In the lists below, we have compiled evidence-based activities and "interventions" that have been shown to promote well-being. We have specifically selected those that are most closely related to our research on various aspects of human flourishing including happiness and life satisfaction, mental and physical health, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and close social relationships, as well as activities related to our research on pathways to human flourishing such as religious community, family, work, and education.
The interventions and activities here are focused on those that individuals can implement themselves. There is of course a much broader research literature on interventions requiring special resources, trained therapists or health care providers, or which may require significant expense.
The interventions described here constitute activities or easy-to-access books or resources that evidence suggests contribute to various aspects of human flourishing. We have organized these into 4 major groupings below (with references) cognitive exercises, behavioral exercises, institutional and relational commitments, and workbooks to address psychological distress. As is discussed in each section, each of these activities or commitments described below also constitutes an important orientation to the good.
The description given below is based upon our fuller summary and published paper:
VanderWeele, T.J. (2019). Activities for flourishing: an evidence-based guide. Journal of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, 1-13.