This film will be a combination of interviews with happiness experts, psychiatrists, psychologists, professors, spiritual leaders, and a mix of the unique perspectives from all of the different characters we meet along the way.
We currently have interviews with:
Dr. Dan Haybron
Dr. Haybron is a philosopher an psychology professor based out of St. Louis University, with a primary focus on the "connection of human nature and the good life." He is currently leading a three-year research project, Happiness and Well-Being: Integrating Research Across the Disciplines, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and Saint Louis University.
Rev. Gail Stearns
Dr. Stearns is the Irvin C. and Edy Chapman Dean of the Wallace All Faiths Chapel and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Chapman University. Her work's current focus is on mindfulness in meditation, to bring awareness to the present moment, reduce anxiety, and foster compassion.
Beau Bridges is an actor with a long, successful career in television and film. He is a three-time Emmy, two-time Golden Globe and one-time Grammy winner. He is a family man with five children and a beautiful wife.
Dr. Jay Kumar
Dr. Kumar counsels organizations in what he calls the "Currency of Happiness," to focus on both short- and long-term wealth and wellbeing. Dr. Kumar has a Ph.D. in cognitive science and religious studies, is the co-founder of the Applied Brain Science Research Institute for Wealth & Wellbeing, and is at the forefront of brain research and happiness.
Dr. Bernie Siegel
Bernie, as he prefers to be called, is an author and retired pediatric surgeon, who has published twelve books with a primary focus on the connection between the patient and the healing process. He has worked with psychotherapy in patient recovery and written on the way in which a positive outlook and "emotional growth toward greater self-acceptance and fulfillment helps keep the immune system strong."
Founder of the international Happiness Club, and author of the “Happiness Formula” and the “One Step Method for Happiness," Lionel Ketchian believes that happiness can change the world, one person at a time, starting with oneself, and he is at the forefront of the push to do just that.
Dr. Deborah McGill
Dr. McGill is has a Doctorate in Psychology with Masters in Clinical Psychology and Education. Her passion is to further “the new psychology paradigm that not only educates the mind but integrates the Heart, Body and Spirit.” Expanding psychology beyond this base perspective allows an incorporation of "health and wellness on levels of consciousness." For the last 15 years she has working with Global Heart Wisdom and the Esalen Institute to expand human potential and work with emotional healing, co-dependency, and addiction.
Nanice Ellis is a transpersonal life coach and author, having written dozens of articles for sites like wakeupworld.com. Nanice bridges the gap from "imagination to realization." She has done numerous pieces on depression and happiness, and she helps bring people from where they are to where they want to be.
Melissa Grace Hoon
Melissa is the founder and executive director of Inner Awakening Writing Center, an organization through which she facilitates a therapeutic journaling and meditation program. After overcoming abuse and battling depression, Melissa became a sexual assault counselor and developed her program in 2013 to help survivors of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence in their healing process. Today, she facilitates her program nationwide to help workshop participants find happiness, peace, and inner strength.
Debbie “The Yoga Woman” Barnett has been a certified yoga teacher since 2001, and applies the driving principles of yoga to everyday situations. Her approach to teaching and consulting technique focuses on careful analysis, listening, and presence, in order to help achieve excellence. Debbie fulfills her mission of “healing the world through yoga, one breath at a time.”
Marian is the Executive Director and Founder of CHADS Coalition for Mental Health. CHADS, an organization based in St. Louis, MO, stands for Communities Healing Adolescent Depression & Suicide. CHADS offers school outreach programs, community awareness presentations and classes as well as family support programs to advance the awareness and prevention of depression and suicide.
Britt, author of "An Amateur's Guide to the Pursuit of Happiness," considers herself a "Czar of Happiness." She has been featured on TEDx with her talk on creating your own owner's manual for a happy life and spent ten months traveling in an RV around the United States with her husband and two kids. Britt wants to create a world where people trust themselves and each other to follow their own paths.
Carol Dweck, a Stanford professor, psychologist and author of the book, "Mindset," is a pioneering researcher in the field of of motivation and success. Her research has been featured in The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. Her research has also lead her to being featured on 20/20 and Today.
Sparr, co-founder of PeaceLove studios, is a mental health advocate, teacher and self-taught artist. He is on a mission to make mental illness "cool," not cool to have, but cool to support. PeaceLove is a movement of hope and support for communities impacted by mental health disorders. Their goal is to help create peace of mind through expressive arts and a symbol of hope.
Sarah Hartshorne, Vice President of Project UROK, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in college, but struggled with both conditions as a teenager. Project UROK, a non-profit organization based out of New York, has four goals: to de-stigmatize mental illness, combat isolation, create an online community and reduce teen suicide. The Project UROK team creates funny, meaningful videos for teenagers struggling with mental health issues, made by people who have been there before.
Pico Iyer, a British-born essayist and novelist of Indian origin is best known for his travel writing. Iyer was born in Oxford, England in 1957, to parents from India, and educated at Eton, Oxford and Harvard. Since 1986 he has been writing books and since 1992 he has been based in rural Japan with his longtime sweetheart, while spending part of each year in a Benedictine hermitage in California. Iyer has been featured on TED twice with "The Art of Stillness" and "Where is Home?" as his topics.
Albert "Skip" Rizzo is a research professor at USC Davis School of Gerontology and USC Keck School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science. Rizzo conducts research on the design, development and evaluation of virtual reality (VR) systems targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment rehabilitation and resilience.
John Polish is the internationally recognized author of “Finding Your Happiness” and “A Healthier Happier Business". He is an award winning motivational speaker, radio talk show host and the creator of The Personal Happiness Graph. In 2009 John became the proud father of Abigail Anne Polish. “Abby” was born with a rare genetic disorder (Trisomy 18). She lived for just 2 days. John now shares Abby’s story to inspire others to Find Happiness. Through his books, the UNSTUCK Happiness Conferences, Finding Your Happiness Workshops, and his personal development programs he has helped countless numbers of people get unstuck so that they can move forward in faith and Find Happiness. His work has inspired people to start businesses, has saved marriages and has helped many find a renewed hope.