While it’s common knowledge that doing a job you love will make you happy, what about if your entire job was focused around happiness - what impact would that have? We spoke to creative entrepreneur and founder of The Happy Newspaper, Emily Coxhead, to find out.
"After graduating from Manchester School of Art I decided I didn’t want to work for a big company or brand that was going to tell me what to do. Personally, I think that can sometimes defeat the whole point of being a 'creative', so I spent a year doing all kinds of freelance design/illustration work, whilst expanding my online shop creating lots of happy gift ideas, stationery and greeting cards... I did as much as I possibly could until everything started to fall into place," she says.
The focus on happiness originally came from a place of sadness, which lead Coxhead to think about the negativity in everyone’s lives that are often hidden. This, coupled with news reports on the refugee crisis and terror attacks, was the inspiration behind The Happy Newspaper.
"Without really realising I started on my little happy mission. I thought if I could make a few people’s worlds a little happier then that’s what I would do until I figured out what I was going to do for a 'proper' job. I set up a Kickstarter to fund the first issue of The Happy Newspaper, a newspaper to celebrate all the good stuff going on in the world.
"There are so many people doing so many incredible acts of love and kindness which we don't often hear about, and I thought they should be recognised in some way. It can be incredibly overwhelming seeing nothing but sadness and fear on our TV screens and across social media. I hope The Happy Newspaper can be a little reminder that there’s a whole lot of good left in the world."
There’ll be even more happy vibes going around when Coxhead’s interactive book, Make Someone Happy, hits bookstores too. But what makes the creator of so many uplifting products happy?
"The fact that I can do what makes me happy for a living whilst also making others happy surely has to be the best thing ever?! But also cups of tea, biscuits and sunsets make me happy," she says.
Emily’s top five tips for being happy
1. Stop comparing yourself to others, especially the highlight reels we see online - it’s not real life.
2. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you and of course make you laugh.
3. Stop holding on to the past. Things happen in our lives, people and situations change. You and the world around you are constantly evolving, you must allow those changes to happen to be able to grow and learn from the past.
4. Step out of your comfort zone every now and then, do things you thought you never could or would do. The best and most memorable moments usually come from those times.
5. Know that your best can come from your very worst, pain makes you stronger and mistakes and heartbreak make you wiser. It’s sometimes easier to blame others for what you’re going through but you are the only person who can change the way you're feeling or more so your attitude to what you're going through or have been through.
To win a piece of artwork by Emily, inspired by Richard Branson and his approach to happiness, sign up to the Virgin.com newsletter and enter this month's competition. You can also be uplifted by more of Emily's work by checking out today's Instagram Story over on Virgin's Instagram!