Brexit Or Bremain? A Happiness Analysis

Reading time: 4-5 minutes

As far as I can tell, no one has tried to work out if being in or out will make us happier. This isn’t terribly surprising: if you think you know the answers to the questions surround sovereignty, the economy and immigration, you […]

June 16th, 2016|

If you had a billion pounds and an urge to maximise world happiness, what should you do?

What should a billionaire do to maximise human happiness?

Reading time: 11-14 minutes

[Note to reader. This is a draft 5,000-word essay that will eventually form a chapter in my thesis. I’ve cut corners on some important issues to save space and I’ve had to signpost that I would […]

May 5th, 2016|

Becoming Depressed Was The Worst And Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

I wrote an article for The Tab – I had depression, now I study a PhD in happiness at Oxford University – published 29/04/2016


These days, if people meet me again and can’t remember my name, they tend to say, “oh, wait, aren’t you the happiness guy?”. It’s an apt description: […]

April 29th, 2016|

How To Life A Happy Life – Interview With University Of Oxford

I was recently interviewed as part of Oxford’s How To Life A Happy Life, one of their Research In Conversation series. The link is here. There are some super interviews by actual philosophers like Jeff McMahan and Will MacAskill.

Here’s an excerpt:

‘If you […]

April 29th, 2016|

Can We Make The World Happier? If So, How?

[Note to reader: this is a 2,000 word philosophy essay, rather than a easy-read blog post. It’s a work in progress, and comments very welcome]

Reading time: 10 minutes

In this paper I argue the typical answers people give to the above question, such as economic growth, improvements in healthcare, technology and education […]

January 26th, 2016|

Need a new New Year’s Resolution? Teach yourself to be happier in 12 minutes a day

It’s a New Year. This means, for a limited period only, it’s acceptable to tell strangers about our grand plans to win at life: how we’re going to be doing daily 5am runs, refusing alcohol, campaigning for human rights and starting(/finishing) that book we’re working on.

Whilst we’d usually frown on […]

January 5th, 2016|

Want To Be Happier? Change How You Think Or What You Think About.

What would bring you more happiness? Go on, I’m asking you. I’m not going to give it to you, but I’d like to know. Serious question: what do you think would make you happier? Is it money? Is it fame? Is pina coladas and getting caught in the rain?

Okay, you […]

November 20th, 2015|

How can we pursue happiness if we don’t know what it is?

Everyone wants to be happy, don’t they? Aristotle thought it was the goal of life. The Declaration of Independence states we have an alienable right to pursue it. There’s a nascent field of academic study, positive psychology, which tries to collect data on what causes it. Legions of people merrily sell their […]

October 21st, 2015|
I’m Michael Plant. I research happiness for a PhD in Philosophy at Oxford. I’m CEO of Hippo, the FitBit for your mind. In this blog I mostly write my thoughts on how we can make ourselves and others happier.

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As a consequence of trying to simultaneously start a start-up and finish a PhD, I don’t have much spare time, including for this blog. However, if you have an opportunity or introduction you think could increase world (or my) joy, please email me at the address below. For the reasons stated above, I can only promise to respond to suggestions that fit my current schedule and interests.

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