Who is “Dr Happy” and is he always happy?

Who is “Dr Happy” and is he always happy?

It’s been a while since I’ve properly introduced myself and with some new readers here on this blog, and new followers on social media, not to mention my new eNewsletter about to launch (you can subscribe for your free weekly copy HERE) I thought it might be worth penning a few words.

So, who is “Dr Happy”?

Well, my real name is Tim Sharp, or Dr Tim Sharp when I’m wearing my professional “hat”.

My background is in psychology, originally as a clinical academic, which means I spent the first part of my career working as a therapist, researcher and lecturer.

And I loved it!

Until I didn’t. Well, it’s not true that I fell out of love with my earlier work, I was still finding it incredibly satisfying, but about 20 years ago I discovered the very early signs of what came to be known as “Positive Psychology”. No one had really heard of it much, especially here in Australia, and so I set up The Happiness Institute as a way of drawing attention to a new field in psychology about which I was very excited.

And that’s when it happened. As my work shifted from stress, depression and anxiety, to happiness, satisfaction and joy, from distress and dysfunction to success and peak performance, a colleague with whom I worked at the time called me, jokingly, Dr Happy.

And it stuck.

Well, it didn’t actually stick straight away. I was quite reluctant to begin with; for several reasons. But I soon realised it that garnered attention, that people were interested, and I began to think it could be used for good, to start and to have important conversations about happiness but also, about unhappiness and mental ill-health.

Because here’s just one of the reasons I was reluctant to adopt the moniker “Dr Happy”. I’m not happy all the time. In fact, at certain times in my life, I’ve been very unhappy. I’ve experienced quite significant levels of mental ill-health, mostly depression and anxiety, for much of my adult life. But I’ll talk more about this some other time.

For now, I just want to note that Dr Happy is, in reality, Dr Tim Sharp. I’ve 3 degrees in psychology, including a PhD, and my focus now, or for the last few decades, has been on promoting the principles of positive psychology, helping people to thrive and flourish, but also to raise awareness of mental ill-health and let people know that it’s OK not to be OK all the time.

In recent years, my focus has mostly been on speaking, at corporate events and conferences, writing, with most recently a whole series (10 in total!) of Audible Originals beginning with “Habits for Happiness” (HERE), and from time to time engaging in PR and media campaigns as a researcher/expert/spokesperson.

And so, that’s who I am (NB: I’m also a husband and a father but again, I’ll talk about that another time) and that’s a brief summary of my happiness (and unhappiness). No, I’m not happy all the time, but that’s OK. No one’s happy all the time, and no one should expect to be.

And I’ll be writing a lot more about all this in my new eNewsletter. That is, I’ll be writing more about happiness, how to enjoy more of it, and unhappiness, how to accept and manage it. I’ll also be sharing my life experiences and much of the wisdom I’ve learned in 3 decades as a psychologist and self-help writer and consumer.

If any of that sounds interesting, then please feel free to sign up HERE (it’s free and you can unsubscribe at any time).

Oh, and one more thing. Within my eNewsletter I’ll be choosing a question to answer each and every week, from one of you, my readers. So, if there’s ever been anything you’ve wanted to ask a psychologist, or to ask me personally, then send it in (via HERE) and if yours is selected, I’ll do my best to answer as best I can.

Thanks so much for reading; and looking forward to connecting and interacting more in coming weeks, months and … if all goes well, years!