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Parents Explore "The Science of Happiness"
Parents Explore "The Science of Happiness"

Dr. Amy Lopez from the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center recently gave a talk on "The Science of Happiness" at a Kent Denver Parents' Association meeting. In addition to sharing her journey of exploring happiness, including results from her surveys of hundreds of people, Dr. Lopez gave practical tips we can use to increase our happiness. She reported that, for Americans, happiness has been declining, and given that happier people are healthier people, this is an important topic for us all.

According to the research, about 50% of our happiness is determined by our genetics—we each have a happiness "set point". Research also shows that happiness levels change throughout our development. People in their early 20s are generally very happy and hopeful, which declines in the late 20s and early 30s. Happiness tends to increase again in middle age, and returns to a peak happiness at age 66. Despite these biological constraints and rhythms, we do have some ability to raise our happiness levels.

Dr. Lopez recommends the following strategies to elevate your happiness:

  • Shift your mood by moving your body—dance!
  • Manage emotions through gratitude, meditation and fun.
  • Incorporate meaning and purpose into your life.

The most surprising takeaway that Dr. Lopez shared to lift happiness levels is to literally do nothing. The more creative the work you do, the more downtime your brain needs to organize. Creativity literature actually recommends doing nothing for two to six hours per week. So if you think you need to work hard to be happier, take heart! You can simply do nothing...and wait.

Current parents: watch the full talk on the Parent Portal's Student Wellness page. To learn more about Dr. Lopez and her work at the CU Depression Center, click here.


Meet our Communications Team

Lisa Mortell

Lisa Mortell
Titles: Assistant Director of Communications
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School: (303) 770-7660 x324
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B.A. - English

"I love telling Kent Denver's stories. The amazing work of my colleagues and the accomplishments of our students provide endless inspiration!"

Since joining Kent Denver in 1998, Ms. Mortell has worked in various roles in the school's communications and development offices. She currently focuses on a wide range of communications, including social media, online newsletters, website content, print and digital publications and Summer at KDS marketing.

Jan Thomas

Jan Thomas
Class of 1976
Titles: Director of Communications
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School: (303) 770-7660 x295
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B.A. - Mass Communications
B.A. - Political Science
M.A. - Public Communications

"As a student, Kent Denver changed the trajectory of my life. Working here allows me to support the school as it offers that same transformative gift to others."

Ms. Thomas has an extensive background in higher education and corporate communications and marketing. Additionally, she formed, owned and operated a communications company for several years.

Amy Vucci

Amy Vucci
Titles: Communications Specialist
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School: 303-770-7660 ext. 207
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B.S. - Biology

A videographer, graphic designer and past member of the communications department at Johnson & Wales University, Ms. Vucci provides her creative expertise to Kent Denver in video, photography, graphic design, writing and editing.