The Choosing Happier Press Kit

You can download the Press Kit here: The Choosing Happier Press Kit

Thanks for visiting my online media room. I take your time very seriously and I don’t believe in wasting one second. If you’re interested in scheduling an interview please email me at  If you’re on deadline, include your office and mobile phone numbers and I will call you back as soon as I am able.
Below you’ll find some very helpful information about my book, Choosing Happier.
I look forward to connecting with you.
Warmest regards
Jem Friar


What you need to know to sound like you have read the book!

A Message from Jem:

Would you like to be able to choose to be happier? Did you know that scientists and researchers have discovered:

  • Why some people are much happier than others?
  • Happier people are more successful, resilient, creative, productive, kind and energetic, plus they have better health and relationships?
  • We all have a happiness set point (a level of happiness that we keep returning to)?
  • That this set point can be raised just by learning some simple habits and new ways of seeing the world?

My mission is to make this information accessible to everyone and enable anyone who is willing to put in a minimal amount of effort to actually raise their own happiness levels. To this end, I have written the Choosing Happier book and created a free downloadable Happiness Toolkit for book readers with recorded meditations and visualisations, pay it forwards cards, joy tracking sheets, etc. I have also created a YouTube channel with weekly tips for helping to raise people’s happiness set points and an Instagram page with regular inspiring quotes. All of these have been specifically designed or written to make the ongoing process of improving one’s contentment, joy and resilience, really easy.

My intention is not to make people constantly happy in an ungrounded way but rather to enable people to experience more positive states on a day to day basis and be increasingly at ease and content. It is about developing the skills that will nourish them on a deep level and allow them to enjoy and appreciate life much more.


Choosing Happier Book Summary

Choosing Happier – how to be happy despite your circumstances, history or genes.

Choosing Happier is a book about our potential for living a much happier life when we learn and practice some very simple but powerful habits and ways of looking at the world.

This book busts the modern happiness myths that assert that we can find lasting happiness through having more money, buying more things, or being famous, successful or powerful. Instead, it provides science-backed, actionable, effective, and simple practices that can make being happier a whole lot easier whoever and wherever you presently are. It turns out that our ability to be happy is not dependent on our circumstances – happiness is an inside job!

Being happier is not the only end goal of this book. It has been shown that happier people are more creative, successful, productive, healthy, resilient and they have better relationships too – what’s not to like about these additional outcomes?

In the bigger picture, happier people are more content, kind and generous. The more authentically happy people there are, the better off we all are.

If you read this book and do the exercises regularly you will develop empowering “happy habits” that will naturally increase your contentedness and joy, while reducing the time that you spend stuck in negative emotions. Don’t put learning these skills and habits off and remain in unnecessary unhappiness when you could become one of those people who seem to be able to cruise through life’s challenges with a smile on their face.

 Choosing Happier is a simple and effective guide will teach you the skills, mind-sets and habits that will make it easy for you to live with more contentment and joy on a daily basis.



Book Title: Choosing Happier – how to be happy despite your circumstances, history or genes.

Publisher: Imaginal Publishing

ISBN: 978-0995681125 (Paperback)

ISBN: 978-0995681118 (E-book)

Published: 3/4/17

Language: English

Format: e-book, paperback.

Available at:

Book Trailer

Can be seen on YouTube at:

Author Bio

Jem Friar has a unique and fascinating perspective on life due to having spent 14 years living in numerous countries around the world. He has also spent over 28 years working directly with individuals and groups as an alternative therapist and coach, supporting them to live in a more balanced, healthy and happy way. He has combined his wealth of experience with insights and practices from ancient traditions and modern science to make it easy to live in a happier, healthier and more balanced way.

Why is this message important?

1. To combat the shocking increase in levels of depression

In the UK, approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year [1]. In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week [2]. More than 1 out of 20 Americans 12 years of age and older reported current depression in 2005–2006 [3]. Present levels of depression in the USA are 10 x higher than they were in the 1960s! [4].

Often, the only options that people in these incapacitating states are given or can find are suppressive pharmaceutical drugs, self-chosen addictions or the discouraging belief that it is all because of their brain chemistry, history or genes. However, it is possible for many people to shift out of such debilitating emotions and thought patterns just by learning some simple new habits and ways of perceiving and relating to themselves and their reality.

Book Excerpt p67

In 2005, an empirical validation of the effectiveness of various positive psychology interventions was carried out[4]. The most effective practice was an exercise called “Three Good Things in Life” where the participants were asked to write down three things that went well each day and their causes every night for one week. Not only did these people have increased levels of happiness and less depression at the time but these levels remained high even 6 months later!

There have also been some interesting research programs comparing the effectiveness of physical exercise to psychotherapy and antidepressant medication which showed no difference in effectiveness to these overly used treatment methods [6]. Healthy moderate exercise is one of the keys of greater happiness.

2. Because most of the things that we believe will bring us happiness are myths

This book busts the modern happiness myths that assert that we can find lasting happiness through having more money, buying more things, or being famous, beautiful or lucky. In our modern consumer-based world we are taught to search for happiness in places that it cannot be found or where it is unsustainable by its very nature.

Myth 1 – Money and acquisition will make us happy.

In the past forty years, although the average income in the USA has tripled, happiness levels have hardly changed and are, in fact, slightly lower than they were. In the UK, life satisfaction has decreased since the 1970’s despite a 60% rise in Gross Domestic Product.

The economist Richard Easterlin found that although a higher income can result in more happiness for poorer people in the short term, increased income doesn’t correlate with increased happiness in the long term for individuals or societies. Researchers examined 37 countries over the long term (over 22 years) and found that happiness ratings within a country didn’t increase with income. In China, S. Korea, and Chile, per capita income doubled in less than two decades yet all these countries showed slight declines in happiness [7].

Money is not particularly important once you have met all your basic requirements. Extra money doesn’t make you much happier. A pay rise may make you happy but only for a short period because we rapidly get used to what we have.

Dr. Ed Diener interviewed 49 of the wealthiest people in America and found that their happiness levels were only slightly above average. 80% of those people agreed that wealth could make people unhappy [8]. On average they scored 5.8 on a life satisfaction scale and yet, by comparison, the Pennsylvania Amish people (a culture that shuns modern technology and consumerism) have been found to experience the same levels of life satisfaction and happiness.

Myth 2 – Success leads to happiness

A meta-analysis of over 200 studies about happiness [9] concluded that rather than success leading to happiness actually greater happiness will lead to greater success in just about every area of life!

Jan Emannuel De Neve discovered that unhappy teens had a 30% lower income than their happier classmates 10 years after leaving school [10]. Satya Paul found that happier people on average make $1766 more annual income, whilst Barry Staw found that the greatest predictor of job performance over the course of 18 months is a person’s happiness level.

Myth 3 – Good luck will bring us lasting happiness whilst bad luck will permanently reduce our happiness

A study in 1978 looked at the impact of winning the lottery (and also compared it with having a serious accident that resulted in victims becoming paralysed) on happiness levels over time. The result, both groups of people returned to pretty much the base line of happiness that they had maintained before the massive change in their circumstances, after a short while [11].

Myth 4 – Beautiful people are happier

A study entitled “Happiness and despair on the catwalk” found that fashion models were actually less happy than the average person [12].

Believing in these myths is incredibly disempowering

There is a general belief that we cannot choose how happy we are, that our happiness is a result of our genes, brain chemistry, history, family, circumstances and even just down to our luck. In fact, this is just not true as anyone can change their levels of happiness by consciously changing their mindset and their habits. It is important that people learn that happiness is a choice and to give them the tools and skills to make that choice.

3. To enable humanity to live in a more balanced way

Humanity as a whole living is living in an increasingly out of balance and unsustainable manner. Our pursuit of elusive happiness has even resulted in us living in a state of discontent, damaging ourselves, our relationships and our environment. We are oblivious to how consumerism and individualism is having a massive negative effect around the planet, both on the ecosystems and environment, and on other members of our human family.

For most of our existence, humans have only been a tiny part of the biosphere of the Earth, with limited capabilities and thus have had minimal impact upon it. However, that has radically changed because there are now 7.5 billion of us and we have the capacity to wield a multitude of ecosystem shattering technologies. It is, therefore, imperative that we evolve our ways of thinking to be more global, wise and consciously benevolent.

A cornerstone key of being happier is gratitude which enables people to be happy where they are with what they already have. Happier people are more likely to be more content and therefore less likely to be caught in the cycle of over-consumption that is ravaging our planet. Similarly, practising conscious kindness can have far reaching positive effects.

4. Because it’s not just about being happier!

In a meta analysis of over 200 research papers it was shown that when we are happier we are more productive, creative, successful and healthy [9].

We are actually likely to have better relationships and to live longer! The Harvard Study of Adult Development (which has been running since 1938) found that greater happiness and better relationships led to greater longevity and protection of our bodies and brains (including memory) [13].

Happy employees were found to take 15 less sick days per year than happy ones in the USA [14]. Happily married people were less likely to suffer from heart disease and able to recover more quickly from it if they have heart surgery [15].

[1] McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. S., Bebbington, P. E., and Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England, 2007: results of a household survey. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
[2] McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016). Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult psychiatric morbidity survey 2014. Leeds: NHS digital.
[3] Pratt LA, Brody DJ. Depression in the United States household population, 2005–2006. NCHS Data Brief. 2008(7):1–8.
[4] M. Seligman (2002) Authentic Happiness. New York: Free Press, at 117.
[5] American Psychologist July-Aug 2005 by Seligman, Steen, Park and Peterson.
[6] The Mead meta-analysis examined several of these comparative effectiveness analyses, conducting sensitivity analyses of those trials comparing established treatments with exercise. Comparison with exercise and CBT showed no difference between exercise and cognitive therapy (SMD = −0.17 [95% CI −0.51, 0.18]). An additional sensitivity analysis was conducted comparing the results of exercise compared with antidepressant medication. Only two studies, both from researchers at Duke University, compared the effectiveness of exercise with pharmacotherapy. No differences between exercise and antidepressant medication were noted. Mead GE, Morley W, Campbell P, Greig CA, McMurdo M, Lawlor DA. Exercise for depression. CochraneDatabaseSystRev. 2009;(3) CD004366.
[7]  Institute for the Study of Labor. The HappinessIncome Paradox Revisited. IZA DP No. 5799. June 2011. Richard A. Easterlin. Laura Angelescu McVey. Malgorzata Switek
[8] Diener, E., Horwitz, J., and Emmons, R. A. (1985). Happiness of the very wealthy. Social Indicators, 16, 263-274.
[9]  The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Sonya Lyubomirsky, L King and E. Diener. Psychology Bulletin 131, 803-855, at 834.
[10] Estimating the Influence of Life Satisfaction and Positive Affect on Later Income Using Sibling Fixed-Effects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 30 Oct 2012.
[11] Lottery Winners and Accident Victims: Is Happiness Relative? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1978, Vol. 36, No. 8, 917-927
[12]  The Journal of Positive Psychology. January 2007; 2(1): 2–17. Happiness and despair on the catwalk: Need satisfaction, well-being, andpersonality adjustment among fashion models. BJO¨RN MEYER, MARIA K. ENSTRO¨M, MONA HARSTVEIT, DAVID P. BOWLES, and CHRISTOPHER G. BEEVERS. City University, London, UK. Sheffield Hallam University, UK.University of Texas at Austin, USA.
[13] The Harvard Study of Adult Development.
[14] Gallup-Heathways well-being index. 2008. As referenced in the Associated Press (June 18, 2008). Poll: Unhappy workers take more sick days.
[15] European Society of Cardiology. “Married patients with heart disease have better survival rates.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2017.

Interview Topics and Interests

  • The Power of Gratitude to Transform Lives
  • The Value of Discovering our Character Strengths
  • The Importance of Living Life with Purpose
  • Practising Random Acts of Kindness
  • The Impact of Proper Sleep on Our Happiness

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is the art and science of happiness?
  • What are the myths of happiness?
  • Why do we need to learn to be happy?
  • Aren’t some people just naturally more positive and happy or conversely negative and pessimistic?
  • What are the benefits of being happier?
  • Aren’t we all happier now – our standard of living is much higher than it used to be? Can’t money buy us happiness?
  • What are the main keys to happiness?
  • Is it easy to become happier?
  • Why is gratitude important?
  • What are the top 3 concepts that people should embrace if they want to be happier?
  • Do you have to be healthy to be happy?
  • How can our happiness affect our health?
  • How can the quality of our sleep affect our happiness/health?
  • Can positive psychology have an impact on depression?
  • Are people equally happy around the world?
  • How can showing people how to be happier have a global impact?
  • What impact would I like this book to have in the world?
  • Are you always happy and positive?
  • What science or principles is your book is based on?
  • What makes your book different to other books about positive psychology?
  • Why did you write the book Choosing Happier?


Choosing Happier has been number 1 in the Amazon Best Sellers categories for: Spirituality/Gifts, Depression, Psychology/Mental illness and Unitarian Universalism.

A first class read and full of little hints and tips that can make a difference to the way you think and act but also demonstrates how if you change your outlook the effect it has on the people you share your life with. The easy to understand sections have exercises and notes at the end of each chapter to reiterate what has been described and to take into your personal life to make you HAPPIER.
If you want to be happier you need to read this book as there is a chapter on all the influences that can help you achieve that goal by adopting simple techniques

Sharon Martin

Book Blogger, Beck Valley Books

This is such a great and useful book, full of interesting and inspiring facts and exercises. Anything that stacks the cards in the direction of genuine happiness is good for people and planet and this book is a wonderful contribution. Enjoy!

Ya'acov Darling Khan

Author of “Jaguar in the Body, Butterfly in the Heart” and co-founder of Movement Medicine.

It seems crazy that we need to be reminded that happiness is an option, but we do, and this book helps you to stay on track and keep choosing to become happier.

Midi Fairgrieve

Author, Nutritional Therapist and Spiritual Counsellor, Detox International