In honour of the International Day of Happiness, we studied books and interviews of popular today’s experts – Alfried Langlais, Igor Kon, Lyudmila Petranovskaya, Mikhail Labkovsky, Alexander Shakhov – to find the key to real happiness.

Every day many of us wonder: are they happy? If yes, what is this feeling? And if not, what is missing in order to call oneself happy?

We also thought about these questions, and on the International Day of Happiness we tried to find answers to them in interviews and books by famous psychologists.


“When we require ourselves to be happy, we shift the point of normality. We stop being happy about some small things, we constantly scrutinise ourselves: are we happy enough? Or we look closely at our child: is he or she confident and joyful enough? In this way we add neither joy nor happiness to the whole. Therefore, if you have an unconsciously internalised division of emotions into good and bad, into desirable and undesirable, think about how you can interact with these beliefs,” – Lyudmila Petranovskaya.

“Happiness does not depend on wealth in any way. It [money] does not give you anything. It does if you have health problems, for example, and you don’t have money for treatment. But if you are just an ordinary person who does not need money for pills, then happiness does not depend on money. Even family does not play any role in matters of happiness. For happiness you need an easy character, the absence of offence, disappointment, envy, low self-esteem, anxiety and fears” – Mikhail Labkovsky.

“Happiness as a phenomenon means satisfaction with oneself, one’s everyday life, one’s life, after all. Happiness cannot be evaluated in some quantitative indicators. A beggar with the sun warming his back can be happy, and a rich financier worried about not having invested his money on time can be unhappy” – Igor Kon.

“Family life is made up of communications – words, smiles, requests, smiles, requests, claims, gifts, and so on. Imagine this exchange of communications as if you were throwing balloons to each other, light or dark. The light ones are to smile, to hug, to cover with a blanket, to praise, to say “I love you,” to comfort. And the dark ones are to roll your eyes, slam the door, yell, hit, throw things, criticise, scold, make complaints. Family happiness does not depend on the age of the spouses, nor on education, nor on money, nor on the presence of children, but only on what type of communication in the family is the main – “dark” or “light”. To be more specific, a happy family is one where ‘dark’ communication is responded to with ‘light’ communication more often than ‘light’ communication is responded to with ‘dark’ communication,” – Lyudmila Petranovskaya.

“When you wake up in the morning, think about how happy you are that you are alive and well, that your loved ones are near, that you are free and can do what you want to do”
Alexander Shakhov

“The happiness of man consists in being able to live with inner harmony. Happiness refracts in its structure on four levels. It means that we can accept what is, allow it to be. It also means that we enjoy what we do, that we care for a relationship with life that makes us always able to feel its value. It means that we also have the right to do what we do, that is, we can identify with it, feel it in tune with ourselves, important to ourselves and others. And finally, it means being able to feel requested, because what we do is meaningful not only for ourselves, but also for something else or for other people – so it is necessary to do it” – Alfried Langlais.

“We only appreciate when we lose. This also applies to happiness. After all, it is inherent in human beings to get used to it, among other things. That is why we often do not notice it. Therefore, the key to happiness is to learn to appreciate what you have” – Alexander Shakhov.

“Happiness is when you wake up and you feel stupidly good. It’s just the way it is. You eat breakfast and you feel good. You go to work and you like even the tram. You come home and work with your child because you feel high, not because you’re doing your parental duty. It’s when the journey to your goals equals the moment you achieve them. You know? Happiness is here and now,” – Mikhail Labkovsky.

“Existential happiness is happiness in the midst of life. Happiness when we can be at the centre of life, to be directed with all our heart towards the good and beautiful, despite all the hard and sad things” – Alfried Langlais.