We understand well-being as more than the presence of positive emotion combined with the absence of negative emotion, stress, or mental illness. Instead, we are striving to understand the complex interplay between environments and people in order to promote sustainable, context-sensitive mental health.

We are specifically interested in:

Understanding how contextual factors interact with person-level factors to influence well-being. For example, wanting to feel ecstatic might make you feel even better if you’re at an amazing concert, but the same expectations could sink your mood if you are struggling through your morning commute.

Understanding how the experience of a wide variety of emotions (not just positive ones) can be adaptive. Flexible emotion regulation involves changing your emotional experience in a way that helps you accomplish your goals. This can sometimes involve increasing negative emotions, dampening positive emotions, or both. We are interested in what types of situations these strategies might be adaptive, and how using these strategies contributes to overall well-being.

Understanding how to promote effective responses to stress. Attempts to reduce stress are laudable, but encountering some stress is inevitable. We are particularly interested in the role positive emotions might play in helping people better tolerate difficult circumstances in the moment and recover from them more effectively afterward

Creating interventions with the first three points in mind.