea what would happen next as he began to sing. All it took was 45 seconds…45 seconds of singing the beginning verse of a familiar John Mayer song and we were hypnotized, mesmerized, and magnetized!  Our worlds were suddenly changed and they were changed forever!!! Who would have thought, who could have known that 5 (now 7) years later we would still be “here” congregating daily as his faithful followers celebrating the music he’s given us, the artistry, the gifts, the friendships, and most of all the beautiful person of David Archuleta! 

And in celebration of David AI Journey, here is a recap of David’s American Idol Journey: Credit:RoxasJW

Also, we posted David’s AI WOTWTC recently so today,(and thank you to Mary Lou/Pastel for tweeting it this am) we’ll celebrate by watching David and Jeff’s magnificent spontaneous WOTWTC “jam” from Beaver Creek in the last MKOC tour show!

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Wednesday~ Happy National Hugs Day Everyone!!

credit Rhiminee

credit Rhiminee

Reach out and give all of your loved ones a great big squishy hug today!!!

 NATIONAL HUGGING DAYTM which has become an internationally recognized observation that embraces hugging.  While some encourage hugging everyone, National Hugging Day always suggests asking first.  First published in Chase’s Annual Events in 1986, it has grown enormously in worldwide popularity leading many to suggest changing the name from “National” to “International.” A sample of locales include the United States of America, Canada, Germany, Bulgaria, Guam, Austrailia,  Georgia (the country), England, and Russia.


1)    Hugs make us feel “happy”! When we hug another person, our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone associated with “happiness,” according to scientific studies. [1]

2)    Hugs alleviate stress! Just as a good hug increases our oxytocin levels, it decreases our cortisol or “stress” levels. [2]

3)    Babies need hugs as much as water and food! According to researchers at Harvard University, hugs help promote normal levels of cortisol necessary for child development. [3]

4)    Hugs make us better students! Students who receive a supportive touch from a teacher are twice as likely to volunteer in class. [4]

5)    Hugs improve our game! Scientists at University of California, Berkley discovered that the more affectionate members of a team are with each other, the more likely they are to win. [4]

6)    A hug a day keeps the doctor away! A hug stimulates the thymus gland, which in turn regulates the production of white blood cells that keep us healthy and disease-free. [5]

7)    A hug stops the bug! Researchers at Carnegie Mellon proved that individuals who were sick and received hugs had less severe symptoms and were able to get better quicker. [6]

8)    A hugging heart is a healthy heart! Research from University of North Carolina showed that a good hug helps ease blood flow and lower cortisol levels, which in turn help lower our heart rates. [7]

9)    A hugging couple is a happy couple! Couples that experience their partners’ love through physical affection share higher oxytocin levels. [8]

10)    Hugs let someone know you care without having to say a word! According to Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley, we can identify love from simple human touch – imagine how much love a big hug can communicate! [9]

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A New Trend Coming Next Week! “Moving Forward David Archuleta”

The incredible Archie trending team is ready to move forward with a new trend! Check @Pocoelsy1′s wonderfully designed graphic below for the phrase, date, and all the deets!

Trend Moving Forward David Archuleta

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Mail Those Valentine’s Day Cards and Letters

~A REMINDER to send them so they arrive at the box before Kari leaves for SLC!

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 11.05.32 PM

Send your cards & letters to:


David Archuleta
PO Box 4297
Apopka, FL 32704


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Deseret News

David Archuleta blogs about life in the spotlight as an introvert


Saras Peterson David MTM

This article was published yesterday by Deseret. It addresses David’s blog and some of the points he shared regarding his personal (introvert) personality, his feelings about “losing himself” in attempt to please others, and his plans now to create new music which shares more of who he is and with (his) own sound . Excerpts from the Face To Face chat relating to feelings expressed in his new blog are included.

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David Archuleta ducks away from the media behind a screen and enters the theater for the “Meet the Mormons” premiere Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, at Jordan Commons in Sandy.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News 2014

David Archuleta’s vocal talent thrust him into the spotlight when he finished second on the seventh season of “American Idol” in 2008. While Archuleta appears to be at ease behind a microphone, he recently expressed in a blog post on his website that other aspects of fame have placed him outside his comfort zone.

In a Jan. 13, 2015, post, Archuleta wrote candidly that after stepping away from the stage to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile from 2012-2014, he realized just how much he disliked the limelight.

“I’m sorry,” Archuleta wrote, “but after these two years away and feeling comfortable to be myself, I do not want to be the suck-up type just so I can get more fans, more likes, more attention and fame. That stuff never interested me in the first place; although, I tried making everyone else around me happy who was interested in all of that. I am David. I love life; I love learning; I love sharing, and music is a way I express my passions and what is important to me.”

He wrote of previous efforts to embrace the trappings of fame but said that he plans to step back and remain true to his personality.

This is not the first time Archuleta has spoken of his insecurities and about how music has helped him understand and express himself. He stated during his“Face to Face: Live Facebook Event” hosted by the LDS Church in June 2014 that music helped him conquer communication barriers.

“I always had a hard time talking and communicating, bad communications skills,” Archuleta said. “And I was anti-social and people in school knew me for ‘the kid that didn’t talk but the kid who is smiling all the time,’ I guess. Music was a way for me to understand how I was feeling. I was like, ‘I feel this way. What am I feeling?’ And I would start singing, and it’s like, ‘Oh, now I get it. Now I understand what I’m feeling.’ ”

Archuleta’s introverted nature will not prevent him from sharing his music. He wrote in his blog post that he is working on songs for a future release, and he hopes “the music that comes will be something that you can feel is real.”

Email: mjones@deseretdigital.com

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An Article Shared by Linda~

twitpic old record player -David

Thanks to Linda for emailing us  to share some thoughts re: David’s blog along with an interesting article looking at the mind of a prodigy!

“I read comments that introverts post, thinking that they truly understand David’s blog and what it means because they’re introverts too.    They, however, are NOT child prodigies, which I believe David is.  I have thought that David’s characteristics and preferences stem more from that more than simply being shy.  Read the article below regarding child prodigies and characteristics they seem to have in common.   A large percent would have communicative problems as well as extraordinary memory and attention to detail….. similar to David.  This explains his challenges in being talkative, his musical jukebox memory as a child, his inability to decide, his need to find a closet.

This is one of many reasons that i admire David so much.  The things he has done in his life are truly remarkable, given that he was a child prodigy. That sometimes comes at a cost we ungifted people can’t know. NO ONE should take offense at his wish to pull back a bit.

We assume that we all share the same experiences and thought patterns, but some are more special.  I’ve sometimes been frustrated by David’s seeming disinterest in upward mobility and popularity, because I wanted so much for him to be positioned as a refreshing, decent role model in today’s pop culture.  But then I think about this.  I’m so proud of who (I think) he is, and overjoyed that he understands and is proud of who he is too. ~Linda~

The Creativity Post logo

The Creativity post

By Scott Barry Kaufman | Jul 13, 2012


The Mind of the Prodigy


New study on prodigies reveals some startling findings.

Prodigies dazzle us with their virtuoso violin concertos, seemingly prescient chess moves, and vivid paintings. While their work would be enough to impress us if they were 40, prodigies typically reach adult levels of performance in non-verbal, rule-based domains such as chess, art, and music before the age of 10.

Their performances are hard to explain from a purely deliberate practice perspective. While it’s true that many prodigies receive support, resources, and encouragement from parents and coaches early on, such support is typically the result of a demonstrated “rage to learn”, as the prodigy expert Martha J. Morelock refers to the phenomenon. The reason why they are so driven to deliberately practice in their domain requires explaining.

A new study in the journal Intelligence sheds some new light on prodigies. Psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz and violin virtuoso Jourdan Urbach adminstered the latest edition of the Stanford-Binet IQ test to nine prominent child prodigies who have all been featured on national and international television programs. Most of the children reached professional level performance in their domain by the age of 10, and their chosen domains were notably rule-based. There was one art prodigy, one math prodigy, four musical prodigies, one prodigy who switched from music to gastronomy and another prodigy who switched from music to art.

Looking at all eight children together, the researchers found some striking patterns. The first thing they noticed is the wide spread of IQ scores- ranging from 108 to 147. Consistent with the earlier work of Feldman and Morelock, it appears that a high IQ is not necessary to be a prodigy. More telling, however, were the subtest scores. All of the prodigies showed uneven cognitive profiles. In fact, one prodigy obtained a total IQ score of 108 and a visual spatial IQ score of 71, which is worse than 97 percent of the general population. That didn’t prevent him from winning a prestigious award for his jazz improvisational abilities, becoming the youngest person ever to perform with a well-known musician at one of the best know music venues in America! He also scored three films without any formal composition lessons. Again, this is consistent with prior research showing that balanced cognitive test profiles are more the exception than the rule among academically precocious students as well as students who are precocious in art and music.

More striking is that every single prodigy scored off the charts in working memory — better than 99 percent of the general population. In fact, six out of the eight prodigies scored at the 99.9th percentile! Working memory isn’t solely the ability to memorize a string of digits. That’s short-term memory. Instead, working memory involves the ability to hold information in memory while being able to manipulate and process other incoming information. On the Stanford-Binet IQ test, working memory is measured in both the verbal and non-verbal domains and includes tasks such as processing sentences while having to remember the last word of each sentence, and recalling the location of blocks and numbers in the correct order in which they were presented. There have been many descriptions of the phenomenal working memory of prodigies, including a historical description of Mozart that involves his superior ability to memorize musical pieces and manipulate scores in his head.

Of course, the million-dollar question is this: How did all the prodigies develop such a high working memory? Anders Ericsson and Walter Kintsch proposed a mechanism called Long-Term Working Memory (LTWM) to explain how experts can store incoming information so quickly in their area of expertise. According to Ericsson and Kintsch, experts acquire their superior memory skills by gradually building up an elaborate, well-connected database of knowledge in long-term memory that is always on call. Experts then quickly link the current contents of short-term memory to this database, making the short-term memories more vivid and meaningful. Deeper memory encoding makes it much easier to access memories when they are cued at a later time. The proof in the pudding is that people can be trained to increase their memories dramatically for seemingly random bits of information by making the information meaningful. Most memory champions have spent years deliberately practicing techniques such as the method of loci to increase their memories for random strings of digits, numbers, faces, and even decks of cards.

But can the deliberate practice of memory techniques explain the high working memory of prodigies? Presumably, they weren’t trying to win a memory championship. Instead, they were far more interested in mastering music or art. One of the prodigies in the study reported that he sometimes pretends to not remember things since he found that people become uncomfortable with his prodigious memory. “People assume I must be thinking about them 24/7 when I am not,” he noted. “It’s just that I can remember every detail of the past.” In their terrific book Superior Memory, Elizabeth Wilding and John Wilding present cases of superior memory performance that are not easily explained through the use of deliberate strategies. **CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE* ~ It’s a great article with some good food for thought, so be sure to read it in its entirety!! Thank you Linda, for sharing your thoughts and sending it our way! :)

David’s ability to remember song melodies and lyrics as we all know, is uncanny! How many times in the past have you just stopped to wonder where he pulled that lyric, verse, or song from?

harry potter wow

His “walking jukebox” nickname perfectly suits his gift to randomly recall songs from just about any genre at a mere beckon! And he further “WOWS” us as he always delivers in perfect tune and harmony! It was briefly addressed in a past interview by Snarky Archies. (vid credit Tinabeebop)

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More Blog Connection/ Dissection

writing Archuleatweb

It’s been over  week since David shared his brave words and admissions to all of us in his first blog of 2015, and fans continue to share kind words and affirmations in our comments. Today I’m bringing two more lovely comments to the front page which also offer great depth, understanding, and support. :)

CanadianArchie says:

David is a grown man. He has formed opinions and thoughts, and his own set of standards. It’s nice to hear he is making his own decisions, forming his own opinions and he has the confidence in his own decision making. He no longer looks outside of himself as he did when he was younger. He’s a responsible adult. Applause! I noticed that when he tweets, he says, “I’ve decided” and other things that indicate that he’s capable of making his own decisions, expressing his own thoughts, ideas, opinions, the music he chooses to listen to, to cover to sing to.. I am all for it! He is the decision maker. So, I’m letting go, not telling him what to sing, how to wear his hair, where he should go to perform and all the above. However, I will embrace and support whatever he chooses to do or not do on his own timeline, no expectations, I will enjoy what is to come. It’s a transitional period for him and for his long-time fans. What will be will be ♪ ♫ R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Shanny in Australia says:

Really there are two issues at hand that I think are getting a little entangled.

There is the issue of ….did David not appreciate the fans? To me, that is definitely WRONG. He loved performing, he loved the interactions, heck, I really think he even loved the buzz of the screaming adulation in the moment of it. I don’t think that was fake one iota.

Then there is the separate issue of doing things he didn’t really want to do….the being animated when he was tired, having a bunch of people intently focused on him, vlogs which were out of his comfort zone, having to dress right, wear your hair right, sing about the right things, having to tweet something funny or interesting twice a day every day, having to do this or that just so you can get more likes, more followers, be more popular. Even not being allowed to tweet or say or do what you really WANT to because you’ll lose likes, popularity, followers etc. That’s where the ‘fakeness’ came in. (And I don’t actually think it was fakeness, it was… a whole other essay lol)

People shouldn’t confuse their enjoyable real life interactions with him which were genuine, with those instances when David was doing something because he felt pressured into doing it. They’re two separate issues. When you meet him next, I’m sure he’ll still look you in the eye, show an interest and mean it all in the most genuine way….but what he won’t do is….tweet about Martin Luther King if he’s busy and dang well doesn’t feel like it! Lol

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“Welcome To Your Life”

Kuala Lumur david-archuleta-live-in-malaysia-asia-tour-2011-29

“Make it a life that feels good inside”

Since David’s blog, I’ve not only found myself listening more to the tracks from BEGIN, but also to some of the newer (old) songs he introduced in concerts prior to leaving on his mission. The Tears For Fears hit “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” was a wonderful surprise that I had the pleasure of seeing him perform in Myrtle Beach (May/2011).

Listening to the lyrics this past week, I realize so much more why he chose this particular song. Some of the frustrations he expressed in his blog about the pressures of conformity and business expectations are written in the lyrics of this song. That may have been what everybody else around me wanted out of me, but now I have decided to take into consideration how I feel, what I think, and what I want because yes,  I do matter.  My own thoughts, opinions, feelings, and ideas are good enough because they are my own and are for me.”   AND.THIS.PERFORMANCE… THIS PERFORMANCE WAS David’s way of expressing those feelings…of letting some of that out.  AND I UNDERSTAND IT EVEN MORE SO NOW! This was an amazing performance, and man did I feel it!!! ~That is all. :) OH~ and Thank you Rusharr for your amazing vid!

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Stephanie Mabey~ “Til You Say So”

I adore Glorious, along with The Zombie Song, Your Light, and many others by Stephanie..and now, I’m once again in love with another Stephanie Mabey song. “Til You Say So” is a song that goes so well I think with today’s theme in that whether it’s Stephanie, David, or YOU It is your life and whatever dreams you have, goals you set, and path you choose, it’s yours to choose and to follow…don’t compromise on your steps, don’t limit your perseverance, and don’t let anyone tell you how it’s got to be or when it ends…

It’s your life; make it feel good inside  :)

Also, Stephanie gives listeners a chance to download the song (free) or pay what you’d like. :) *bought* CLICK HERE  for more info or download following the link on You Tube. Can I just say I’m soooo excited to hear the music that Stephanie and David worked on together??? Oops~ already said it. ;)

It’s a late “laggy” post today, but I’m here and will be around to update today and tomorrow if anything pops up! Thank you for all of your kind “MODS” comments on here, twitter, and fb! As Mary Lou announced, we’re going to be scaling back a bit, but our commitment to be here in support & celebration of David as well as for all of the fans remains the same! David’s beginning a new chapter on this journey (wherever he may be) ;) and as Shelley’s beautiful granddaughter voices with her T, we echo the same message. “Still Here!”

Shelly's grand daughter *posted with permission*

Shelly’s grand daughter *posted with permission*

Post to Twitter

Posted in Daily Front Page | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 113 Comments

David Archuleta and Sound of Music tweets! “Being True to Self”, New @Davidarchie CD Title Revealed? ~ Not so fast, New Music “On it’s Way” as per Kari, How to be Happy, Archuleta Style, new FOD Format, Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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The (Kinda Utah) Hills are alive!

ED Note: Update on Tuesday, January 20th:  David caused his followers to tweet Sound of Music lyrics and wonder if, like “Raindrops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens”, these might be a few of his favourite things ;)

sound of music tweet 1

david tweets sound of music 2

And the Sound of Music lyrics were flowing after that.  Even Lady V weighed in!

lady v weighs in sound of music

And some perceptive fans realized these lyrics are from the stage production (for example, with Carrie Underwood which aired in NBC in 2013), not the movie production (with Julie Andrews).

janel reprisepecan sound of music

Perhaps David took in a live stage performance of SOM.  Or, it would be awesome if David is watching the 2013 stage/TV production.  Loved it!  And so did millions of other viewers!


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Staying True to Yourself

Another article was released from KSL.com Contributor Arianne Brown focused on David Archuleta’s blog from last week.  However, the writer also expanded on a few other issues, which got a reaction from fans.  READ ON:


ksl tru to self

SALT LAKE CITY — In a blog post published on Jan. 13, singer/songwriter, David Archuleta wrote a letter to his fans about his need to be true to himself.

Archuleta, who was first introduced to much of America as a 16-year-old on the popular singing competition “American Idol,” was catapulted to stardom after taking second in the competition with over 97 million votes.

His singing career didn’t start there, however. At 10 years old, he won the children’s division of the Utah Talent Competition, and went on to become the Junior Vocal Champion on “Star Search” just two years later.

Even with millions of fans, the spotlight has been something with which this young star has struggled. A self-described introvert, Archuleta told fans in his letter that he doesn’t like being the center of attention.

Archuleta wrote about his struggle to remain true to himself amidst the push to do what others expected him to.

“I was always having to put myself out there because everyone was hounding me to do it,” he wrote. “It was very unnatural for me to do it because I have come to realize that I’m a very introverted person.”

This struggle began early on in his career, and in 2012, the singer took time off from the life of stardom and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Chile.

“After these two years away and feeling comfortable to be myself, I do not want to be the suck-up type just so I can get more fans, more likes, more attention and fame.”  ~ David Archuleta

Archuleta wrote he was grateful for his mission because it helped him to find himself again and to discover new things. He told readers he didn’t want to go back to being someone he wasn’t after having spent two years feeling comfortable being himself.

“After these two years away and feeling comfortable to be myself, I do not want to be the suck-up type just so I can get more fans, more likes, more attention and fame,” he wrote. “That stuff never interested me in the first place … I am David. I love life; I love learning; I love sharing, and music is a way I express my passions and what is important to me.”

In fact, the singer spent time in Spain and France over the holidays where he sang Christmas songs for LDS missionaries serving in the areas.

“It is not easy to be away for the holidays without any family, just as it was for me on my mission for two years,” he wrote. “I loved bringing a piece of home to the missionaries there as it meant a lot to me while I was in Chile to have pieces of home brought to me.”

As someone who finds comfort amid close family and friends, he said this trip was particularly important to him, to bring a sense of family to those serving missions. This trip also gave him time to focus on his needs as well.

Archuleta expressed that he realized some fans may not like what he had to say, but that he needed to be true to himself.

“I have decided to take into consideration how I feel, what I think and what I want because, yes, I do matter,” he wrote. “My own thoughts, opinions, feelings and ideas are good enough because they are my own and are for me.”

KSL.com reached out to Archuleta’s publicist and was told that he was unavailable for an interview. However, according to recent press updates, the singer is working on a new album titled, “For me,” which is said to be about moving forward and making progress.

Archuleta expressed to his fans that in order to understand where his music is coming from, it was important they understand where he is coming from.

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“For Me”.  The New CD title?  Not so fast …

I somehow don’t think we’d hear of the new title of David’s upcoming CD through the contributor to the article above.  And neither did you!

kim for mekari not a press release

Woohoo!  Way to respond Kari.  Thanks for the clarification.

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Kari confirms New Music (but we knew that)

… and that convo continued!

new music is coming tweet kari

I always love these confirmations from Kari.  Team Archuleta FTW!

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Are you happy?  Scientists tell you how to be!

Today is traditionally known as “Blue Monday”, supposedly the saddest day of the year.  Really?  Apparently, due to the fact it’s winter (January no less), a Monday, and Christmas bills are still rolling in, this has been coined Blue Monday.  Let’s just go with it for this segment …

But whether you believe this or not, I thought I thought I would end with a fun article on happiness.  Much of this is not new to each of you, but I added, as I like to do, that ubiquitous David Archuleta connection.

Sorry this is so long, but I found it incredibly interesting!

 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy


Peace sign searching for the owner of this fun photo. Do you know who took it?

It’s easy to think of happiness as a result, but happiness is also a driver.

One example: While I’m definitely into finding ways to improve personal productivity (whether a one-day burst, or a lifetime, or things you should not do every day), probably the best way to be more productive is to just be happier. Happy people accomplish more.

Easier said than done though, right?

Actually, many changes are easy.

Here are 10 science-based ways to be happier:

1. Exercise: 7 Minutes Could Be Enough

onp-tumblr jumping jackThink exercise is something you don’t have time for? Think again. Check out the  7 minute workout mentioned in The New York Times. That’s a workout any of us can fit into our schedules.

Handstand - TOSOD photoshoot

Handstand – TOSOD photoshoot

Exercise has such a profound effect on our happiness and well-being that it is an effective strategy for overcoming depression. In a study cited in Shawn Achor’s book The Happiness Advantage, three groups of patients treated their depression with medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. The results of this study are surprising: Although all three groups experienced similar improvements in their happiness levels early on, the follow-up assessments proved to be radically different:

You don’t have to be depressed to benefit from exercise, though. Exercise can help you relax, increase your brain power, and even improve your body image, even if you don’t lose any weight.

We’ve explored exercise in depth before, and looked at what it does to our brains, such as releasing proteins and endorphins that make us feel happier.

DA ExerciseA study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies even when they saw no physical changes.:Body weight, shape and body image were assessed in 16 males and 18 females before and after both 6 × 40 minutes exercising and 6 × 40 minutes reading. Over both conditions, body weight and shape did not change. Various aspects of body image, however, improved after exercise compared to before.

Yep: Even if your actual appearance doesn’t change, how you feel about your body does change.

2. Sleep More: You’ll Be Less Sensitive to Negative Emotions

davidarchuletasleepingwithsyeshablankettowelWe know that sleep helps our body recover from the day and repair itself and that it helps us focus and be more productive. It turns out sleep is also important for happiness.

In NutureShock, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman explain how sleep affects positivity:

Negative stimuli get processed by the amygdala; positive or neutral memories gets processed by the hippocampus. Sleep deprivation hits the hippocampus harder than the amygdala. The result is that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories yet recall gloomy memories just fine.

In one experiment by Walker, sleep-deprived college students tried to memorize a list of words. They could remember 81% of the words with a negative connotation, like “cancer.” But they could remember only 31% of the words with a positive or neutral connotation, like “sunshine” or “basket.”

Enter your zip code here

The BPS Research Digest explores another study that proves sleep affects our sensitivity to negative emotions. Using a facial recognition task throughout the course of a day, researchers studied how sensitive participants were to positive and negative emotions. Those who worked through the afternoon without taking a nap became more sensitive to negative emotions like fear and anger.

Using a face recognition task, here we demonstrate an amplified reactivity to anger and fear emotions across the day, without sleep. However, an intervening nap blocked and even reversed this negative emotional reactivity to anger and fear while conversely enhancing ratings of positive (happy) expressions.

Of course, how well (and how long) you sleep will probably affect how you feel when you wake up, which can make a difference to your whole day.

Credit:  DavidArchuletaVN

Credit: DavidArchuletaVN

Another study tested how employees’ moods when they started work in the morning affected their entire work day.

Researchers found that employees’ moods when they clocked in tended to affect how they felt the rest of the day. Early mood was linked to their perceptions of customers and to how they reacted to customers’ moods.

And most importantly to managers, employee mood had a clear impact on performance, including both how much work employees did and how well they did it.

3. Spend More Time With Friends/Family: Money Can’t Buy You Happiness

Staying in touch with friends and family is one of the top five regrets of the dying.

No-Cal-get-together-at-Simply-ThaiIf you want more evidence that time with friends is beneficial for you, research proves it can make you happier right now, too.

Social time is highly valuable when it comes to improving our happiness, even for introverts. Several studies have found that time spent with friends and family makes a big difference to how happy we feel.

I love the way Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains it:

We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all the other things we think make us happy are actually just ways of getting more family and friends.

jillian-karin-lynn-viviGeorge Vaillant is the director of a 72-year study of the lives of 268 men.

In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, Vaillant was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

He shared insights of the study with Joshua Wolf Shenk at The Atlantic on how men’s social connections made a difference to their overall happiness:

Men’s relationships at age 47, he found, predicted late-life adjustment better than any other variable. Good sibling relationships seem especially powerful: 93 percent of the men who were thriving at age 65 had been close to a brother or sister when younger.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Socio-Economics states than your relationships are worth more than $100,000:



Using the British Household Panel Survey, I find that an increase in the level of social involvements is worth up to an extra £85,000 a year in terms of life satisfaction. Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness.

I think that last line is especially fascinating: Actual changes in income, on the other hand, buy very little happiness. So we could increase our annual income by hundreds of thousands of dollars and still not be as happy as we would if we increased the strength of our social relationships.

Enter your zip code here

The Terman study, covered in The Longevity Project, found that relationships and how we help others were important factors in living long, happy lives:

We figured that if a Terman participant sincerely felt that he or she had friends and relatives to count on when having a hard time then that person would be healthier. Those who felt very loved and cared for, we predicted, would live the longest.

Surprise: our prediction was wrong… Beyond social network size, the clearest benefit of social relationships came from helping others. Those who helped their friends and neighbors, advising and caring for others, tended to live to old age.

4. Get Outside More: Happiness is Maximized at 57°

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor recommends spending time in the fresh air to improve your happiness:

David Archuleta- Ticket To Ride 8-27-2010 ~credit- Ryan Welch~

David Archuleta- Ticket To Ride 8-27-2010 ~credit- Ryan Welch~

Making time to go outside on a nice day also delivers a huge advantage; one study found that spending 20 minutes outside in good weather not only boosted positive mood, but broadened thinking and improved working memory…

This is pretty good news for those of us who are worried about fitting new habits into our already-busy schedules. Twenty minutes is a short enough time to spend outside that you could fit it into your commute or even your lunch break.

Deseret book signing cred Ashley Jones 1A UK study from the University of Sussex also found that being outdoors made people happier:

Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments.

Credit:  David Àrchuleta on FB

Credit: David Àrchuleta on FB

The American Meteorological Society published research in 2011 that found current temperature has a bigger effect on our happiness than variables like wind speed and humidity, or even the average temperature over the course of a day. It also found that happiness is maximized at 57 degrees (13.9°C), so keep an eye on the weather forecast before heading outside for your 20 minutes of fresh air.

The connection between productivity and temperature is another topic we’ve talked about more here. It’s fascinating what a small change in temperature can do.

5. Help Others: 100 Hours a Year is the Magic Number

David_Archuleta reading to RSO Children India credit RSO

David_Archuleta reading to RSO Children India credit RSO

One of the most counterintuitive pieces of advice I found is that to make yourself feel happier, you should help others. In fact, 100 hours per year (or two hours per week) is the optimal time we should dedicate to helping others in order to enrich our lives.

If we go back to Shawn Achor’s book again, he says this about helping others:

…when researchers interviewed more than 150 people about their recent purchases, they found that money spent on activities–such as concerts and group dinners out–brought far more pleasure than material purchases like shoes, televisions, or expensive watches. Spending money on other people, called “prosocial spending,” also boosts happiness.

georgiachampionThe Journal of Happiness Studies published a study that explored this very topic:

Participants recalled a previous purchase made for either themselves or someone else and then reported their happiness. Afterward, participants chose whether to spend a monetary windfall on themselves or someone else. Participants assigned to recall a purchase made for someone else reported feeling significantly happier immediately after this recollection; most importantly, the happier participants felt, the more likely they were to choose to spend a windfall on someone else in the near future.

So spending money on other people makes us happier than buying stuff for ourselves. But what about spending our time on other people?

Rising Star Oct 11 campaign

A study of volunteering in Germany explored how volunteers were affected when their opportunities to help others were taken away:

ChildFund David in Philippines cred Kari

ChildFund David in Philippines cred Kari

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall but before the German reunion, the first wave of data of the GSOEP was collected in East Germany. Volunteering was still widespread. Due to the shock of the reunion, a large portion of the infrastructure of volunteering (e.g. sports clubs associated with firms) collapsed and people randomly lost their opportunities for volunteering. Based on a comparison of the change in subjective well-being of these people and of people from the control group who had no change in their volunteer status, the hypothesis is supported that volunteering is rewarding in terms of higher life satisfaction.

In his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being, University of Pennsylvania professor Martin Seligman explains that helping others can improve our own lives:

…we scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.

6. Practice Smiling: Reduce Pain, Improve Mood, Think Better

David smile on my faceSmiling can make us feel better, but it’s more effective when we back it up with positive thoughts, according to this study:

A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity. But workers who smile as a result of cultivating positive thoughts–such as a tropical vacation or a child’s recital–improve their mood and withdraw less.

Of course it’s important to practice “real smiles” where you use your eye sockets. (You’ve seen fake smiles that don’t reach the person’s eyes. Try it. Smile with just your mouth. Then smile naturally; your eyes narrow. There’s a huge difference in a fake smile and a genuine smile.)

Bench Signing Credit @nareejo ~

Bench Signing Credit @nareejo ~

According to PsyBlog, smiling can improve our attention and help us perform better on cognitive tasks:

Smiling makes us feel good which also increases our attentional flexibility and our ability to think holistically. When this idea was tested by Johnson et al. (2010), the results showed that participants who smiled performed better on attentional tasks which required seeing the whole forest rather than just the trees.

SamLouiseG Laughter 3A smile is also a good way to reduce some of the pain we feel in troubling circumstances:

Smiling is one way to reduce the distress caused by an upsetting situation. Psychologists call this the facial feedback hypothesis. Even forcing a smile when we don’t feel like it is enough to lift our mood slightly (this is one example of embodied cognition).

7. Plan a Trip: It Helps Even if You Don’t Actually Take One

david archuleta mike krompass dave filice car driveAs opposed to actually taking a holiday, simply planning a vacation or break from work can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life showed that the highest spike in happiness came during the planning stage of a vacation as people enjoy the sense of anticipation:

In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks. After the vacation, happiness quickly dropped back to baseline levels for most people.

Shawn Achor has some info for us on this point, as well:

tweet How to train your dragon 2

tweet How to train your dragon 2

One study found that people who just thought about watching their favorite movie actually raised their endorphin levels by 27 percent.

If you can’t take the time for a vacation right now, or even a night out with friends, put something on the calendar–even if it’s a month or a year down the road. Then, whenever you need a boost of happiness, remind yourself about it.

8. Meditate: Rewire Your Brain for Happiness

fans-of-david-archuleta-mary-watermark-zen-meditate-meditation-meditatingMeditation is often touted as an important habit for improving focus, clarity, and attention span, as well as helping to keep you calm. It turns out it’s also useful for improving your happiness:

In one study, a research team from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at the brain scans of 16 people before and after they participated in an eight-week course in mindfulness meditation. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Meditation literally clears your mind and calms you down, it’s been often proven to be the single most effective way to live a happier life. According to Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term:

Studies show that in the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy. And, research even shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness.

The fact that we can actually alter our brain structure through mediation is most surprising to me and somewhat reassuring that however we feel and think today isn’t permanent.

9. Move Closer to Work: A Short Commute is Worth More Than a Big House

la short commuteOur commute to work can have a surprisingly powerful impact on our happiness. The fact that we tend to commute twice a day at least five days a week makes it unsurprising that the effect would build up over time and make us less and less happy.

According to The Art of Manliness, having a long commute is something we often fail to realize will affect us so dramatically:

… while many voluntary conditions don’t affect our happiness in the long term because we acclimate to them, people never get accustomed to their daily slog to work because sometimes the traffic is awful and sometimes it’s not.

Or as Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert put it, “Driving in traffic is a different kind of hell every day.”

We tend to try to compensate for this by having a bigger house or a better job, but these compensations just don’t work:

Two Swiss economists who studied the effect of commuting on happiness found that such factors could not make up for the misery created by a long commute.

10. Practice Gratitude: Increase Happiness and Satisfaction

thankyouThis is a seemingly simple strategy but I’ve personally found it to make a huge difference to my outlook. There are lots of ways to practice gratitude, from keeping a journal of things you’re grateful for, sharing three good things that happen each day with a friend or your partner, and going out of your way to show gratitude when others help you.

In an experiment where participants took note of things they were grateful for each day, their moods were improved just from this simple practice:

pattie good thingsThe gratitude-outlook groups exhibited heightened well-being across several, though not all, of the outcome measures across the three studies, relative to the comparison groups. The effect on positive affect appeared to be the most robust finding. Results suggest that a conscious focus on blessings may have emotional and interpersonal benefits.

thank you philippinesThe Journal of Happiness studies published a study that used letters of gratitude to test how being grateful can affect our levels of happiness:

Participants included 219 men and women who wrote three letters of gratitude over a 3 week period. Results indicated that writing letters of gratitude increased participants’ happiness and life satisfaction while decreasing depressive symptoms.

Quick Final Fact: Getting Older Will Actually Make You Happier

mybirthdaycaketweetAs we get older, particularly past middle age, we tend to naturally grow happier. There’s still some debate over why this happens, but scientists have a few ideas:

Researchers, including the authors, have found that older people shown pictures of faces or situations tend to focus on and remember the happier ones more and the negative ones less.

Smiles in South America

Smiles in South America ~ Credit:  Kari

Other studies have discovered that as people age, they seek out situations that will lift their moods–for instance, pruning social circles of friends or acquaintances who might bring them down. Still other work finds that older adults learn to let go of loss and disappointment over unachieved goals, and focus their goals on greater well being.

So if you thought getting old will make you miserable, it’s likely you’ll develop a more positive outlook than you probably have now.

How cool is that?

* * * * *

Changes a-coming at FOD

Fod Mods SOD 1 (1)No need to panic … we aren’t going away, but we are making some changes as of today.

No longer do we plan to post every day, unless there is news to warrant it.

We plan to post Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and then inbetween when warranted.  We will also put up a fresh post if comments need to be refreshed.

Why are we doing this, now that David is back from his mission?

We take our clue from David, and if there is no new info, or interviews or special features for you, we have decided to consolidate our energies into fewer posts focused on current activities as well as more opinion pieces.  This also helps to keep us mods fresh and rested.  We will be on social media like twitter and will tweet out new info, so look for us there.  David will continue to post info on Facebook and you can look to him for a great source of info!

Like us here:  Fans of David Facebook Page

We’ll try it this way, see how it goes.  And of course, as David’s career gears up again, we’ll follow that lead!

It’s all good folks!  We are still here #DA2015andbeyond 

giphy tina fey thumbs up

This.  And THIS!

Love it!  from Bennie

benny jumping

Happy Martin Luther King Day to all of you.  I can’t commemorate this day without adding my favourite quote of his:


See you next time (on Sunday, at the very least!)

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